For a company that has taken to reminding us with now tiresome regularity that it has “music in its DNA,” Apple has been remarkably sanguine about fitting crappy speakers in many of its computers. Oh, sure, in the early days we didn’t have particularly high expectations, and latterly when speakers have had to be crammed into laptops and then iOS devices we’ve been fighting physics—it’s very hard to make a small speaker produce big, rich sound.

But still, if you love music and want to listen to it on your Mac, the first thing you will have done throughout most of the Mac’s history is plug in set of external speakers rather than expose Nina Simone, Mahler, or Freddie Mercury to the indignity of anemic, buzzy, underpowered drivers. (Man, that’s a supergroup I’m dying to hear—which is handy, really, when you think about it.)

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