Apple Studio Screen Review | MusicRadar


Apple Studio Display: what is it?

To coincide with the mac studio, Apple also launched the new 27-inch Studio Display. It’s a physically similar but scaled-down version of its big-ticket 6K Pro Display XDR, and uses its well-established and more affordable 5K Retina panel.

The Studio Display offers many recent Apple display features such as the P3 wide color gamut and auto-adjusting True Tone technology. You can also select the optional nano-textured glass.

Available in six variants, prices start at $1,599 / £1,499 and rise to a sizable $2,299 / £2,149. The price increases are explained by three mounting options (adjustable tilt stand, tilt and height adjustable stand, and VESA mount) and two glass finishes (standard anti-reflective coating and nano-texture). Both glass finishes offer low reflectivity, but the Nano finish diffuses light to further minimize glare.

As always with Apple, step away from the basic design and the price quickly goes north. The nano-textured glass will set you back an extra $300/£250 and the height-adjustable stand a whopping $400/£400 extra.

Apple Studio screen

(Image credit: future)

On the back, in addition to the non-detachable AC power cable, you have four USB-C ports – one of them is Thunderbolt 3 for connecting to your Mac. This carries power (96W) and is therefore ideal for charging your Apple laptop as well.

The other three are handy for charging USB devices or connecting them to your Mac, with connection later facilitated by the Thunderbolt 3 protocol.

The panel features six speakers along the bottom edge, a 12MP webcam in the top frame, and a three-mic array along the top. The advanced features are powered by the A13 chip which was previously used in iPhones and iPads.

Apple Studio screen

(Image credit: future)

Apple Studio display: performance and verdict

The Studio Display offers an interesting combination of features, and while you can use it with a Windows PC, it’s clearly optimized to work with a Mac. For example, it has no physical controls or on-screen display, as all of that is handled through macOS features.

It’s slightly brighter (600 nits versus 500 nits) than the newer 27-inch Retina iMacs, and just like those, the native 5120 x 2880 resolution is doubled in pixels. So what you see is 2560 x 1440. This provides excellent clarity and it’s hard to see the pixels. You can also select a scaled setting, but you won’t get full Retina quality.

The display has nine benchmark modes, and some of them are impressively bright. However, the underlying backlight technology means there are no HDR (high dynamic range) modes.

Our review unit had the regular finish glass and it worked well for us in a regular studio environment, so unless you have a particularly bright room we can’t see that the nano finish is worth the expense additional. Likewise, the base stand in our review model was a perfect match for the size of the Mac Studio that came with it.

As mentioned, the Studio Display features six speakers – four force-cancelling woofers and two tweeters. We’ve seen a similar setup on the latest iMacs and MacBook Pros.

The sound that comes out of the Studio Monitor does not disappoint and is a huge improvement over previous generation iMacs.

One of the great features is Spatial Audio support for Dolby Atmos compatible content. Additionally, you’ll find that the Studio Display appears in Logic Pro’s Dolby Atmos plug-in as a monitoring option, providing a quick alternative reference to an appropriate room speaker setup. Naturally, the spatial effect isn’t nearly as dramatic as a multi-speaker room setup, or even AirPods. But, if Spatial Audio is to become a standard, we’ll need to see it available on as many different streaming devices as possible.

Also consider

Apple Pro XDR Display
If you want a truly pro-level Apple display, this 32-inch beast is an impressive but pricey option.

Dell UltraSharp 27″ 4K U2723QE
Dell makes a lot of great displays and this 4K design gives you an impressive native resolution of 3840×2160.

AOC Gaming Q27G2S
Popular with gamers, this no-frills panel offers 2560 x 1440 resolution at up to 165Hz refresh rate.

So what are the negatives? First of all, the 12MP camera has been criticized by a number of reviewers and we can totally see where they are coming from, as the image isn’t particularly sharp. That said, for supported apps like FaceTime, the optional Center Stage feature helps keep your face in the shot, and Portrait mode creates depth of field and keeps the background suitably blurred.

The three-mic array sounds great and, for supported apps like FaceTime and Control Center, offers three modes, including Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum. Alas, we haven’t found a way to access these modes in Logic Pro, which seems like a missed opportunity.

There’s a lot of familiar Apple technology in the Studio Display, but you can’t ignore the fact that there are plenty of very decent non-Apple 27-inch monitors available for a fraction of the price. Nevertheless, it is beautifully designed and the speaker system has been perfectly implemented. If price isn’t an issue, the feature set makes it a go-to partner for Mac Studio.

Apple Studio screen

(Image credit: future)

Apple Studio Display: practical advice

Marked Brownlee

The Tech Guy

Apple Mac Studio: Specifications

  • Studio Display with tilt stand
  • 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display with 5120 x 2880 native resolution at 218 pixels per inch
  • 60Hz refresh rate, 600nits brightness, and support for 1 billion colors
  • Wide Color (P3) and True Tone Technology
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera with 122° field of view, ƒ/2.4 aperture and center stage support
  • Six-speaker high-fidelity system with force-cancelling woofers and Spatial Audio support when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos
  • Array of three studio-grade microphones with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming
  • Support for “Hey Siri”
  • Integrated A13 chip
  • Weight: 6.3kg
  • Size: 478 (h) x 623 (w) x 168 (d) mm
  • Contact: Apple (opens in a new tab)

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