Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next 131 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2006 10:53 AM by Jeremiah Hette Go to original post
  • VideoMac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I bought a MacBook Pro yesterday at the Apple Store in San Diego. After taking it home and trying out an iChat I noticed that the right speaker was distorted to the point of being almost unintelligible. To investigate further, I played a series of test tones (downloaded from and found that the problem can be duplicated easily.

    To duplicate the trouble for yourself (and Apple..) , Simply play one of the files (I recommend 280-289Hz) and move the balance setting from left to right.

    Also, after reading several posts here it seems unlikely that these speakers are actually blown. the numbers are just too big. To me this problem sounds more like an overdriven amplifier or preamp and that a firmware update rather than speaker replacement might correct it. Thoughts?
  • Borkov Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for this VideoMac.. Now I can prove to these Geniuses the muffled sound we are getting. Works great. And theres a huge difference.
  • marcbyron Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I just went to the Apple Store in Soho to pick up my MBP which was in repair for the second time due to a distorted speaker. This time they replaced the logic board and the top cover. However, the right speaker is STILL distorted. They also scratched the top cover, which is unacceptable. I even talked to the genius manager, they checked the MBP in again and wouldn't replace it, because I bought it at MacMall.

    I have had this unit for two weeks, but it has been in repair for over a week now.

    What should I do if the next repair doesn't fix the problem? Call Steve Jobs?
  • Pat Horton Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Just sent mine off again yesterday, after receiving it back with distorted right speaker sound not fixed, and scratches where they opened it! They tried to tell me that it's up to spec, and that I'm the first person they've seen with this problem... I won't accept this...

    MBP 2.16   Mac OS X (10.4.7)  
  • marcbyron Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    "up to specs"! This is not funny anymore. How can a speaker be up to specs when it's impossible to understand your counterpart in an IChat video-conference where you can't pan to the left because the left speaker is disabled by default? Also, even the new Apple commercials on the website sound distorted on my MBP and all the others who have the problem. Also, watching DVDs is also not enjoyable. The genuises in the store told me to use headphones. Sure! That works, but I won't accept this as a workaround for a machine I paid $2500 for!
  • draculina Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    up to my ....
    I have exactly the same problem , nice overdrive on the right speaker, I took it back to the store in the same day and the technician said "it's normal" ?!?! he said that the problem it's mine: I have to high standards ?!?!? It's incredible I have now a machine which I paid for 2000€ and sounds like s....
    This is ridiculous, what can we do about it ?

  • William Russell Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    It is not normal. The distortion is because the right speaker is not mounted properly. If the right speaker does not seal in its mounting enclosure it sounds horrible. If you reseat/reseal the speaker properly the problem disappears. By design the speaker needs a sealed enclosure to work properly.

    I know this because i had an oppurtunity to help someone troubleshoot this problem. With the top cover off and music playing, you need only to press down on the right speaker to make it sound better. We simply removed and reseated the right speaker and it sound just fine now, exactly like the left speaker. BTW-I do NOT recommend that you try this as it will definately void your warranty.

    What is happening is that people are sending these in to Apple and the techs approach the problem as a component failure and replace the speaker assembly, but this does not fix the problem because the problem is due the mounting, not the speaker itself.

    I would suggest sending it to Apple with a clear explanation that you think it is the speaker mounting that is the problem.

    15" 2.16 macBook Pro/2gRAM   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • marcbyron Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    It makes sense, that the speaker is not mounted properly. But wouldn't that mean that all MBPs are affected? One genius manager even suggested me to run Windows as opposed to OSX because he "heard" that it might be software related. He literally suggested to use Windows until Apple came out with a software patch to resolve the speaker problem.

    Can you believe that?
  • Jason Weinstein2 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I am tempted to try this fix myself. I have repaired PowerBook G4's before, but those were out of warranty and broken so there wasn't much to loose.

    How difficult was it to remove and reseat the speaker? What holds it into its enclosure? It there anything that needs to be done which would be a clear indicator to Apple that I have done this repair myself? I don't want to suffer from an unrelated problem a few months down the road and have Apple refuse warranty service because they could tell I had opened my MBP up and did a repair myself.

  • William Russell Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    No, I do not think that all MBPs woild be affected. The guts of the MBP are constanly changing and being updated. It could be something simple like getting rubber gaskets fron 2 different vendors.

    All the genius folks come from different experiences and have heard different things. I heard the rumor about running Windows. So many folks are so desperate to have these manufacturing defect fixed that they are getting very inventive and missing the most obvious solution: Send the thing back to Apple. I had 2 MBPs replaced with the cpu whine, inverter buzz and heat issues and finally send the last one to Apple repair instead of trying a third replacement. Apple fixed everything in 24 hours.

    15" 2.16 macBook Pro/2gRAM   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • William Russell Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    Fixing it yourself will void your Apple warranty. Google for "Wilburland" and email me from that site.

    15" 2.16 macBook Pro/2gRAM   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • marcbyron Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Sending it back to Apple is maybe not such a good idea either, because you might get a machine from the same stash, with the same problem or maybe even one that has one of or all of the other problems.

    Aren't there any official repair-shops that would take care of this problem in an unconventional, but necessary way? It must also be in Apple's interest to fixate the speaker instead of getting the technicians to replace the speakers or logic boards all the time. That's way more expensive than to build a casing that would fit the MBP and solve the problem
  • Jason Weinstein2 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    There is at least one post that says the Genius at an Apple Store did or would replace the speaker at the store.

    Is this correct?

    If so, I'm willing to drive the 120 miles to an Apple Store in Portland if I can expect to have it fixed then and there.

    I really want to be able to hear my girlfriend's voice clearly and I really don't want to be without my MBP for 10 days.

    - Jason
  • marcbyron Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    The genius at the store will most likely replace the speaker, but that won't happen on the fly and will take at least 2 days, maybe longer. The problem is, however, that the speaker replacement won't change a thing! I did some further investigation and talked to some people. And it seems obvious that the mounting of the right speaker in some of the MBPs is faulty, which results in the poor performance of the speaker.
    Unless you tell the geniuses that they should specifically look into the mounting of the speaker, you won't get it fixed. I don't know whether a 120 mile drive is worth that experience, maybe you should try Apple Care phone support first.
  • Jason Weinstein2 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    The right speaker distortion problem has made it onto MacSlash:
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