Neil Young Calls the MacBook Pro a ‘Piece of Crap’ With ‘Fisher-Price’ Audio Quality

Neil Young

Neil Young has some harsh words to describe Apple’s MacBook Pro audio quality. The long-time proponent of hi-res audio assailed the laptop for having ‘Fisher-Price’ quality audio.

Neil Young veered into an anti-MacBook tirade on a recent podcast interview about his just-released book.  The book is titled, To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio. In the interview, conducted by The Verge, Young also shares some of his adventures in creating the Pono Player — a now failed hi-res music player.

As the conversation diverged to how many young musicians get started digitally, Young was critical. When asked about artists starting their creative process with the new MacBook Pro, he scoffed.

“It’s a piece of crap, are you kidding?” Young exclaimed. “That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good on the MacBook Pro.”

Young lamented the quality of the Digital-to-Analog converter in Apple’s newest laptops. DACs are responsible for turning digital data into an analog audio signal. All digital recordings use a DAC to create the audio signal you can hear.

Young argues that you need an external DAC “do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality.”

Young’s disconnect from the industry becomes apparent as the interview wears on. Host Nilay Patel makes several references to artists who assemble their samples on a MacBook Pro with high praise. But Young says those artists aren’t getting ‘the real sound.’

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“It’s about museum quality. What happened when you opened your mouth and sang? What went into the air? That’s what we’re not getting with the new technology,” Young laments.

6 Responses

    • Avatar
      Kim

      His comments are what comes from having his own products to push.

      Pretty ignorant for someone who should know a hell of a lot better.

      You’re right – internal DACs? WTF? Is he on crack?

      Reply
  1. Avatar
    BAC

    74 year old man who has stood in front of loud amps for 50+ years tells those apples falling from his trees to get off his lawn.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Travis

    Plus who cares? Who uses laptop speakers? Doesn’t everyone have a nice pair of headphones, ear buds, or monitor speakers? I can’t remember the last time I used the speakers on a laptop. I hate watching laptop reveiws and see them spend 10 minutes on the speakers. Are you going to use them in public, at a coffee shop’ on a plane, airport, work meeting, etc? Of course not! You use headphones. And if you are at your desk you probably have speakers or those same headphones. Anyone who loves audio should avoid laptop speakers no matter how good or bad they are.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    molly ringwald

    its true, open up any macbook pro or macbook air. they are kiddie speakers. They are glued in, not screwed and reverberate as the housing is the length of the pc.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Red McFlanagan

    the problem is that sound quality isn’t a problem for the majority of people. Music is not viewed with value, but more as background or ambiance. heck, look at all the morons who bought into the hype and design of Beats headphones, but sacrificed audio quality. They are terrible.

    Reply

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