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chriswrightaudio Level 1 (0 points)

I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro 13" running OS X 10.7.5 which distorts all audio playback. This problem has always been present, however it has become worse in the last few weeks.


I've tried the following methods of audio playback - internal speakers, headphones and external speakers via headphone jack, and even audio over WiFi using Airplay/Airfoil - all of which have exhibited the same distorted audio.


It seems particularly important to note that Airplay was still affected, as I originally assumed the problem was either the physical headphone output or the internal sound card, both of which Airplay should bypass, right?


I tried resetting the NVRAM which didn't change anything.


Has anyone got any other ideas?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,360 points)

    Since Airfoil is not an Apple product, try uninstalling AirFoil to see if that makes a difference.


    Try their support link for uninstall instructions >  Rogue Amoeba | Support

  • chriswrightaudio Level 1 (0 points)

    That didn't fix the problem. The distortion was present before I installed Airfoil in the first place.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,360 points)

    Try a Safe Mode boot ...



    Startup your Mac in Safe Mode


    A Safe Mode boot takes a longer than a normal boot so be patient.


    Once you are in Safe Mode, click Restart from your Apple () menu.


    That deletes some system caches that may help.



    Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode



    If Safe Mode does not help, it may be corrupted audio preferences ...


    Open the Finder. From the Finder menu bar click Go > Go to Folder


    Type or copy paste the following;




    Click Go then move the following .plist files from the Audio folder to the Trash.





    Restart your Mac. See if that made a difference ...




    message edited by:  cs

  • chriswrightaudio Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Carolyn,


    Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately they didn't change anything.





  • Jeremy Photographer Level 1 (0 points)



    same issue here - very odd. Sound distorted badly when using airplay, headphones and built in speakers... I tried airplay with my wives computer and then mine and the difference was massive. 


    I've reset PRAM, run hardware diagnostic and tried Safe mode restart - nothing helping. Is there a "sound card" that could be broken ?

  • musicbud Level 1 (0 points)



    We (my music teaching colleagues and I) are having the same issue with our new 2013 13" MacBook Pro systems.  When we connect the computers to our classroom sound systems through the headphone jack we get a horrendous hiss-hum-buzz coming through the speakers.  The sound technician has been in countless times, and today he used his PC to connect to the sound systems.  Guess what?  No horrendous sound issues. 


    This also has occurred with my personal 2011 MacBook Pro and our previous 2008 15" MacBook Pros.


    What is up with the MacBook Pro sound cards?  Has anybody taken their system to the Geniuses at the Apple Store? 



  • chriswrightaudio Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried all of those things too, still no good. Gonna take it into the Apple Store one of these days and report back.

  • chriswrightaudio Level 1 (0 points)

    Musicbud, that doesn't actually sound like the same issue. I'm specifically referring to 'distorted' audio (i.e. the audio sounds overdriven, badly processed).


    Sounds like you're experiencing interference on the headphone output due to other USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt or MagSafe connections. Try connecting one of the MacBook Pros to your sound system when it is disconnected from ALL other peripherals and external connections, see if that eliminates the noise. If so, it's probably one particular device or connection (I'm guessing a USB device) which is causing interference or a grounding issue.


    If the peripheral is required, I'd look into purchasing a simple, cheap audio interface or digital to analog converter (DAC) to bypass the internal soundcard which is susceptible to interference.


    Or I could be completely wrong about all of this, in which case you should repost your problem as a separate discussion where I'd be happy to try and help further =)

  • Andrewhubbard Level 1 (0 points)

    happy new year! My New Year's Eve gig with my MacBook Pro playing some backing tracks, made me realise the iPhone or iPod is much better plug n play devise. Shame on you designers. I will put my laptop through my rme fireface and Adam a8x monitors and find the cause :)

  • Andrewhubbard Level 1 (0 points)

    Also all this metal macbook pro, Mac Pro mouse, the newer mackie universal control, is doing my hands in and being a musician I need them for my job. I will either completely jel up the whole macbook pro with keyboard cover, body and track cove(which is sprayed with nickel)  or get a refund. Leave the metal at the scrap yard don't make people who work with computers touch metal all day ;) 

  • ianeparker Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Chris

    I suddenly got this distortion problem on my Pro laptop, it turned out I'd switched the equaliser on and as soon as I switched it off the problem was gone.

  • Heads Talking Level 1 (0 points)

    You are the man! Thanks buddy. Solved my issue too.

  • aberenyi Level 1 (0 points)

    That solved my problem on my mid 2012 13in MacBook Pro, with OS X 10.9.4. Thanks!

  • JavierTG Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi inaeparker,


    I have the same speakers distortion problem, what exactly do you mean with (switched the equaliser on and as soon as I switched it off the problem was gone")



    Thank you!!

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