New Patent Application Shows Possibility of Surround Sound Speaker System in MacBooks
According to a patent application detailed by PatentlyApple
and published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, Apple seems to be working to implementing audio transducers in combination with multiple speakers to enable surround sound configurations on MacBook-like devices. The focus of the patent appears to be a method to improving audio in mobile devices as speakers decrease in size to accommodate smaller and thinner form factors.
One of the ideas is to use several speakers and an audio transducer integrated into the bezel and enclosure of a MacBook. This set up would allow the speakers embedded next to the display to handle high range frequencies while the lower speakers would handle mid—range and the audio transducer would handle low-range. Additional speaker encloses would be added to enable different sound configurations such as 3.1 or 4.1 surround sound. Apple even stated that the audio transducer would be able to provide both low and mid-range frequencies “essentially performing as a “subtweeter” for frequency ranges from 20-500 Hz and 500-1500 Hz. The reported continued to note that the audio transducer could be a gel speaker or a surface transducer. In another embodiment, Apple explained the transducer could be enclosed in a chair, keyboard, or touch-based input device to even provide tactile feedback “as part of a home theater experience.”
Although the patent has surfaced, it is unlikely that we will see any of the proposed ideas in the upcoming refresh. That being said, it is still nice to know that improvements are in the pipeline for future upgrades down the line. This is especially great news for audiophiles and for those who use MacBooks often for music and videos (college students coming to mind here).