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MacBook owners reporting problems with audio jacks

updated 04:45 pm EST, Thu February 12, 2009

MacBook audio problems

A number of MacBook owners have reported problems with the headphone jacks on the new aluminum-unibody devices. The frustrated customers point out that the new design will securely hold the plugs from Apple's own headphones with microphone support, but several stereo headphones and speaker connectors are unable to retain a solid connection, according to Apple Support forum posts.

The problematic connectors allegedly disconnect when the cord is slightly disturbed, which disrupts the audio output to the jack and instead reroutes the signal to the MacBook speakers.

"When a jackplug is inserted into the socket there is a degree of play in the socket - fully pushed in and it works - give a gentle pull, the plug moves back out maybe 0.5mm and, even though the plug stays in the socket, the sound comes out of the speakers," said movetolearn in a forum post.

The primary difference between the newer mic-compatible connectors and the stereo-only variant is the presence of a fourth conductor, noticeable by the presence of a third ring. Experimentation by forum members pointed to this as a probable source of the problem, with the disconnection problems occurring with the three-conductor plugs.

Despite the problems with the new MacBook jacks, the cross-compatible design utilized in other Apple products, such as the iPod touch, does not appear to cause the same issues. One forum post suggested using a Fitz adapter which provides a four-conductor male plug and a three-conductor female port, potentially providing a remedy for the problem. [via AppleInsider]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is why Apple sucks. They always try to milk each customer with "optimized" hardware so you only spend with them.

    Apple = Assh0les

    Do buy from Apple, buy a pc and build a hackint0sh

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You are telling me!

    Apple has been doing things differently for the sake of being different.

    non-standard RAM
    non-standard power plug (final generation of PMG5. What the F is that?)
    non-standard plug on the power adapter AC extension cable
    non-standard USB cable with a notch in it, so you cannot use it for anything else, not even older Apple keyboards
    non-standard clearance on the original iMac keyboard, so you have to jam USB plugs into it

    The list goes on and on.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hee hee

    The Girl From Impanema? (snicker) I can see why you wouldn't want your headphones to wiggle loose and have people around you hear that...

    I'm kidding- we all have our guilty pleasures cough [looks away]

  1. panjandrum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hopefully limited

    Well, we can only hope that this problem is just limited to a run of units with a manufacturing defect and not to an actual design flaw. But, considering the ungodly number of products I've seen recently which quite simply can't function properly as designed, I wouldn't be all that surprised if this turns out to be a design error that has to be corrected. I hope that isn't the case, but it sure wouldn't surprise me at all, not even from a company like Apple.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I vow....

    I vow not to pay for a mac computer any longer. PC to hackint0sh only from here on.

    PROMISE!... Until Apple designs a shiny stick up there a$$ and changes there evil emppire.

    s**** Apple for good, 'til then...

  1. jink

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Chill out. Ooh, it's the end of the world brought on by Apple with their imperfect headphone jack. Ooooh. Get a life people. Seriously.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You can also just buy a low cost compatible headset. Check out

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