Skip to main content

Got an older Mac? Apple’s Studio Display has some good news

Apple’s Studio Display monitor has received mixed reviews since its release, with frustration directed towards its missing HDR support and lackluster webcam performance. However, a spot of good news has just been revealed, particularly for users of older Macs.

That’s because the Studio Display enables Hey Siri, even on Macs that themselves cannot run this Apple feature, provided they are connected to the monitor. Hey Siri lets you speak directly to Siri (rather than typing in your query on your keyboard), which gives you a quick and hands-free way to check your schedule or dictate an email message.

The Mac Studio and Studio Display at Apple's Peek Performance event.
Apple / Apple

How can a monitor enable this feature on unsupported Macs? It’s all to do with the Studio Display’s embedded A13 Bionic chip. This provides the functionality for some pretty neat features, including Center Stage and Spatial Audio.

Because the Studio Display has a built-in chip, it can handle Hey Siri as well, rather than offloading this work to your Mac. That means it works even when, ordinarily, it should not. And that’s great news for Mac users who would normally be left behind.

Before you start thinking you’ll be able to get Hey Siri on an iMac G3 from 1998, it won’t work on particularly ancient Macs because the Studio Display itself is incompatible with many of these devices. Take a look at the Studio Display’s specs page and you’ll notice there’s a compatibility list:

  • Mac Studio (2022)
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019 or later)
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021)
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 or later)
  • Mac Mini (2018 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or later)
  • 24‑inch iMac (2021)
  • 27-inch iMac (2017 or later)
  • 21.5-inch iMac (2017 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)

So, while the Studio Display can bring Hey Siri to the 2016 MacBook Pro (which by itself cannot run Hey Siri), it won’t work with older Apple laptops.

Still, if you’re planning on pairing a Studio Display with an Apple device from the list above, you might get a nice Siri-related bonus thrown into the mix.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
Apple has backed itself into a corner
Apple iPad Pro 11 with Apple Magic Keyboard.

Apple is rumored to finally be updating its new iPads at its forthcoming May 7 event. While this may come as a relief to anyone who’s been patiently waiting to upgrade their iPad Pro or iPad Air, a new report has thrown the whole situation into confusion.

That’s because the latest Power On newsletter from Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman claims that the upcoming iPad Pro will contain an Apple M4 chip. On first blush, that doesn’t seem all that unusual -- the iPad Pro has come with an Apple silicon chip for years, after all. But here’s the wrinkle: this launch plan would mean the iPad will get an M4 chip before the Mac, and that has all kinds of weird implications. By delaying the iPad for so long, it looks like Apple has left itself with a very odd update cycle for its chips this time around.
The end of the M3 Ultra?

Read more
The biggest threat to the MacBook this year might come from Apple itself
The MacBook Air on a white table.

MacBooks have held a dominant position in the laptop world for the past few years. Though there have been meaningful rivals from the Windows side of the aisle, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro still feel like they hold an unshakeable lead at the moment.

But according to the latest reports, the most serious challenger to the MacBook's reign won't come from Windows -- it'll come from within Apple in the form of some very advanced new iPads.
What's a computer?

Read more
4 monitors you should buy instead of the Apple Studio Display
The Dell Ultrasharp 27 4K monitor on a table.

The Apple Studio Display got a lot of heat when it launched, but it's actually quite a high-quality monitor. Colors are great, and it's very bright, topping out at 560 nits in my own testing. Even the built-in webcam and speakers are excellent. There aren't many full-featured 5K monitors out there quite like it.

The problem has always been the $1,600 price tag, and there's just no getting around that. So with that in mind, here are four monitors that you should consider buying instead.
Samsung 27" ViewFinity S9 5K Smart Monitor (S27C900PAN)

Read more