Did Apple Fail to Mention iPad Stereo Speakers?

Photos of internal iPad components released by the FCC have revealed a few surprises. Official iPad specifications from Apple do not mention stereo audio output, only a "built-in speaker." Further inspection of the teardown photos reveals what is clearly two distinct speakers.

Apple iPad Stereo Audio Output

The parts shown above comprise the speaker assembly, which consists of dual speakers to provide stereo sound. According to ifixit.com there are two small sealed channels that direct sound toward three audio ports in the bottom of the iPad. This is the first time evidence of stereo sound on the Apple iPad has surfaced.

Other audio details provided by Apple include the following:

- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
- Audio formats supported: HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
- User-configurable maximum volume limit

Apple iPad Stereo Audio Output

Accessibility options include "mono audio" which means that hearing-impaired users can combine the sound of the left and right channels into a mono signal played in both ears. This means the entire sound signal can be heard in both ears, and indicates that the iPad normally operates in stereo.

With plug-in headphones we expected stereo, but according to the hardware layout, it would seem that the iPad internal speakers are stereo, too. The sealed channels probably funnel audio in a manner that enhances the sound, even though the two speakers are so close together.

Once the iPad ships tomorrow, more details are sure to surface regarding iPad audio.

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Comments

blizeh's picture

Yeah this thing definitely has stereo speakers.

Yeah this thing definitely has stereo speakers.

default user picture

Didn't expect the sound to be so decent. Not bad at all.

Didn't expect the sound to be so decent. Not bad at all.

default user picture

I very much doubt it's stereo. More than likely they used two speakers in this way to aid in sound volume and qual

I very much doubt it's stereo. More than likely they used two speakers in this way to aid in sound volume and quality. For example the iMac's have four speakers, two on each side. it's an alternative to fitting larger speakers in the case (which in the iPad, you can't)

Besides, stereo wouldn't be reproduced properly with them that close together.

default user picture

This unit if not stereo, Granted there are two drivers, But most likely these are configured to cover different ra

This unit if not stereo, Granted there are two drivers, But most likely these are configured to cover different ranges of the audio spectrum. This would enable them to make more efficient use of the small space.