Tips to Fix the Sound Problem on Your Mac

By Sidharth | Apple

Here are a few solid tips to help you bring your headphone’s or external speaker’s sound back to life, which has been a constantly nagging issue on Mac.

How many of you will be absolutely staggered to find out your headphone has stopped working right when you were savoring your favorite song on iTunes?

Worse, the headphone’s warranty has expired. And the only solution you are left with is to buy a brand new headphone. However, before you thrash out your hopes and plod your way through to grab a new pair of headphones, there are a couple of ways to inspect the existing case.

Audio Problem With Mac

More often than not, audio stops blaring out of your Mac because there is a problem with the machine, not with your headphones or speakers. If your headphones doesn’t recognize audio, that doesn’t mean you should immediately jump to the conclusion that your headphone (or external speaker) has died.

Check the Sound With a Different Headphone

You can free to plug in any old but working headphones or earphones to your Mac, or connect your Mac to any spare speakers to unearth the problem.

If your old headphone picks up the sounds just fine, then you know the problem is not with your Mac. However, if that’s not the case, you should follow these instructions to fix the sound issue that has been escalated primarily from your Mac machine.

Reboot Your Mac Machine

A quick reboot of your Mac machine will automatically kindle the audio drivers, and hopefully, eliminate the sound problem completely and bring everything back to normal.

Use Toothpick to Kick the Sound Back In Your Mac

One of the Reddit member has a solution: “Take a toothpick and nudge the sensor switch back into place and then it may start working again.” Apparently, this has worked like a charm.

Not just toothpick, you are free to use any pointed piece of wood or plastic. Nudge the sensor carefully, then plug the headphones back in to check if you can hear the sound.

Reset SMC and Pram

Once again, if you are wrestling with your headphone on your Mac machine because it doesn’t recognize your headphones, try to do a SMC and PRAM reset.

Apple has documented the procedure here and here. Follow those instructions to wipe out the issue.

Quit Core Audio if There’s no Sound From Your Mac

Go to your Application folder, then Utilities and select Activity Monitor. You will notice a drop down menu to the left of search box. Select All Processes from the drop down menu.

Audio Fix for Mac

In the search box, type “coreaudiod” without quotes as shown in the screenshot above. Highlight this item, and click on the Quit Process button.

You can also run the Terminal and type in this command:

sudo killall coreaudiod

App to Fix Audio on Mac OS X Lion Machine

Rebooting regularly to bring back the sound on your Mac can be frustrating. If you don’t want to do this every time, download this app from Kai Yen. Update: Click here to download the app.

Assuming your headphones and speakers are perfectly fine, this app will fix the ‘no sound’ problem you’ve been facing on your Mac machine — iMac, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air — which is running the latest Mac OS X Lion Operating System.

Remove older Apps

Mac OS X Lion has dozens of incompatible apps. Apparently, old PowerPC programs lurking on our system can ignite the audio issue. Find these declining apps, remove them and give a quick reboot to your Mac.

Check System Preference Sound Output

Lastly, you or someone must have configured the sound settings of your Mac — muted the volume, for instance.

Head over to System Preference -> Sound, check both the Output and Input settings and make sure the audio levels are locked in properly and the volume has been set to maximum.

These were some of the ways to fix the audio problem you’ve been facing on your Mac. Over to you: which solution worked for you? Let me know in the comments section below.

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

Leave a Comment:

(4) comments

Chris October 26, 2012

+1 for the Kai Yen app. That did the trick.

The freaky thing is that I discovered this while tracking down an issue where Quicktime would not playback any videos and I incidentally found the coincident volume mute issue.

One click and fixed.

I’m on a MacBookPro6,2 (mid 2010) running 10.8.2


Ras'aqi September 18, 2012

God must be sent you from heaven, I’m a step away from dragging my MBP to service centre. Not till I saw this post, and my -all morning headache ’cause my over demanding client waiting for my online edited video. fuh, those tiny app does what it say. thousand thanks! bless you.

    Sidharth September 18, 2012

    This is what motivates me! I feel good today! Thanks… 🙂

ali August 18, 2012

hi.i have imac.i have lion yet.i hear this problem exist in Mountain Lion,but i get this audio dosen’t work in keyboard and desktop is locked.i check my audio setting in system preferences and it dosen’t have problem.i can’t play music with itunes.but wehn i play video with vlc i hear sound.i boot my imac for 3 time (after turn on my imac i press command+alt+r+p and ..) .but after i turn off may mac my problem came back,after i inistal this program it solved i think, i have to wait to see. tanks a lot

Add Your Reply

Leave a Comment: