iPad Audio Out

Discussion of non-operating system issues related to all iPads.
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Stephen Hart
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iPad Audio Out

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun May 22, 2011 7:55 am

Three questions:

1. How's the iPad 2's built-in speaker? I don't expect it to be hifi, of course, but is it loud enough to listen to, say, radio, or a podcast? (I can do that with my iPhone 4.)

2. Anyone have a combination external speakers/iPad charger they could comment on?

3. What do iPad owners think about the possibility doing technical support and help for an iPad user by phone if you have an iPhone but not an iPad?
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Richard Serkes
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Re: iPad Audio Out

Post by Richard Serkes » Sun May 22, 2011 10:35 am

I'll reply to questions #1 and #3.

In response to question #1 be aware that for iPad2 the speaker in the WiFi model is different than the speaker in the WiFi/3G model. Really, I'm not kidding. It has something to do with the placement of the 3G module so Apple had to use a slightly different speaker. I have the WiFi only iPad2 and the speaker is OK for listening to news videos and short YouTube videos. It isn't great, but you wouldn't expect a mono speaker its size to be anything special. As I understand it based on reading I'Net reports the WiFi/3G speaker has an annoying buzz when the volume is anything above a whisper. I don't own one so I can't respond from personal experience, I'm only repeating reports from several forums.

As to question #3 I think trying to trouble shoot an iPad from an iPhone would be awkward at best. Although both use iOS 4.x.x (I assume) the layout of the two devices is different. It would be easier if both parties had an iPad (same version) in front of them with the same OS running.
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rickj
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Re: iPad Audio Out

Post by rickj » Sun May 22, 2011 10:38 am

Stephen Hart wrote:Three questions:

1. How's the iPad 2's built-in speaker? I don't expect it to be hifi, of course, but is it loud enough to listen to, say, radio, or a podcast? (I can do that with my iPhone 4.)
I have an iPad 1, and it's loud enough to listen to in the same room.
2. Anyone have a combination external speakers/iPad charger they could comment on?
I don't know much about iPad speaker/docks, but here are a few alternative suggestions that might work for you.
Sony DRBT140Q Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset. I have a pair. They're tiny, weigh nothing, sound very good, and have a decent range (at least to the next room).
You might want to look into BlueTooth or other wireless speakers. That way you could use them with either the iPad or iPhone.
If you want to listen in the same room that your TV is in, just send the audio to your Apple TV. That's assuming you're playing back the audio from either the iPod app or the Video app.
If you want it in another room, you might want to look into AirPlay enabled speakers. I don't know if there are any on the market yet.
Or you could get an Airport express and a decent pair of powered speakers.
Any of the last three options also gives you the ability to stream audio from any Mac or iDevice in your house.
3. What do iPad owners think about the possibility doing technical support and help for an iPad user by phone if you have an iPhone but not an iPad?
I would think it would work 90% of the time. I think the difficulty would be in cases where apps display a different interface on the iPad than they do on the iPhone. For instance, on the iPad in landscape mode, Mail has a sidebar listing the contents of the current mailbox. The iPhone doesn't have this. If you are reading a message, and want to see what's in your inbox, you have to hit the Inbox button in the upper left. Then the Inbox takes over the entire screen.
Rick

Photo Jeanne
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Re: iPad Audio Out

Post by Photo Jeanne » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:47 pm

I have hooked up my iPad to my iPod speakers using the jacks. The sound using iPod on the iPad was fine. I bought the unit at Costco and they are still available.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: iPad Audio Out

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:21 am

To sort of answer my own question from way back:

1. With my recently purchased retina iPad, the built-in speaker is quite good enough. It's pretty loud, and the quality is good enough. In both measures it's better than an iPhone 4, 4s or 5, though all three, and especially the iPhone 5, are good enough.

2. We didn't explore any speaker/charger combinations. But AirPlay works fine. Interestingly, on the iPad at least, playing to a BlueTooth speaker invokes the AirPlay icon and label on the iPad. Playing this way to a Jambox BlueTooth speaker is excellent (again, not a living-room stereo, of course). We find ourselves using this method more than plugging one of the iDevices into our stereo, but just because it's a little more convenient, assuming you keep the Jambox charged up.

3. Doing tech help for an iPad if you only have an iPhone has been barely OK for us. Some apps, for example the NPR app, are quite different between the two devices. Now that we have an iPad, such questions will be much easier to answer.

As to listening to radio (NPR), what my wife has ended up doing is putting her iPhone 4s in her pocket and using its speaker. That works for wandering around in the morning from room to room, and it's loud enough. The Jambox provides enough of a boost over any of the device speakers that it's a real help in, say, a noisy kitchen, where earphones can be in the way.

I originally asked this question when thinking about an iPad to replace an aged G4 PowerBook we were using to stream NPR. The iPad and the NPR app could do that perfectly well, as could an iPhone. But, as I said, we've pretty much moved to using the Jambox or the internal speakers.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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