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Headphone Jack Problem

3035 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2010 9:32 PM by Daversatile RSS
celtic_21 Calculating status...
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Feb 12, 2010 11:01 PM
Hey, so I just tried to use my headphones on my computer and I plugged in my headphones and the jack is not working. In fact the computer does not even recognize something in headphone jack and continues to play audio on the speakers. I have tried multiple headphones that I know work. Any Ideas? My macbook is under warranty so I could just bring it in but I would rather not.
Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
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    Feb 13, 2010 1:31 AM (in response to celtic_21)
    Hi celtic_21,

    Regrettably there's not much in the way of troubleshooting when it comes to the headphone jack. Is there a red light coming from jack? You can try a can of compressed air and clearing out the port (see if that does anything).

    Other than that, you can try resetting the PRAM. Sometimes wiggling a headphone while plugged in will work but I suspect the port might be 'stuck' in an active position and preventing headphone functionality. Which would necessity service to resolve.
    13" MacBook Pro (2.26GHz/4GB/160), Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • amb9809 Calculating status...
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    Feb 20, 2010 8:57 AM (in response to JasonFear)
    What does the red light mean? Is that a good thing? My MacBook has the red light, but I can only listen to audio through the headphones. When I unplug them, the computer audio mutes and there is nothing I can do about it! Any suggestions?

    MacBook Unibody, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
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    Feb 20, 2010 11:27 AM (in response to amb9809)
    Hi amb9809,

    The red light is designed to come on only when a headphone jack is plugged into the port. As such you typically won't see the light, because the headphone jack would be blocking the light. If the light is on and nothing is plugged in that's usually an indication of a hardware (and to a much lesser extent software) problem.

    Normally the reason that light will stay on is because the contacts inside the jack area or being "tricked" into thinking that something is plugged in. This can be caused by a damaged contact, a stuck contact or even debris that's lodged in there. Outside of taking a can of compressed air and cleaning out the inside area or trying to reseat the contact faces with the headphone plug there's not much that can be done to resolve the issue.

    What will most likely need to happen is you'll require service on the unit. As this port is not modular and the component is part of the logic board you'd need to actually have the entire logic board replaced.

    I'd say the next best step for you would be to get into the hands of an Apple tech and have them take a look at the issue.
    13" MacBook Pro (2.26GHz/4GB/160), Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Jay Bullock Level 4 Level 4 (3,800 points)
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    Feb 20, 2010 11:42 AM (in response to amb9809)
    You can try using a toothpick/ paperclip to toggle the switch inside the port. That often is enough to reset it and turn the light off.
    Aluminum Unibody MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • lll Level 4 Level 4 (1,690 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 11, 2010 11:32 AM (in response to Jay Bullock)
    had the same problem. Returned the macbook at the montreal apple store. They changed the logic board, because it's one piece, and got it back in 3 days !
    It's not perfect but it works most of the time. But the apple's service was perfect
    Imac Intel 2.8 24 in. 4g ram, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 24 '' 2.8GHz 4 Go sdram, macbook 13"al.2.0, 4g Ram iPhone 3GS and iPod Classi
  • Daversatile Calculating status...
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    Mar 14, 2010 9:32 PM (in response to lll)
    I was really puzzled, too. In System Preferences>Hardware>Sound>Output, the name under "Select a
    device for sound output" would change between "headphones" and "Internal Speakers" when I plugged in my headphones. Still, the sound would stop when I plugged in the headphones. I searched the forums and such, and got my Q-tips and WD-40 ready. Before employing those strategies, I selected the "Mute" box in the above-mentioned Output window, and then unselected it, while the headphones where plugged in. The sound returned. Yee ha! I hope it works for anyone in similar dire straits. I tend to get frustrated quickly with Mac problems, because they tend to work so well so often:-)
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)


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