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MacBook speaker disabled when headphone jack is removed

2379 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2014 12:53 PM by rubyk13 RSS
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dymar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 5, 2012 6:40 AM

I've been having increasing difficulty getting my MacBook's speaker to work when I remove the headphone jack.

 

The speaker icon goes grey, rendering the speaker 'unavailable.'  So far, I've eventually been able to restore the speaker by jiggling the jack, but the amount of jiggling I have to do before I have success with that is increasing, and I'm expecting to get to a point where it just won't happen.

 

An Apple Store employee I spoke to, and claimed to be familiar with the problem, said that the repair for this involves replacement of the entire logic board.

 

Does anyone know whether that's accurate?

 

If so, are there any other workable fixes for this?

 

I'm not eager to replace an otherwise perfectly functioning logic board just because of a faulty headphone jack connection problem.  (In fact, given my MacBook's vintage, the fact that it's well out of warranty, and the cost of replacing a logic board, I won't even be considering doing that.)

 

Thanks.

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 1.83 MHz
  • borgeano Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    If you have one of the black/white Macbooks, then yes, the headphone jack is soldered onto the motherboard.

     

    Unfortunately, it sounds like the jack itself is becoming faulty, either due to the wear-and-tear associated with connecting/disconnecting a headphone cable, or due to maybe abnormal stress (very common when the cable is accidentally "pulled" to the sides while connected). Either way, the jack itself is the issue.

     

    A cheaper alternative is to get something like this (there are cheaper alternatives, depends on how fancy you're feeling)

  • borgeano Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    Oops, sorry, you're correct. I had flipped the issue backwards in the process of typing the response

     

    You might be able to remove the faulty jack, though not sure if you'll be able to 1) find a like-for-like replacement component, and 2) solder it on the MLB without damaging it or other components (not doubting your soldering skills, but solder points on these boards are very close together, making it necessary to use a precision, low-power solder tip so as not to damage nearby components).

     

    If you want to try something like that, your best bet is probably to go to Ebay or Craigslist to find a non-functional MacBook (preferably something with like a broken screen, and avoid one that has had liquid damage), and try to remove the jack from it, perhaps using other connectors (USB, microphone, etc) as practice first. It might be possible to just buy the component, though with buying a whole board you also get to practice the whole process before doing it on a working computer.

     

    When all is said and done, however, you may have spent a lot more than a set of portable speakers would cost...

     

    Hope this helps, sorry for the grim tone of the post

  • borgeano Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    Understood. Not sure either, but I'm sure it has to do with the fact that Genius Bar appointment have to be kept at 15min or less... If they had to whip out the soldering iron at the counter, that might delay things a bit for everyone else

     

    In all seriousness, though, it's a matter of capabilities. As I mentioned above, soldering a component in a modern Logic Board is no easy task, and the facilities that are able to do such repairs have very specific equipment to aid in the process. On top of that, an audio jack is a relatively "easy" component to fix... "easy" in comparison to, say, troubleshooting which component is making the logic board shut off intermittently, finding the component, and replacing it. Those repairs would take hours to troubleshoot and fix, hours to test, and that's on top of the hours of training required for the technicians ... Etc. It's just not practical. That's why computer technicians (Mac or PC) at 99.9% of common computer repair shops don't solder components, but rather replace boars.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Attempting to solder anything on a modern logic board with normal soldering irons will destroy the board. Components these days are soldered with very local heating by vibrating tips. These are not normally hand-held either - they're part of a toolset.

  • Shawn Woods Calculating status...

    dymar-  I know you are looking for a permanent fix, but it doesn't look like that will be too easy.  Myself, I keep a matchstick handy because the wood end is just the right size and works well to move around til you can trigger that red light to go off in the jack. 

     

    Just a thought, although sometimes I get tired of doing it...

  • Shawn Woods Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 13, 2012 10:31 AM (in response to dymar)

    I have not tried that, but will next time! 

     

    The reason I use the matchstick is because if I use a headphone plug/jack there isn't any room for it to move around and I'm afraid of loosening the jack or damaging something.

  • Shawn Woods Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    I put the matchstick in all the way without pushing hard against the end.  Then, you are correct that I use a circular motion to trigger it.  It seems like the issue is that one headphone plug I have is a little longer and always gets the optical setting stuck on.  But in short, I push it up against all of the sides and move it around until the red light goes off.  I haven't exactly figured out just where the sensor. 

  • Shawn Woods Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    I did try the 6 step method 2 days ago but it didn't work.  Planning on trying it again later though in case I didn't do it right.  I was in a hurry.  I agree that a software option would be great!

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