Tiny apartment benefits from beautifully backlit Studio Display [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Tiny apartment benefits from beautifully backlit Studio Display [Setups]


This cozy corner benefits from Philips Hue Play light bars behind the Studio Display.
This cozy corner benefits from Philips Hue Play light bars behind the Studio Display.
Photo: cambookpro@Reddit.com

“Backlighting” in the context of displays usually refers to LED lighting. And while today’s featured M1 Pro MacBook workstation has a new Studio Display with such backlighting, that’s not what the headline above refers to.

It refers to the workstation’s backlighting, or bias lighting, illuminating the wall behind the display. It comes from three strategically placed Philips Hue Play bars that really make that corner of the small apartment “pop.”

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Compact M1 MacBook Pro workstation with Studio Display benefits from Philips Hue lighting in small apartment

Management consultant, iOS developer and Redditor cambookpro (“Cam”), based somewhere in the U.K., showcased the compact workstation in a post entitled, “New apartment setup (14″ MBP, Studio Display).”

Cam runs a 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro with a new Studio display sitting on an Ikea Sigfinn monitor stand. The stand “brings the standard tilt stand up to the perfect height for me,” they said.

Why choose the Studio Display?

Others thinking about getting Studio Displays asked how Cam likes theirs, and any related “gripes.”

“It’s very nice. Expensive but looks good and very sharp. I’m a management consultant by day but do a fair bit of iOS development on weekends, which it’s great for,” Cam offered.

Follow-up query: Why this display and not something else?

“[I’m] pretty deep in the Apple ecosystem so the Studio Display was the only real option I considered. It replaced an LG 5K which was fine but wobbled a lot and was generally a bit ugly, although resale value was pretty good so made the change affordable, even if it’s not the most value for money purchase I’ve ever made,” Cam said.

“There aren’t really any other options for 5K at 27 inches,” they added.

Beautiful bias lighting

A commenter admired the bias lighting behind the monitor and asked where it came from.

“The light in the photo is from three Philips Hue Play bars mounted on the back of the monitor,” Cam replied. “The Anglepoise [desk lamp] then has a warm white Hue bulb in. [I] usually only use it in the evening.”

Sonos speaker with AirPlay 2 support

A set of questions concerned Cam’s Sonos speaker.

“Whenever I see [Sonos speakers] in Mac setups I’m always wondering why since you can’t connect directly to it can you? Or are you using it strictly for music playback via the Mac Sonos desktop app?”

Cam pointed out the speaker’s AirPlay 2 support.

“It’s AirPlay 2 compatible so you can use it to output anything from the Mac, but I mainly use it for multi room music or podcasts when doing housework, etc.,” they said.

Next questions: “Does it work like any other connected speakers and play macOS sounds effects and such? Have you ever used it for Zoom calls? Any issues with latency of the audio and video?”

“It plays videos in Safari, Music, etc. fine as AirPlay adjusts any video output to match the latency of the speaker,” Cam said. “However, it’s no good to anything that requires it to be more real-time, like video editing or calls. I just use the internal speakers for that. Sound effects seem to also not play through it.”

So there you have it. The speaker does a lot with AirPlay 2, but it’s not ideal for all uses.

And do you like the desktop wallpaper showing on the screen?

“It’s a default wallpaper in macOS,” Cam said. “Just scroll to the bottom, should be called ‘Studio Color!'”

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.