Apple reveals secret Studio Display design that stops it from shaking

Studio Display Apple
Studio Display Apple (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple unveiled its new Studio Display earlier this month.
  • One of its most impressive features is its six-speaker sound system, with support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos.
  • An Apple executive has now revealed the secret design of these speakers that stops the device from shaking.

Apple's VP of hardware engineering has revealed how the company created the new Studio Display's six-speaker sound system in such a way that it doesn't make the monitor vibrate and fall to pieces while you're using it.

Kate Bergerson spoke to GQ about the new Studio Display and Mac Studio, touting how the company was now offering performance to its users "in a way that we haven't before and really nobody has."

In discussing all of the great new features in both the new Mac and its Display, Bergerson revealed the secret sauce that went into the design of the six-speaker sound system on the 5K 27-inch display, that was necessary to stop the display from vibrating due to the power of the sound. Apple unveiled the Studio Display's powerful audio qualities when it was announced, stating:

Studio Display also includes a studio-quality, three-microphone array with an especially low noise floor for crystal-clear calls and voice recordings. It also features a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system, the best ever created for Mac, delivering an unbelievable listening experience. Four force-canceling woofers minimize distortion and produce bold, articulate bass, and two high-performance tweeters create accurate mids and crisp highs. The speakers also support spatial audio for music and video with Dolby Atmos, creating a truly cinematic viewing experience.

One impact of these powerful speakers not often found in desktop monitors was vibration, which Bergerson and her team had to work around:

"You could say, 'Let's just go crank those speakers up and make them loud with lots of rich, full bass,'" she says. "If you do that in a really rigid mount, you would create a display that actually shook itself on the table."

Bergerson said that her audio team used a technology called force canceling reverse for its speakers, offsetting the vibrations to make the system "amazingly stable and quiet."

Usually reserved for high-end audio products like studio monitors, force canceling reverse mirrors the sound and signal being pumped out of the driver. A traditional speaker only moves in one direction, but without compensation, this causes the vibration that Bergerson is referring to. Force-canceling speakers are dual speaker systems that work in opposite directions to each other with equal force, canceling out any vibrations.

While Apple's new speaker system in the Studio Display has been well received, its accompanying webcam has not, with early hands-on reviews and testing revealing subpar image quality that Apple says it plans to fix in a future update.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9