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sumner89 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have just purchased a new 2013 13" MacBook Air, and the volume seems to fluctuate by itself when I play back any videos. Does anybody know what causes this? Is there a fault with my Mac?

MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • tbrumleve Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I, too, am experiencing audio fluctuations while watching Hulu or iTunes Videos.   It seems to fluctuate most at the middle audio level, and doesn't do it at very low levels or high levels.   VERY annoying!!

  • ddfall Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I also have this problem with my new MacBook Air 13 - 2013 Haswell. The audio problem persists in QuickTime, iTunes, Chrome and VLC. The volume gradually gets louder during playback, then cuts out for a few seconds (completely) and then comes back but at a lower level. This repeates every few minutes. Normal audio > louder > complete drop > back to normal.


    Has anyone found a fix for this? Is it likely a hardware problem or something that Apple could fix with a firmware update? Has anyone been to the Apple Store for this issue yet? If so, what were you told?


    Misc keywords (for those searching the support communities): Sound , Audio , Volume , Drop , Dropping , Drops , Decreases

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 Level 8 (38,585 points)

    Have you tried a PRAM reset?




  • sumner89 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've tried that, but it doesn't seem to have worked. Thanks though, it was worth a try.

  • tbrumleve Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here - no change after the PRAM / NVRAM reset... Volume fluctuates but does not cut out.   When the voice or volume starts a new scene lower than the previous, it seems to over compensate.... Maybe something is trying to keep the volume at a constant level, and not working so well?   That's my feeling... As long as the sound is loud, it stays loud... when the scene changes or there is a pause between commercials, it varies as to whether it will get super loud, or super quiet... It never normalizes..

  • stephenward_ Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I have this problem too. I noticed it only on podcasts at first, music seemed to play ok. I took the Air back to Apple to let someone look at it but they offered to replaced it straight away. The problem is the new one does the same thing.

    I tried resetting the pram but don't think it's made a difference.

    I don't understand how music can play normally but podcasts cannot. The same podcasts sound fine on my ipad mini and iphone. 


    Not sure what to do next.

  • audiojedi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have this same issue.  All programs seem to have the problem.  Volume goes slowly up and then back down.  This pattern continues over and over again. I have a new Haswell Macbook Air 1.7Ghz with 8GB Ram and 256GB SSD.

  • ddfall Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Like the others here, I too have tried a PRAM reset, etc. Could this be related to an app that we all have installed which is hijacking the audio? AirServer or something similar? I know its a stretch, but just a thought.


    My MacBook Air: Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD.


    I know this doesn't help, but I'm glad that I'm not alone in this problem (At first I thought I was imagining it all). :-)

  • stephenward_ Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I have the i5, 256Gb 13" Air, with no other software running that could hijack the audio (I think). At first I thought it was just podcasts but it's there with video on youtube as well now so it's not just my imagination. 


    I'm tempted to go back to Apple again but that will be 2 replacements in 8 days and they might think I'm being a dumbarse or something. I want to be sure the problem can't be fixed some other way, maybe a firmware update?


    I've read posts on other forums about the same problem. This is the problem with being an Apple early adopter; you get hit with these teething problems every time!

  • ddfall Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Like you, I hope that they can fix this too with a firmware update as they have done for other issues in the past. The thing that worries me, in a way, is that this problem isn't as common as the Wi-Fi one, which I would assume they will address first (giving this issue - assuming they know about it high up - less of a priority)...

  • Donimo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I believe I may have the same problem although I haven't done testing across different applications to be sure. I just got a 2013 Haswell base configuration and the only thing I installed was Office and the Flash player. All I've been doing on it is watching tutorials on (The Sharepoint 2013 ones, using the plurslsight web player) and I've noticed the narrator's voice level goes up and down a lot. It's making me ride the volume control with my fingers! I thought the guy had bad mic technique but maybe it IS related to the Air. I'll try to test the same tutorials on my older 17" Macbook Pro and see if I notice the problem on the same videos.


    So, in my instance this "may or may not" be a real instance of an issue with the Haswell Air.

  • ChicagoMoscow Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same problem. sound level jumps like ....... during   web contest. didn't check it yet on music files.

  • reeppeep Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    same problem here. got the new i7 as well. any chance it might have something to do with the noise cancelling mic array for some reason?

    has anyone installed the new mac os x beta or mavericks yet, to see if the problem persists?

  • ddfall Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I neglected to mention that I also did do a full restore (Internet Restore, not local recovery partition) and experienced the same issue. Has anyone spoken to Apple about this issue?

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