The iPad is a beautifully crafted piece of technology. The minimalist design, curved aluminum back and sleek, display-dominated front are legendary. That being said, nothing is perfect. After about a year owning and using an iPad on a daily basis, there’s one aspect of the design that I’ve come to find rather frustrating.
I love to watch videos on my iPad. Whether it’s YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus or even a video from iTunes, I find viewing movies and television shows on my iPad to be a great experience.
The screen is crisp and bright, battery life is great and it never gets super hot like my laptop does after a ton of video-watching. Sure, the screen isn’t the biggest, but when you hold it six inches away from your face any screen can be a movie theater (you know, until it makes you go blind or something…).
It’s undeniable that Apple’s really mastered the screen on its tablet. What isn’t quite so good, however, is the speaker. Now I’m perfectly aware that the actual speaker components have to stay basically as they are in order to keep the device as thin as it is. What I don’t understand, though, is why the iPad projects sound away from the user.
A few weeks ago I lost my headphones and have been using the built-in iPad speaker ever since. It didn’t take long to realize that during every quiet scene or low song, I’d have to turn the volume all the way up and cup the speaker, directing sound back towards myself, in order to hear properly.
But even this method is flawed, as often times during game play, a hand can cover the speaker and distort sound even further. Surely Apple could have designed a better system than this!
Even as I write this article, I’m playing music from my iPad. The difference in volume when the iPad screen is facing up versus when it’s facing down is very noticeable.
What’s more, if the iPad is playing audio while propped up with a smart cover, that creates a whole new sound entirely. The current speaker placement really is not optimal for sound quality at all.
I’m sure it isn’t easy to find a way to fit everything in, but if there’s one company that can design a way to have the speaker facing a user without compromising design, it’s Apple. Until that time I guess I’ll continue cupping the speaker and buy a new pair of headphones.
Do you guys think I’m being too picky, or have you also been frustrated by the back-facing speaker? I’d love to hear your thoughts so definitely weigh in down below in the comments