Thanks to Patently Apple, we learned today that Apple have been granted patents for 8 speaker iPads and iPhones. This is not to say that we should expect octa-speaker tablets in 2018 though, because so far at least there’s been no leaks suggesting that. But it does point to a possibly interesting near future for tablets.
There are already just a handful of tablets that features 4 speakers that rotate according to the screen orientation. These are the current iPad Pros, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, the flagship Huawei MediaPad M tablets, Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro, Acer Iconia Tab 10 (A3-A50), Asus Transformer 3, and Chuwi Hi13.
But so far there have been no 8 speaker tablets. And if these patents materialize into 8 speaker iPads we should rest assured that Apple didn’t just slap 8 speakers on these tablets either, but that they really put an effort into them, judging by the very, very detailed descriptions of how everything from all the angles and distances of the speakers, to the high pass and low pass filters, routers, equalizer, decorrelation engine, and audio processor are all placed to work together, we should be able to expect some very good results from this myriad of audio components.
While tablet speakers are improving, they still tend to leave something to be desired, because speakers for thin and light mobile units should can’t “fill a room” with the ordinary approach to speakers, unless the speakers are enlarged, which the comes at the expense of the weight and dimensions.
But judging by Apple’s patents, it looks like they may have come up with a solution that if not ends the problem, at least improves upon it a great deal.
Apple’s recently launched HomePod speaker have been generally very well received, even by people who call themselves audiophiles who exclaim delight and amazement by the richness of the sound and how it can fill rooms with sound, so this goes to show that Apple knows how to master audio at this point, even with a single speaker unit.
– Tom Bowen