9 Best Macs for Music Production of 2024

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If you're looking to produce music on a computer, Macs are the best choice. Apple is known for its reliable hardware and top-of-the-line software, and its Mac range of computers is no exception.

In this article, we picked the best Macs for music production, taking a look at the best version and a more affordable version of the same product.

We also included a buyer's guide with the most important points to consider while you're shopping for a Mac.

Our #1 pick of the best Macs for music production has to be the MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip due to its astounding processing power and immense storage space.

Keep reading to see which Mac is best for your specific situation and price range.

Quick Summary of the Best Macs for Music Production

  1. MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip (Best Overall Mac for Music Production)
  2. MacBook Pro M2 Pro Chip (Second Best Overall Mac for Music Production)
  3. iMac (Best Desktop Mac for Music Production)
  4. Mac Mini M2 Chip (Best Budget Mac for Music Production)
  5. Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip (Most Versatile Mac for Music Production)
  6. Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip (Best Expensive Mac for Music Production)
  7. Mac Studio M2 Max Chip (Best Mac for Home Studio Music Production)
  8. MacBook Air M1 (Best Budget MacBook Air)
  9. MacBook Air M2 (Most Portable Mac for Music Production)

Best Macs for Music Production

1. Best Overall Mac for Music Production – MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip

MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Max Chip
  • RAM: 96GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: 15 Hours

The Apple MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip has revolutionized the landscape of music production, providing musicians and producers with a powerhouse tool that takes their craft to new heights.

With its cutting-edge M2 Max Chip, this laptop becomes a dream come true for music creators, offering unmatched processing power, seamless performance, and innovative features tailored to the demands of the industry.

It tops our list as the best overall Mac for music production for several reasons. At the center of the MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip lies a multi-core CPU that excels in handling resource-intensive digital audio workstations and plugins.

Music producers can effortlessly manage complex arrangements, large-scale MIDI compositions, and heavy virtual instrument libraries without experiencing any lag or slowdowns.

The Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 ports ensure seamless integration with professional audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and external storage devices, providing the flexibility and expandability that serious music production demands.

If you're creating music and want the best personal computer that comes with an Apple logo on it, look no further than the powerful MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip.

2. Second Best Overall Mac for Music Production – MacBook Pro M2 Pro Chip

MacBook Pro M2 Pro Chip

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Pro Chip
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: 15 Hours

Apple is a pretty unique company in that they often make several versions of the same product at different price points, offering more features to those of us willing to pay more for their products.

The MacBook Pro is one such product, as music producers have two choices in the chip department: you can either pay the full $3,499 for the Max Chip or save $800 and buy the $2,699 Pro Chip.

For an $800 discount, you're not losing too many of the features that make the MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip the best on this list. At #2, the MacBook Pro M2 Pro Chip is still an excellent portable laptop for making and editing music.

It comes with 15 hours of wireless battery life, a whole 1TB of SSD storage, and enough USB ports for all of your gadgets.

The MacBook Pro M2 Pro Chip is a great choice for music production, catering to the needs of serious musicians and producers.

It handles music production software with ease and makes audio production a breeze. If you want the best Mac for music production but wouldn't mind saving $800 for the second best, check out the MacBook Pro M2 Pro Chip.

3. Best Desktop Mac for Music Production – iMac

iMac

SPECS

  • CPU: M1 Chip
  • RAM: 8GB and 16GB Options
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery Life: Plug-In

The iMac is Apple's very own desktop computer. They included the drivers, monitor, and computer all in one case, creating an efficient piece of hardware. It comes with Apple's powerful M1 chip as well. While not as powerful as any of the M2 variants, the M1 chip packs a punch with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU.

The iMac's vibrant Retina display with P3 technology offers an exceptional visual canvas for making music, making waveform analysis a breeze, and aiding in precise audio editing.

With Thunderbolt and USB C ports for seamless connectivity with professional audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and external storage devices, the iMac becomes a versatile hub for music production setups.

As a member of the Mac family, the iMac also perfectly integrates all music production software used by Apple devices. The iMac comes with a dedicated headphone jack as well, making reference playback through a pair of headphones much easier.

If you're looking for a Mac to keep in one place, the iMac may be the perfect pick for you. What it lacks in mobility, it more than makes up for in connectivity and through its wonderful display.

There are two RAM options, too, at 8GB and 16GB, so you can select the right amount for you. Consider buying the iMac for music production if you want one of the best computers Apple offers.

4. Best Budget Mac for Music Production – Mac Mini M2 Chip

Mac Mini M2 Chip

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Chip
  • RAM: 16GB, 24GB, and 32GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Battery Life: N/A

If you're willing to get a separate mouse, keyboard, and external monitor (or you already have a setup), the Mac Mini M2 Chip may be the best Mac for you. It's our only option on this list that's available for less than $1,000 too, making it the closest thing to a budget pick we can get from Apple.

The M2 chip's dedicated graphics unit further enhances the music production experience, enabling smooth video rendering and graphics-intensive visualizations when editing music.

The Mac Mini is the perfect entry to Apple's computers. It's incredibly small, making portability an ease. You can fit the Mac Mini wherever you can fit a laptop and still have room for display, mouse, and keyboard.

Just because it's affordable doesn't mean it's not powerful; the Mac Mini comes with an M2 Chip of its own, providing excellent performance and rapid speed.

The Mac Mini can support two displays at once, fitting in perfectly to your double-monitor setup. It also comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI port, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and Gigabit or 10GB Ethernet cabling, making connectivity a breeze.

If you want to get your own Mac for mobile music production and don't want to break the bank, you'll probably love the Mac Mini M2 Chip.

5. Most Versatile Mac for Music Production – Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip

Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Pro Chip
  • RAM: 16GB or 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery Life: N/A

The older sibling to the Mac Mini M2 Chip, the Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip comes with Apple's advanced M2 Pro Chip and a bevy of features that might make you consider upgrading your previous purchase. The Pro Chip version of the Mac Mini comes with everything you love about the M2 Chip version plus more.

The Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip can support up to three monitors at once, allowing you to see everything you need without flipping back and forth between screens.

The Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip comes with either 16GB or 32GB of unified memory, so everything you do is nice and smooth. For audio software, the M2 Pro Chip comes with Apple's state-of-the-art macOS Ventura operating system, supporting just about all the audio software you can think of.

Apple is known for making great hardware, and the Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip is a great example of this through its advanced cooling system, which allows it to run complex programs for hours without overheating.

If you liked the Mac Mini M2 Chip and have a little more cash in your budget to upgrade your digital audio workstation, consider buying the Mac Mini M2 Pro Chip.

6. Best Expensive Mac for Music Production – Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip

Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Ultra Chip
  • RAM: 192GB
  • Storage: 8TB SSD
  • Battery Life: N/A

If you want the best Mac money can buy, look no further than the $3,999 Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip. At the price of a small car, this Mac is a behemoth of a computer for music production.

It's about the same size as the Mini Mac, except four times thicker. With a 24-core CPU, the Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip can perform up to 3.3x faster than its iMac counterpart.

The Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip comes with up to 192GB of unified memory, the most out of any Mac on this list. It also comes with a list-high 8TB of superfast SSD storage, which makes it feel like your files open before you even click on them.

The Mac Studio is also one of the only computers on this list with a 3.5mm jack, perfect for monitoring headphones during studio playback.

The Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip is a beast of a computer. It processes anything and everything much faster than just about every other Mac on this list. Producing music on a machine like this is easy, and if you don't have a budget or are willing to sell your car for an Apple product, check out the Mac Studio M2 Ultra Chip.

7. Best Mac for Home Studio Music Production – Mac Studio M2 Max Chip

Mac Studio M2 Max Chip

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Max Chip
  • RAM: 96GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery Life: N/A

The Mac Studio M2 Max Chip is a powerful piece of hardware from Apple. At just half of the price of the Ultra Chip version, the Max Chip still has more RAM than most other Macs on this list.

It also comes with a pretty solid 512GB of unified memory SSD storage to run multiple applications at once with no problems. It can pull up music files before you realize you clicked on them.

Music making is easy with a Mac Studio. You can play multi-track songs through different music production apps, like Adobe Audition, all on Apple's easy-to-use operating system.

It comes with Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity, too, ensuring your setup looks sleek. If you're looking for more RAM or SSD storage, you can always add external devices through the numerous cable connections the Mac Studio has.

The Mac Studio M2 Max Chip supports up to five external monitors, giving you more than enough screens to look at.

The M2 Mac Chip is comparable to most Intel core processors, too, competing against the best in the market. If you want a Mac Studio but don't want to pay the full $3,999 price tag of the Ultra Chip, you should look at the Mac Studio M2 Max Chip instead.

8. Best Budget MacBook Air – MacBook Air M1

MacBook Air M1

SPECS

  • CPU: M1 Chip
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Battery Life: 18 Hours

The MacBook Air is one of the most iconic laptops for a reason. The M1 chip brings up to 16GB of unified memory, creating a single pool of low-latency memory.

The MacBook Air M1's Retina display with True Tone technology provides an immersive visual experience, allowing musicians to fine-tune their audio tracks with precision and accuracy.

Its advanced audio processing units ensure high-fidelity sound recording and playback, capturing every intricate detail of musical performances.

Despite its slim profile, the MacBook Air M1 is equipped with Thunderbolt and USB C ports, offering seamless connectivity with external audio interfaces to enable a seamless and professional music production setup.

The MacBook Air M1 strikes a perfect balance between performance and portability, making it an excellent choice for music creators on the go.

Its cutting-edge features and streamlined design make it a reliable and efficient tool for musicians, composers, and producers, elevating their music production endeavors to new heights.

9. Best Portable Mac for Music Production – MacBook Air M2

MacBook Air M2

SPECS

  • CPU: M2 Chip
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
  • Battery Life: 18 Hours

The latest and greatest MacBook Air from Apple, the M2 improves upon everything that made the M1 great already. The M2 is exceptionally thin, lightweight, and portable, earning it the spot of the most portable Mac laptop on this list.

It isn't a Mac Pro, but it certainly feels like one due to its 8-core CPU. The next generation of Apple silicon is sleek, powerful, and efficient.

The MacBook Air comes without a fan. While most potential buyers may be concerned that the laptop may overheat, the efficiency of the M2 chip ensures that the temperature will never rise too high.

Music making is great on the MacBook Air M2; with 24GB of unified memory, you can pull up just about any audio interface rapidly.

If you want arguably the best Mac laptop around, check out the MacBook Air M2. It's a new Mac that takes all of the great specs of its predecessors and improves upon them, taking Apple silicon to the next level.

Best Macs for Music Production Buyer's Guide

When you're looking to invest in a Mac for music production, there are a couple of key features you need to keep in mind. Before you buy a Mac, you should think about the machine's processing power, memory (RAM), storage, and connectivity options.

Processing Power

Look for a Mac with a powerful processor capable of handling resource-intensive music production software and plugins. Processors from Apple's M-series, like the M1 or later versions, offer excellent performance and energy efficiency.

If you want a top-of-the-line processor from Apple, consider one of their higher-end M series models, like the M2 Ultra Chip or the M2 Pro Chip.

Memory (RAM)

Adequate RAM is essential for smooth multitasking and handling large music projects. Aim for at least 8GB or preferably 16GB of RAM, depending on your specific music production needs. If you're wondering how much RAM you'll need for small audio recordings, 8GB should be enough.

Storage

Opt for a Mac with sufficient storage space, as music projects and sample libraries can quickly consume storage. SSD (Solid State Drive) storage offers faster access times and enhances overall system performance. Look for the right amount of unified memory as well, usually at least 16GB.

Connectivity Options

Ensure the Mac has enough ports and the right type of connections for your audio interface, USB C, and other music production peripherals.

Thunderbolt and USB ports are commonly used in the music production world. If you want a USB hub oforrge a computer, check out the Mac Studio.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Mac model is best for music production?

The MacBook Pro and iMac models are popular choices for music production due to their powerful processors, ample RAM, and impressive audio capabilities.

The MacBook Pro offers portability, while the iMac provides a larger screen and more powerful components.

The Mac Studio is another popular choice due to its incredible power and multi-monitor capabilities.

Is the M1 chip suitable for music production?

Yes, the M1 chip is highly suitable for music production. It delivers remarkable processing power and energy efficiency, much like its M2 successor. As far as Apple silicon goes, the M1 passes the test.

How much RAM do I need for music production on a Mac?

For music production, 16GB of RAM is generally recommended to ensure smooth multitasking and handling of large audio projects.

However, if you plan to work on more complex projects or use memory-heavy virtual instruments, consider upgrading to 32GB or more.

Conclusion

Macs are some of the best computers and laptops money can buy. Some are as much as a small car, while others may run you closer to $1,000. You can find the best Mac for you by looking at the machine's CPU, storage options, memory capacity, and connectivity capabilities.

If you want the best Mac for music around, look no further than the MacBook Pro M2 Max Chip. The MacBook Pro comes with some of the greatest features a music producer could ask for.

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