10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2008 1:48 PM by ChopperPilot
brently Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
my iMac recently won't detect my external speakers. With the 1/8" speaker plug inserted, the mac goes on using the internal speakers.

20" 2.4 GHz aluminum iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,515 points)
    Hi brently

    Welcome to Apple Discussions

    First make sure the plug is fully seated and that you are plugged into the correct jack. There are two 3.5mm mini jacks one is input and one for output, refer to the iMac's User Manual chapter 2 page 24.

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/iMacIntel-based_Mid2007UserGuide.pdf

    You can also use a set of headphones or iPod buds to test the iMac's output jack.

    Dennis
  • brently Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    and inserted them to their fullest, I have also tried a repairing of the permissions and tried a garage band trick that someone else mentioned online
  • brently Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I tried the the iPod headphones in the proper jack and it still does not work.
  • The Looby Level 4 Level 4 (1,285 points)
    Open "*System Preferences > Sound > Output*" and watch the name
    in the left-hand column of the line marked "Built-In Output":

    \- with nothing plugged in to the output jack, it should say "*Internal Speakers*"

    \- with a 3.5 mm analog stereo plug inserted, it should say "Headphones"

    \- with a 3.5 mm digital optical plug inserted, it should say "*Digital Out*"

    If it doesn't switch from "Internal Speakers" to "Headphones" when you insert
    the external speaker plug, I'd suspect a defective output jack.

    Not sure how it tells the difference between "Headphones" and "Digital Out",
    but it correctly detects an analog plug even if it's not connected to anything;
    and correctly detects both all-plastic and metal-tipped digital optical plugs.

    Looby
  • ChopperPilot Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Hey Looby,

    I know this thread is old but I had the same problem with my Mac Pro. I have to manually go to system preferences and select sound output. So, you are saying the my Mac Pro should automatically detect that I have external speakers connected? When I start up the start up tone goes through the internal speaker but when things are up and running it uses the external speakers. I know my old Power Mac G5 would start up using the external speakers I didn't have to manually select anything.

    So might have a defective output jack. Do you know of anyway to test that?

    I have been trying to run Windows XP with Boot Camp and it wont use the external speakers just the internal speaker. This maybe be the problem.

    Looking forward to your answer.
  • The Looby Level 4 Level 4 (1,285 points)
    ChopperPilot wrote:

    So, you are saying the my Mac Pro should automatically detect
    that I have external speakers connected?


    Sorry, air-beater man, I don't know how it's supposed to work on a Mac Pro.
    The things I posted above were "experimental results" from my Late'06 iMac.

    So might have a defective output jack. Do you know of anyway to test that?


    If the Pro works like my iMac, you can watch SystemPreferences > Sound > Output
    while inserting/removing a plug in the "headphone" jack. The name of the "Built
    In Output" should change immediately when a plug is inserted or removed. Maybe
    the [_Audio Developer Note|http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Hardware/Conceptual/HWTech_Audio/Artic les/Audio_implementation.html#//appleref/doc/uid/TP40003978] would have something more definite re: Mac Pro.

    I have been trying to run Windows XP with Boot Camp and it wont use the
    external speakers just the internal speaker. This maybe be the problem.


    I haven't a clue about BootCamp's interaction with Mac audio hardware.

    good luck,

    Looby
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (32,120 points)
    ChopperPilot, the internal mono speaker is the default if no other options are assigned. The headphone jack on the front is autodected when a plug is inserted.

    If you use the stereo line-out or the digital line-out on the back of the Mac Pros you have to select them for output in either System Prefs/Sound or in Audio MIDI Setup.

    Have you installed the latest hardware drivers that are part of BootCamp? Those drivers allow Windows to interact with your Macs hardware properly.
  • ChopperPilot Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I removed the Boot Camp drive and started over from scratch. Instead of devoting a whole drive to Windows I just partitioned 32 GB and formatted with the FAT system. Installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 and by magic the external speakers started working.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions.
  • Brightbleu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Can anyone help a new Mac user. 24" iMac just out of the box, Bose Companion 3 speaqkers purchased with. Can not get the system to recognize the external speakers. Using the small jack supplied w/speakers to the output jack on back????
  • ChopperPilot Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Have you gone to "System Preferences", "Sound", "Output" and highlight "Line Out"? Should work then.