Users Report Speaker Popping, Screen Ghosting on New 16-inch MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro 16 Popping Noise Credit: ZenTek TV / YouTube
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The new 16-inch MacBook Pro has fixed many of the problems plaguing Apple’s notebook lineup. But, unfortunately, it may have introduced some of its own.

Since the new notebook’s release, reports have been surfacing of two separate issues: a speaker “popping” sound and a “ghosting” display effect. Here’s what you should know about the issues.

Speaker Popping Issue

Past MacBook Pro models have had issues with “popping” sounds occurring during normal playback of audio. And according to a slew of user reports, that bug appears to have returned on the new 16-inch model.

The bug results in a “popping,” “clipping” or “peaking” sound when a user stops any audio playback, skips to another part of the audio, or closes a window that’s playing audio.

You can see an example of the popping bug in the clip below.

It may not be a device-breaking issue for most users, but it is undoubtedly annoying. It isn’t clear just how widespread the bug is or what is causing it. Some reports suggest that even display 16-inch MacBook Pro units at Apple Stores are affected, however.

While Apple hasn’t publicly announced the issue, it has responded to some user complaints by letting them know that it’s aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

In the meantime, some users have found a couple of workarounds for the bug.

Specifically, if you open a QuickTime window and hit new audio recording, the bug won’t occur. You don’t need to actually record any audio, just leave the QuickTime window open.

Other users indicate that opening a song or video in YouTube and SoundCloud and then navigating to another page will make the popping sound go away temporarily.

‘Ghosting’ Effect

The second issue users are reporting on the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a sluggish response time from the device’s wide-color display.

That response time can apparently result in an annoying “ghosting” effect when users are scrolling through text, according to another lengthy thread with reports of the issue.

Not everyone is bothered by it, however. Hooking up the MacBook Pro to an external monitor seems to help alleviate the bug for some, too.

To be fair, the sluggish response time may be tied to the MacBook Pro’s 60Hz refresh rate. Users who are accustomed to smartphones with 90Hz refresh rates or iPad Pros with 120Hz refresh rates may find the MacBook Pro’s display somewhat slow.

On the other hand, some users who upgraded from 2014 or 2015 MacBook Pro models reported that their past devices — which also had a 60Hz refresh rate — didn’t exhibit the sluggish response.

It’s also possible that the slow screen response time is related to the new MacBook Pro’s ability to change refresh rates. It’s worth heading to System Preferences > Displays and playing with the Refresh Rate setting to see if it fixes the problem.

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