Macbook headphone jack problem

Discussion in 'Hardware & Peripherals' started by erupshaun, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. erupshaun

    erupshaun
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    SO i just recently bought a macbook (switching from windows for the first time and loving it!(so far)). and now i've just written a kickass song on my computer, to find out my headphone jack has flaked out! so i'm stuck listning to my new song on the built in laptop speakers :(. when i plug it into exterior speakers, or headphones, via the headphone jack, there seems to be no signal coming through. i cannot remember any instance where the plug may have been hit or broken, seeing as it's only been sitting on my desk.
    any help would be appreciated :)

    p.s. i know there are a dozen topics already on this problem, but for some reason i'm not allowed to view them when i click on them
     
    #1 erupshaun, Jun 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  2. VirtualTracy

    VirtualTracy
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    This is an issue I've seen several times before but usually there is no sound coming out of the speakers at all .... the common denominator is the headphone jack, though ...

    Open up Sys Prefs and click on:

    Sound ~> Output.​

    Look at the "Choose a device for sound output" window as you plug your headphone/ext spkr jack in. Does the Sound Output listing change from 'Internal Speakers' to 'Headphones'?

    The usual remedy for this issue is to jiggle the headphone jack slightly to try to toggle the little switch that's inside (to detect the presence of a jack) but I'm not sure that it would help here ....
     
  3. saadat

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    My headphones dont work even...even though when i insert the headphone pin into the jack, the sound from the laptop speakers stops and the output is shown as headphones..but no sound comes thru the headphones..also the headphone work with my ipod n iphone... plz tell me where the problem can b coz i am convinced that the problem lies with the settings
     
  4. VirtualTracy

    VirtualTracy
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    Has this issue always been present ever since you first received your Mac, and which model Mac/Mac OS version?

    If this is a relatively new issue, do you have any idea what you did prior to this issue? Could it be related to a recent Software update?

    Ok, here are some steps to consider:

    1. Is there a volume slider in System Prefs you can adjust?

    2. Have you a set of powered external speakers you can try?

    3. Have you tried another set of headphones?

    4. Put in your Installation disk, boot from cd, run disk utilities, and repair disk.

    5. Have you tried booting with the headphones plug in the socket

    6. Have you tried OnyX, to clean your system and User cache files. It's free to download. Just make sure you get the right version for your OS and when you have it installed, click on the "Automation" tab, check the boxes and run it.​

    Here's more info about OnyX and the different version links are at the bottom of the page:


    Try this:

    Go into the folder Applications/Utilities & open the "Audio MIDI Setup" app. Click on the Audio Devices Tab. Check out what your settings are up against mine.

    Link to picture of my Audio/Midi setup prefs

    Just check that there isn't a tick in the "mute" checkbox on Audio Output Master and if there is, then deselect it/them.


    Here's another troubleshooting sequence you could try, don't know if you ever see a red light on inside the jack ... however, here's the rundown:

    1. Play a song so the red light comes on.

    2. Get a tooth pick and insert it into the headphone jack.

    3. Push gently so the end of the tooth pick is touching the bottom inside the headphone jack.

    4. take the side of the tooth pick and press it against the side of the head phone jack will still keeping the end of the tooth pick pressed on the bottom. Wiggle it around and around. Be patient with it. The important thing is to make sure the end of the tooth pick is always touching the bottom of the inside of the headphone jack. You will wiggle it around for up to 15 minutes (Usually a lot quicker) until the red light goes off.

    5. Disclaimer: Your speakers will be fixed but there is the possibility that if you plug your head phones into the jack and you pull them out carelessly, you will go back to square one and have to start over.

    The following sounds like voodoo but it might work:

    delete your copy of QuickTime Player (Applications), download a new copy from Apple, and install it directly (not using the system upgrade utility).

    I found this:


    Here are some things you can try as well:

    1. Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

    2. Apple Portables: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)]

    Both Apple tips have been know to have solved issues similar to yours so here's hoping ...

    Lastly, some have reported that an Archive & Install seemed to fix things too. This type of installation preserves your user files/docs etc. You can read more about it here:


    I know there's a lot there to work through ... see how you go with it, and please let me know how it goes .... good luck with it :)


    .
     
    #4 VirtualTracy, Jan 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  5. saadat

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    thnks for replying... i tried everything except for tootpick thing...how much time do i need to put it in...i did it but cud not find any light there? plz tell me the duration for which i need to put the tootpick in the audio jack..

    regards
     
  6. Hughvane

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    A couple of seconds, and wiggle/twirl it inside the audio port, but seriously, I'd recommend a dummy jack rather than a toothpick because you risk leaving wood fragments in there. Dummy jacks can come from almost any source, like one cut off the end of a discarded audio cable. They're used for muting speakers for example, and when using an external microphone, so you don't get feedback squeal. You could use your headphone jack and work it around inside the audio port, but have the volume turned right down or sound on mute.
     
  7. philclar

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    just wanted to share my experience. i have the same problem with a brand new 2009 aluminum macbook. the headphone wouldn't fit all the way in. i read somewhere that the headphone jack is tight and to just push it a little harder. i push the headphone in and heard a crunch. i pulled the headphone jack out and had an o crap moment. i then saw the red light and no sound from the speaker. I used a paper clip, the kind with a plastic covering and twirl it around the headphone jack and some white power starting coming out, kinda like broken plastic or fiber glass. i completely cleaned the jack out and plug the headphones in and it worked. unplugged it and the speakers worked. seems like the headphone jack maker didnt completely clean out the cast and left some molding or plastic in it.
     
  8. keshavanbp

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    HI VirtualTracy et al,

    I'm using a MacBook with OSX 10.4.10.

    Recently I was trying to interface it to my LDC TV through the HDMI. But something went wrong while attempting to connect the audio output.

    After that event I used to see a red-light glowing in the audio output. I could listen to audio throught the headphones but not through the built-in speakers.

    The following steps solved the problem, I'm able to, now, listen to the audio throught built-in speakers.

    Thanks to all for the useful tips.

    Cheers,
    Keshavan


    Here's another troubleshooting sequence you could try, don't know if you ever see a red light on inside the jack ... however, here's the rundown:
    1. Play a song so the red light comes on.

    2. Get a tooth pick and insert it into the headphone jack.

    3. Push gently so the end of the tooth pick is touching the bottom inside the headphone jack.

    4. take the side of the tooth pick and press it against the side of the head phone jack will still keeping the end of the tooth pick pressed on the bottom. Wiggle it around and around. Be patient with it. The important thing is to make sure the end of the tooth pick is always touching the bottom of the inside of the headphone jack. You will wiggle it around for up to 15 minutes (Usually a lot quicker) until the red light goes off.

    5. Disclaimer: Your speakers will be fixed but there is the possibility that if you plug your head phones into the jack and you pull them out carelessly, you will go back to square one and have to start over.
     
  9. 9obama9xyz

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  10. mortiis

    mortiis
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  11. ebouwman

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    Hey guys, i was experiencing this very same issue and googled the issue. I opened up the preferences pane to check that everything was setup right and noticed the problem.

    When you're in the audio preferences there will be a thing near the bottom that says "Use audio port for:" and you have to make sure that it's set to "output"
     
  12. lipnic

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    Hi there,
    I just noticed this week that I can't hear through the headphone jack of my Macbook OsX - this happened when I tried to plug in some external speakers. Then I tried again using headphones - all I hear is a very faint sound of whatever I am playing with a strong mechanical hiss. The internal speakers are working fine. I tried opening a new account and trying to use my headphones there, but it didn't work. I have upgraded all the software, but still no difference. Any idea? This is very upsetting as the laptop is less than a year old. Thank you so much for getting back to me.
    Lipika Pelham
     
  13. aloha_jmac

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    i got mine working.

    i have a mid2009 13" macbook pro and after an update months ago the sound didn't work with non-iphone headphones (the iphone ones have a third black stripe on the end for the mic). i brought it in to a local mac store and he ordered a new mobo but later the corporate apple tech guy made him try a few more things, including a toothpick trick. he did a network boot and tried sound from that install and it worked fine. so... it is a software issue.

    to fix it: i just ran the MacOSX Snow Leopard DVD 10.6 and went back from 10.6.4 and then ran the update again back to 10.6.4. i did a back up of my most important personal files but when u reinstall on snow leopard (which i read it was called "archive and install" option) it keeps everything from personal files, to settings, and applications automatically.

    hope this helps someone. i can use external speakers and headphones again.
     
  14. boyfriendsy

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    When I downloaded Soundflower for Audacity my headphone jack stopped transmitting. When I deleted Soundflower it started working again. You said you record music so maybe you have the same problem. Or maybe you've downloaded another program that tweaks sound settings. Good luck!
     
  15. TaySharpe

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    Tracy, amazingly thorough advice. Thank you!

    Resetting my machine's PRAM worked for me, the link to the Apple Help page is above, but here are the instructions from the site in case the link changes over time.

    *Note: I had my external speakers still plugged in when I shut down fully and then started it up again.

    Resetting PRAM and NVRAM
    Shut down the computer.
    Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
    Turn on the computer.
    Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
    Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    Release the keys.
    Your computer's PRAM and the NVRAM are reset to the default values. The clock settings may be reset to a default date on some models.
     
  16. VirtualTracy

    VirtualTracy
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    Glad you got it sorted.
     
  17. modartist

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    First off, I love all you guys n gals who are willing to TRY and assist people with annoying problems, many of whom are nowhere near as well-versed in the technical aspects of Mac life as many of YOU! Regarding the faulty headphone jack thread, I have a somewhat unique dilemma that I found mentioned only once, via google, but saw no real advice for fixing. If you'll bare with my 'story' (whining)...I use an iMac desktop (21.5"/2011), with Sierra (recently updated). I routinely use my system to record music, using my trusty old Garage Band 6.0.5. AND, still using the now ancient Griffin iMic (USB interface; a silver, round disc for inputting guitars and a microphone. It's old, but is still getting the job done!). Now, the key to successful recording/production using this set-up, is that I MUST use HEADPHONES, in order to achieve the highest quality results. I'm a headphone freak anyway, and when mixing my tracks, to truly BE "INSIDE" THE SONG MIX, with my $40 Walmart headphones, I've been served well for a decade. I have always plugged them into the headphone jack in the back of the computer. No problems, ever. Up-front, the trouble is NOT the headphones. They're fine. The problem, like 95% of all the headphone jack dilemmas I've read about, is NOT that I get no sound from the phones, but that the right earphone works fine, but the left phone, which does put out sound, does so at a vastly decreased volume. This aberration obviously defeats the purpose of using headphones, and the ability to render a best-quality mix. I can still mix this way, but it is beyond annoying. Other forums claim that troubles with the iMac hp jack are not uncommon, but after years, this is a first for me. I've jiggled and jaggled and higgled and haggled, with no improvement. So, like an idiot with almost no patience; rather than call apple, or pop over to the apple store, and query experts about possible fixes, or cheap devices that would allow me to bypass the compromised jack, I went to the apple store for what i was told was a "DAC," which would likely solve my dilemma. Of COURSE, the Apple store carried NOTHING like that, or ANY device to help me. They send me to Guitar Center, where I'm talked into purchasing their cheapest fix for my problem, a FOCUSRITE Scarlett Solo interface (including a headphone jack), for $118. I'm dying to get home and resume recording my masterpiece, so instead of researching further, I bring home this little red unit, because, as the sleepy-eyed salesman convinced me, not only would i have a headphone jack (it works, btw), but it's a perfect interface for Garage Band, and will come in sooper-handy, should my iMic ever crap out. So I set the thing up, and find out that I cannot use it JUST for the headphones, and still use my iMic simultaneously. In fact, to use the Solo, I have to register it with their site, and download software, and, that it may not even work with my current system!!!! PLUS, it will not take the microphone I've been using all along. The mic input requires a special kind of mic (which only comes with the Solo's $200 package. So....as we now stand, I'm using the only-one-side-works-properly headphones, plugged into the computer's faulty jack, to record and mix, and then switching to the Solo's hp jack to continue from there.
    Back and forth, jury-rigging like a moron. Although Guitar Center gives you 14 lousy days to return items, I'm QUITE pissed at the expert sales associate, who, I feel, left out a whole big bunch of info regarding the Solo, and it's ease of use, and compatibility with Garage Band!!!! I'm going to bring it back, and raise hell, as I'm beginning to think I could have eliminated this glitch for most likely less than 118 smackaroos!!!!


    If any of you nice people had the wherewithal to read through this rambling non-sense from start to end, is there anyone who might know where I should go from here? I should add: when i remove the phones, the crap iMac speakers work properly on both the left and right, but cannot be used to record and mix music, for obvious reasons....

    Thanks fellas.....even just for reading this slop!~E

    *******Not one to give in, or up, I checked my AUDIO settings. I had my BALANCE off-kilter......a tad late on an unbelievably obvious possibility for eliminating the problem......$118......NEVERRRR MIIIIND, FELLAS....Your's Truly~N U M B N U T S
     
    #17 modartist, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  18. Cheryl

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    Have you tried a different headphone set? I have found that it is the head phone rather than the jack that is at fault.
     

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