Previous 1 2 3 Next 43 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2006 12:27 AM by webzila Go to original post
  • G.W. Meadows Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    There needs to be a fix to this soon. I'm a 'mac evangelist' probably like the rest of you and I've talked 2 friends into 'switching' with the Macbook. I checked out both of their new computers and the sound is unacceptable. While in their house (not alot of background noise) they can't even video ichat with me without wearing headphones.

    I certainly hope apple comes out with a fix for this problem soon.

       
  • Larry_Rymal Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    I'll chime in too. The volume on my MacBook is
    intolerably low. Trying to watch a DVD on this thing
    with any kind of ambient noise and you can't hardly
    hear it....


    Well, it is indeed weird. After seeing just how tiny the speakers are, about the size of your thumb nail, I just assumed this particular computer will always need external speaker help.

    But, anyway, I think programming fixes in the future will increase the volume... I don't see how due to the tiny speakers, but listen to how loud the volume is in the music on this video clip. The clip is an interview of street maintenance. Ah, well. The point is, notice the music volume:

    http://ci.huntsville.tx.us/meetings/streets.mov
  • Larry_Rymal Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    I checked out both of their new computers and the
    sound is unacceptable.


    I would never compare this MacBook design against a well-designed, yet boring in style, PC notebook computer. You'll lose every time. Even though I "love" my MacBook, its plain and simple design compromised a couple of areas: heat evacuation away from the user, and the speakers.

    My comparison mule is my old office Dell D-600. Its audio is so loud that I rarely need to hook external speakers to it when I'm doing a presention before a group. Why? The speakers are in a special enclosure, and are about 1/2" * 1" in size. They are located firing toward the user, at the front end of the computer on either side of the track pad.

    Now, the Dell D-600 is an ugly computer, albeit three years old. But, its function in CASE design definitely is "better" than my beloved MacBook's.

    So, how have I danced around the low audio issue? I just make sure I have my kit bag with my JBL iPOD external speaker dock. I plug my MacBook into it and have all the audio I need. This will work until Apple provides better audio output.

    http://www.securemart.com/cgi-bin/future/HAM68273.html?pcode=4

    And it bears repeating, that QuickTime video clip in the previous message demonstrates that more audio output is available. I speculate that Apple capped the output low to help protect from blowing those dinky thumb-nail sized speakers.
  • Dignotas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I gave my Black MacBook to my local Apple Store on Tuesday afternoon and it arrived to my office on Friday. I now have a startup chime, have not seen the vertical colored lines at startup thus far, and my sound is once again normal. I can hear my alert sound at 50 percent volume when I couldn't before. if anyone else has had these problems, send your MacBook in pronto!

    Marc
  • Dignotas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ugh. I thought my problems were fixed by Apple. But, when playing my first track in iTunes, I heard a pop. My internal speaker audio is now faint again and I have no startup chime again. I bet the vertical colored lines at startup will return soon too. I am so frustrated! Back to the Apple Store tomorrow.
  • S1DIMMER Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm in the same boat. I had to turn the volume on my new macbook all the way up to max and still had trouble hearing it. There was a good bit of background noise so I'll retest tomorrow but that just *****. It really is unacceptable to release a product with a remote so you can watch media from a distance and your not able to hear it?? Apple should give us all wireless headphones so we can at least hear what's coming out of our new macbooks. If I wanted to carry around speakers all the time I wouldn't have bought a notebook. I have to say I love everything else about the macbook. It's my first mac. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed to not be able to hear the first DVD I dropped in it at max volume from about 2 feet away. Keep us posted with any possible fixes guys.
  • humps Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think this is really poor from apple that the macbooks' volume is limited by the software! People do use the internal speakers! My MacBook can produce so much more volume by using a pre-amp in some apps, but it doesn't help Front Row!

    I've tried Skype video preview with my MacBook, and experienced feedback when my friend speaks. It was fine if I used a pair of headphones. Haven't tried iChat as friends are all XP. But could this be a know design problem that Apple is delibrately limiting the maximum output from the internal speakers?

    Come on apple! I don't want to spend money on a pair of speakers just because I want to watch my DVD on my bed!

    MacBook 2Ghz   Mac OS X (10.4.7)  
  • webzila Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Same problem here...and its not just the built in speakers. External speakers have lower sound output as well compared to other computers.

    This is my first Mac so I cant compare it to a Powerbook but I can compare it to my Dell Inspiron 9100 and my HP laptops and the sound quality and output level is WAY better on the Dell and HP compared to the Mac.

    On the Apple I have to turn the volume level to about 85% just so I can hear the sound clearly in the room which is not totally silent and where I am not sitting directly in front of the speakers....then if I switch the speakers to my Dell and turn the sound level to the equivalent of 85% I practically have to turn the volume down because its so loud...so yeah...there is a problem with the sound output on the Macbook.

    I have all the latest updates for the Mac..
    C'mon Apple...fix this!
  • CRhysB Level 2 Level 2 (245 points)
    humps,

    The sound output is indeed a bit low on the MB. Perhaps you've by now installed the latest SMC firmware update: many are reporting their speaker volume has gone noticeably up as a result (for various reasons, I'm holding off on that firmware installation for now.)

    But the Skype "feedback" for your friends is not an issue. I couldn't figure out why it was happening in my case until the obvious answer hit me: unless you use headphones, your MB's microphone will pick up the output from it's speakers, thus re-broadcasting your friends' voices back to them in real-time. This is what creates the echo on their side, and that's why using headphones (so your mic cannot pick up their voices) eliminates it.

    --Rhys
  • kjk Level 4 Level 4 (1,305 points)
    After the SMC firmware, the volume is definitely increased on my MacBook-I'd say easily a third louder.
  • webzila Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Hmm..the volume must of been non-existent before the update.
    I updated my Macbook as soon as I got it so I dont know how it was before / after ... it still ***** though.
  • webzila Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Just installed Windows on the mac and the volume is WAY louder at lower sound levels. So Apple IS limiting the sound output. This is ridiculous. Everyone should fill out the Macbook product feedback so hopefully they will do something about it: http://www.apple.com/feedback/macbook.html
  • Rob A Level 2 Level 2 (330 points)
    i may be one of the only people on earth that doesnt care about the speakers on my macbook, i usually connect my ipod headphones when listening to music or playing movies, and at home i hook it up to my bose sound system. no apple laptop can top bose

    but the speakers are pretty mediocre, and i think its the positioning that kills the noise, not only do they face AWAY from the user, theyre also covered over slightly by the monitor when its open. My old dell inspiron's speakers are vastly superior im sorry to say, and theyre positioned on either side on the front of the computer facing outward. but then i recently started playing The Venture Bros on my macbook that i downloaded, and suddenly the speakers are blaring. its a noodle scratcher yes, but not important enough to really care about.
  • webzila Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    The problem is not only with the speakers. I rarely use the internal speakers. The sound output is below par when using headphones and external speakers as well ... especially when you have other laptops to compare to (in my case Dell and HP .. both running Windows).

    I am not using cheap speakers either. I tried Harmon/Kardon and Boston Acoustic - ofcourse they sound louder than internal speakers but still not as loud and you have to crank them up. Its way louder when playing sounds in Windows ... on the same Macbook I might add!
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