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As though it wasn’t difficult enough to make a decision among the 18 varieties of the iPad 2, now there’s evidence that the least expensive model has the best recording quality.
If you’re going to be using your iPad 2 to record meetings or music, you may want to choose a lower-priced Wi-Fi-only model rather than a 3G. According to a report from iLounge, the placement of the microphone differs in the two models, and that makes for a disparity in sound quality. The microphone hole on the Wi-Fi-only version is just carved from the back of the iPad 2, while that of the 3G model is lodged inside the antenna casing.
iLounge senior editor Charles Starrett surmised, “Perhaps due to this change in materials, the Wi-Fi model offers markedly cleaner audio than that of the 3G, which sounds slightly muffled and echo-prone as a result.” Starrett added, “Curiously, we found the GSM 3G model’s audio to be slightly preferable to that of the CDMA model, which seemed to suffer the issues more severely.”
The addition of FaceTime to the iPad 2 makes the performance of the microphone more important, as the device is likely to be used to record business meetings or family occasions. Also, programs like GarageBand and iMovie use the microphone to make audio samples and voice-over recordings.