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2018 MacBook Pro Users Are Reporting Crackling Speaker Issues

Macbook Pro 2018 Oled Touch Bar Credit: thanat sasipatanapa / Shutterstock
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A small number of 2018 MacBook Pro owners are reporting speaker issues with their new notebooks.

Those users have taken to the Apple Support forums, Reddit and other platforms to report speaker crackling on new MacBook Pro models. On YouTube, a handful of new MacBook Pro owners have shared videos depicting the issue.

Reportedly, the issue occurs spontaneously on both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

It’s not currently clear what is causing the issue. Customers have experienced crackling during routine audio playback in iTunes, GarageBand or when playing videos from YouTube. Others report that they’re hit with the problem when running Windows with Boot Camp.

Adjusting the volume or frequency of the audio playback does not appear to resolve the issue.

Throughout the various reports, users have theorized about what the culprit of the speaker crackling could be. Speculation ranges from problems with the audio drivers or T2 chip to poor shielding causing radio interference.

The problem doesn’t appear to be particularly widespread, although the number of users it has impacted isn’t insignificant.

With that being said, it’s common for a small percentage of users to experience relatively isolated bugs and problems when new, mass-produced devices are released.

It’s worth noting that back in 2016, users reported similar crackling issues with new MacBook Pro models released that year. Similar to this year’s problem, some users reported the crackling when running Windows via Boot Camp.

The 2016 speaker crackling appeared to be a much more significant issue, however. Some users even reported physical damage to their speakers.

In that case, Apple released a support document and new audio drivers for Boot Camp that resolved the issue.

Is Apple Aware of the Problem?

At least one affected user has claimed that the crackling issue was patched in the latest beta versions of macOS Mojave, although we cannot independently confirm this.

Another user reported that Apple is looking into the matter, though the Cupertino tech giant hasn’t publicly confirmed the problem as of the writing of this article.

Presumably, if it’s a software-based problem related to Boot Camp, Apple could remedy the problem in a future macOS update or by releasing new audio drivers. Since the crackling issue isn’t persistent, it doesn’t seem that faulty hardware is to blame.

Earlier this year, certain configurations of new MacBook Pro models were found to have throttling issues. Within a few days, Apple released a fix for that bug in a supplemental software update.

How to Fix Crackling Speakers

If you run into this problem with your own 2018 MacBook Pro, it’s recommended that you contact Apple Support directly.

In the meantime, you could try rebooting the Mac; resetting the System Management Controller or NVRAM; or disabling audio-related features like Hey Siri to see if it solves the issue.

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