Earlier today, I was watching Verge’s video on the new MacBook Air M2. That’s where I learned the new MacBook Air ditched its traditional speaker grilles for audio. I may have seen this during the WWDC22 keynote, but it didn’t cross my mind as we covered Apple’s patent application on this feature even earlier this year.
Apple’s marketing materials state that the “MacBook Air also has a quad-speaker sound system. To fit in such a slim design, speakers and microphones are completely integrated between the keyboard and the screen — while delivering an even better audio experience. A three-mic array captures clear sound using advanced beamforming algorithms, while the speakers produce improved stereo separation and vocal clarity.
Apple obviously covered this new design feature in a January 27, 2022 patent application report titled “Apple invents new audio architecture for future MacBooks that sits under the keyboard and eliminates speaker grilles.” You can view the details of this report here. This is another completed patent that had no associated rumors. The only place for this revelation was in Apple’s patent filing.
Apple’s patent FIG. 1 below shows a perspective view of a MacBook in an open state; FIG. 2 illustrates a side cross-sectional view of an exemplary keyboard assembly with a speaker disposed below.
Apple’s patent FIG. Figure 3 above illustrates a perspective view of a speaker assembly coupled to the chassis of a MacBook; FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged view of the loudspeaker assembly of FIG. 3.
It bears repeating from time to time that whenever Apple introduces a new device, feature or software, the one thing that is assured is that it has been patented, that Patently Apple l covered in a report or not. Nothing Apple introduces is released unpatented or patent-pending, so the product is legally protected from patent trolls and imitators.