12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2014 11:46 AM by carvemytomb Branched to a new discussion.
codydhorner Level 1 (15 points)

There seems to be an issue with audio popping all the time on external speakers/headphones. Is there anything I can do to fix this? I hear it during audio playback and when there is no current audio stream.


I've read it seems to be from the graphics switching, but this doesn't seem like a viable solution to turn it off. I also purchased a UPS to see if it was perhaps power-related etc. but nothing seems to help.


Anything I can do? Is there any way to reinstall OS X Mountain Lion without destroying my user data and installed programs, and would this help anyhow?

  • laundry bleach Level 5 (6,885 points)

    You can reinstall Mountain Lion using the instructions in this Apple article. It should not cause any loss of applications or data, but it is a good idea to have a back up in any case.


    Best of luck.

  • slackerbot Level 1 (5 points)

    There are numerous audio issues with 10.8; the new 10.8.1 was supposed to fix them (and USB 3 related audio/graphics issues) but for many users, myself included, they remain. Forums in pro audio circles / musicians are up in arms about it. CNET has even written about it. File a bug report / feedback with Apple, call Apple support if still under warranty, and light a fire.

  • codydhorner Level 1 (15 points)

    Hmmm looks like I've got a lot of reading to do, but mostly one of those "sit on your thumbs and wait for a proper fix" then it sounds like in reality. Still under warranty of course being a MacBook Pro retina


    I'll be sure to file a  bug report and give feedback.

  • dannywartnaby Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm also experiencing this, even with the update to 10.8.1. It's honestly very, very frustrating and disappointing, and not something I should see from a £2000 notebook.


    I'm experiencing crackling and audio pops with any sound being played through the audojack (so headphones, external speakers, etc). Audio is fine when played through the MBP's own speakers.


    I work on this machine all day in a shared work space; I need my headphones!


    Has anyone managed to resolve this, or spoken with Apple? Is it a hardware defect or software?

  • codydhorner Level 1 (15 points)

    Well, it now seems even through my internal speakers after some combination of events I'm getting the skipping and audio lag. Quite annoying really. I might take the machine into the Apple store to see if they have any suggestions. Perfectly happy with every other aspect of it though - arg.

  • fullgood Level 1 (0 points)

    I also have this issue any time I play a movie (regardless of the software used: itunes, dvd player, vlc) I am getting persistent audio pops. These are not consistent in the file (if i scrub back the pops don't occur in the same place) but they occur appox every 10 sec during playback.


    Been to the apple store but they had never heard of the issue and could only reccomend upgrading to mountain lion. Which seems to have made the problem worse. FAIL.


    I would not reccomend buying this laptop until these issues are resolved. Am going to get mine refunded. Way too much money to pay for a laptop that can't play a movie.

  • SoldOnApple Level 1 (5 points)

    I have solved this problem by putting my rMBP 15" into discrete graphics mode (instead of the lower powered integrated). I had the popping with even the inbuilt speakers playing an ALAC file, but when I turn in discrete graphics the crackling disappears. Pretty disappointing for a $2,000 laptop. An OS X application called gfxCardStatus lets you choose (though it doesn't like to be told all the time, but it at least reliably tells you which graphics you are using). Alternatively, just having VLC open seems to force the retina MBP onto the discrete graphics.


    I would tell Apple about this, but would they even care? Great laptop either way, even with the faults considered. This thing never stops being a joy.

  • Dommy B Level 1 (0 points)

    Bizarrely this solution works, still very very annoying! Although I dont agree with you about 'Great laptop either way, even with the faults considered.' I paid over £3000 for my retina - everything should work perfectly for that money!!!

  • Zebbler Level 1 (0 points)

    Same exact issue here.

    Random audio pops and crackles.  Especially in Chrome for some reason.
    Also had my windows flash on and off when scrolling up and down in a browser.
    Also had giant memory clogs with system files (up to 15 gb was gone in a few hours once without me copying or adding anything by myself).

    Also all of my pro graphic apps (Adobe Suite CS6) look extra pixellated on Retina.


    Did Apple completely fail and abandon the professional market?
    Is this really finally a reason to buy a PC that could be just as fast for half the price?




    And another sigh...

  • Zebbler Level 1 (0 points)

    On the plus side - I did just sort out that Adobe issued a few Retina updates.  So I am at least able to get that problem sorted out (hopefully) - downloading them now.


    The machine IS really fast.  Just very very sloppy.



  • bw-photo Level 1 (0 points)

    In regards to audio popping when paying back audio I've tried many things with no success except using an external USB audio interface. I finally took it to the Apple store and they said it was the audio controller. They said it may be related to the optical digital output getting stuck when headphones are unplugged. Their solution was to replace the logic board under AppleCare. I got my Mac back and the problem is gone.


    As a side note, I have been quite impressed with the audio quality from the built in audio. Both the line in and out have a signal to noise ratio of less then -88db RMS and has a frequency range of at least 5 – 20kHz. That's to the extents I tested. The actual signal to noise ratio is less than (better than) -88db, I tested it by running the output of silence directly into the input. The noise of both the input and output added together is -88db.


    Also the MacBook Pro 17" doesn't have any internal analog interference to the audio in and output. With other Apple laptops, iMacs, and the Mac Pro I have noticed varying amounts of noise caused from the CPU or even the USB bus. For example, hearing a buzzing whenever the mouse is moved or a page is scrolled. A work around for that issue is if you have the audio output plugged into an amplifier or external speakers, turn your Mac's volume all the way up, and turn down the external amp or speakers to your desired level. Also make sure the format in the "Audio MIDI Setup" is set to 24 or 32 bit for the output, this setting should always be at the highest setting.


    Hopefully this will be helpful to everyone.


    MacBook Pro 17"

    2.66GHz Intel Core I7

    4GB Memory

    Mac OS X 10.6.8

    The audio card is "Intel High Definition Audio"

  • carvemytomb Level 1 (0 points)

    Setting the graphics card to discrete mode with gfxCardStatus fixed the popping issue which started for me today; one week after updating to Yosemite beta. Luckily, I had gfxCardStatus installed already, so it was a quick fix. Seems there's an underlying problem here though. Maybe the public Yosemite release will rectify this issue. I can only hope...


    Just as reference for anyone else with this issue, this is my system:


    Early 2013 rMBP 15"

    2.7GHz i7

    16GB RAM

    OSX 10.10 Yosemite beta