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Future iMacs could be getting a built-in subwoofer for bassier beats

Built-in speakers on computers are almost always awful. In the pursuit of making things as small, light and generally beautiful as possible, there’s just no room for a chunky set of speakers capable of putting out the kind of beats that audiophiles crave. Until – possibly – now: a new patent from Apple suggests that the company is looking at ways of including a subwoofer within its iMac screens.

Actually, the patent doesn’t specify iMacs, but it’s hard to believe it could be for anything else.

The main benefit is the improved oomph you’d get from the speakers, of course, but there’s a surprise secondary benefit: cooling.

Related: iMac 21.5-inch 4k review

The patent explains how the airflow generated by the subwoofers could be directed to cool hot components. Temperature readings could be sent from the control circuitry, telling the subwoofer when to increase or decrease the flow. The subwoofer could even, according to the patent, direct air at specific areas as the speakers move, while pushing warm air out the monitor’s openings.

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While this sounds like a pretty good idea with few drawbacks, it’s worth taking a moment to note that Apple puts out tons of patents every year, and very few of them immediately find their way into upcoming products. If this subwoofer/cooler hybrid works as well as the patent sounds, however, it’s hard to imagine Apple wouldn’t at least be putting it into early iMac prototypes.

It’s not clear when we’ll be seeing a new iMac, although Apple fans are getting itchy with the last refresh coming back in June 2017. What with 2018 marking the 20th anniversary of the original iMac, it’s possible we could see a surprise unveiling this year, although the company would have to get its skates on to match the original August 15 launch.

Related: Best Desktop PC 2018

Are you happy with the iMac’s sound quality, or does this sound like an essential upgrade? Let us know on Twitter by messaging @TrustedReviews

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