Useful Tips

If your MacBook has lost sound


If you have problems with sound or choosing a playback device on a Mac computer (Mac OS X-based computer), try to solve them yourself before taking the computer to the workshop. The simplest solution is to connect the headphones to the computer, and then immediately unplug them. You can reset parametric random access memory (PRAM) settings. You can also update the operating system (possibly sound problems are caused by system errors).

If your MacBook has lost sound

Apple technology is famous for its reliability and ease of use, but these are not the only advantages of your MacBook. Sound recording and processing is the direction in which Cupertino Corporation has been proud of its successes since the advent of the MacBook and iMac series. Not only the iPod or iPhone, but also your MacBook will be able to please the excellent sound of even the most demanding listener.

Such high quality, of course, corresponds to the high complexity of organizing the sound system. There are many factors that influence Apple audio output, so if your MacBook does not work sound There can be many reasons. In this article we will describe the most common of them.

Operating system crash

Despite the fact that Apple's OS X is considered one of the most advanced systems in the world, it can still crash when it works. Software problems can be caused by:

  • Installing third-party audio processing application software (players, programs for recording and editing sound tracks),
  • Errors while updating OS X or EFI firmware (with poor-quality Internet connection, a sharp power outage).
  • Error in the system kernel

Incorrect sound settings

In addition to problems in the operating system lack of sound in OS X may be caused by incorrect settings of the corresponding parameters. For example, external speakers for which power is currently not supplied can be selected in the system.

Sometimes the system redirects sound to a wireless audio system (bluetooth), the volume of which is turned off. Of course, the situation is commonplace, but our task is to completely eliminate all obvious reasons:

If your MacBook is missing sound- go to “System Preferences” >> “Sound” or go to this item directly from the top panel of OS X. Check if “Output Device” is correctly set in the “Output” tab.

To check - disconnect the headphones, select - the built-in speakers, set the volume to maximum and try to play some system sound or audio track in one of the standard formats (for example, AAC, MP3), since the files are in unsupported by default containers (formats ) may not play correctly due to an outdated or damaged version of the driver.

If this does not help, try temporarily “disconnecting” all bluetooth connections and remove the pairs, then do a system reset (nvram cleaning) with the Alt + Cmd + R + P key combination when you turn on the device (you need to hold the keys from the moment you turn on the device until the greeting sounds again ) Sometimes this allows you to delete all temporary system files and solve the problem.

If, after all these steps, your MacBook has no sound, you should look for the cause in a hardware malfunction.

Malfunctioning speaker

First of all, one or several speakers of your MacBook may be damaged (or have exhausted its resource). The speakers in all Apple devices not only demonstrate high-quality sound, but also have a fairly long service life, but, nevertheless, a malfunction can still occur as a result

  • Continuous listening at maximum volume or with software gain certain frequencies (after several years of heavy use)
  • Mechanical damage
  • Liquid contact (individual elements are oxidized, the membrane of the speakers lose their properties)
  • Voltage drop (the electronics installed in the speaker housing fail)

The dynamics can hardly be restored (repair is often possible, but impractical): in case of problems, the installation of new components will be required.

3.5mm short circuit

Sometimes, due to the ingress of moisture (and the formation of oxides) or foreign objects in the headphone jack (3.5mm), a short circuit occurs and the system incorrectly recognizes connected external speakers / headphones regardless of whether the 3.5mm jack is in the jack - the audio signal is sent to “ absent. ” This situation can be helped by cleaning the connector itself with any oxide-removing compound, such as alcohol, FLUX-OFF, or removing foreign particles from the connector. If the functionality of the connector does not recover after cleaning, you must replace it (but remember that almost every motherboard needs a specific connector). If the situation has not changed after replacing the connector, the cause of the malfunction should be sought in the motherboard and other components.

Bad audio codec

The sound chains of your MacBook are very complex. They include many auxiliary elements responsible for “protecting” the system (fuses), signal filters, primary processing devices, capacitors and transistors, but the main element of the sound system is the Audio codec: a microcircuit containing the AC97 'codec itself, which is directly responsible for decryption signal transmitters and controllers for S / PDIF devices, microphone and headphone signal pre-amplifiers (HP Amp), digital input processors.

From the above description, you can understand that the microcircuit is involved in many processes, and therefore, it can be damaged by improper operation or damage to various components, non-compliance with recommendations for using the MacBook and peripherals:

  • Incorrect connection (or use too powerful) peripherals
  • Using substandard peripherals with an “ill-conceived” defense system.
  • Voltage drops network or (less commonly) forced power off / reset SMC memory while the system is running.
  • Motherboard contact with moisture (Moisture does not have to fall into the area where the audio codec is located - just cause a short circuit or a power failure in one of the lines on the motherboard).

Depending on the model of your MacBook, you can use various tricks to replace the audio codec chip, for example, in the classic MacBook Pro Unibody and MacBook with Retina display, repairs are carried out at the soldering station. The microcircuit is installed directly on the motherboard, in the area of ​​the 3.5 ”connector (but in the classic series, the codec is used with pins removed along the perimeter, and in the series with the Retina display, the microcircuit is used in the BGA version, which makes repair somewhat more difficult).

If the codec fails in the MacBook Air, you can do without soldering if you wish, since the developers placed the chip on peripherals: in the models A1237 (2008) - A1304 (2009) - on the board of one of the speakers (it will be enough to replace the speaker itself, since it comes complete with this board and, accordingly, a new audio codec); in 2010 (and later) models, the codec is located on the board with MagSafe, USB and 3.5 ”connectors. You can fix the problem simply by replacing this board.

If there is no possibility to completely replace the board, you can still re-solder the codec itself, including from the donor device, since often when the circuit breaks down, for example, the power circuits on the board, the chip itself remains operational.

Moreover, devices of the same model year are often installed with the same codecs, for example, new MacBook Airs and the latest Retina laptops use the same Cirrus Logic chip: CIRRUS 4208; in the “older” Air models, CIRRUS 4206. Codecs of the same manufacturer installed on the iPhone and iPad. The fact that the Cirrus Logic hardware is used in professional audio cards, for example, the ASUS XONAR series, also speaks about quality.

However, in some notebook models Apple used the codecs of another major supplier of audio chips: REALTEK.

All of the above options can also lead to a more difficult problem to resolve, which rarely can be solved independently, since not only the codec itself can fail, but also the “bundle” - auxiliary elements and the microcircuit power system. in this case, a simple replacement of the codec (especially in the MacBook Pro Unibody) will not be enough, and a component repair of the MacBook (corresponding circuits) will be required to restore the functionality of the motherboard.

A successful repair will require knowledge of Apple circuitry, professional equipment, and (preferably) donor devices.

If you have lost sound on your MacBook Pro or the sound does not work on your MacBook Air - call us! We undertake even the most complex repairs!