Something happened to my MacBook speakers :(

Discussion in 'Apple Products' started by maverick786us, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not sure if its because of the latest update. But Whenever I play youtube or any movie. There is this crackling sound in the speakers as if the speakers are bursting.

    My MacBook is more than an year old I have started worrying that if the speakers are really gone, it will cost me a lot to get it repaired :(

    The problem is with the right speaker, mostly related to bass
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  2. SuperSubZero

    SuperSubZero 2[H]4U

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    Apple aren't total jerks. Take it to the Apple Store. They can diagnose it. They can NetBoot it and test it in their environment. If it's something software, you'll know and they don't charge for the diagnostic.
     
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  3. Farkle

    Farkle Lurker

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    They wear out and tear around the edges eventually. It's an easy fix -- check iFixit.
     
  4. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    I showed it to Apple Service Center. He said, the speaker is gone and needs replacement, with an estimated cost of 100$ and it will take 4-5 days.
    When i asked him, how the hell this happened, when i took extra care for my MacBook. He said VLC media player pushes speakers beyond the limit, and is not recommended. WTF
     
  5. Farkle

    Farkle Lurker

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    It's a $10-$20 part depending on if it's the left or right+subwoofer speaker. Only a few screws and some cable routing. VLC can clip the speakers because you can configure it for higher gain than it is meant to be played at, but I highly doubt this is the case. Quite simply, the surround on the speakers through humidity changes and use just wears down and eventually tears. Genius Bar and Service Center employees lie their asses off all the time to customers; they stripped three screw holes in my 2009 MacBook Pro 13" replacing the fan and blamed it on me for installing third party RAM and hard drive (which were replaced on day 1, and the screws were fine -- I even put new Loctite on them.) I never got resolution even from corporate on the matter, and just ended up sourcing bigger screws. When my trackpad in my mid-2012 years later went wonky on me, I got the thing back with a white pressure circle on the display, took it back to them, and they told me the reason for the trackpad failure was an impact on the MacBook hitting something or being dropped, that also caused the display problem and as a courtesy they repaired it without cost to me. After a long talk with the manager, he finally made it right by replacing the screen and acted like he was doing the ultimate favor and breaking some rule by not charging me for it. If it isn't a logic board failure, pretty much do the repairs yourself if it is out of warranty... at least you know it'll be done right that way.
     
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  6. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    Strange. I also have a 2014 HP Envy 15 laptop which is crappy compared to this MacBook pro and nothing happened to it. This high quality MacBook speakers got affected simply because of humidity
     
  7. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well I got the speakers replaced from a local vendor, for 50$. When i visited him and told him the problem, he said if I was using VLC Media player. He said he will provide 3 months warranty, but if I use VLC Media player, he cannot grantee anything. Few weeks before my speaker was damaged, i upgraded to latest version of VLC Media player to support H.265 compression format.

    Anyhow VLC Media player is an open source product, its loudness and clarity is much better than quicktime I will remove it from my MacBook. Can someone recommend me a good player for playing movies specially H.265 format?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  8. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    WTF Last week the right speaker again blew, I had to spend 30$ to get the speakers replaced. I immediately uninstalled VLC player and will never use it again. Which application should i use for playing MKV video files? These files are not supported by Quick Time
     
  9. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    You listening to it wrong.
     
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  10. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    How is it wrong?

    3 months ago when I got the speakers replaced, they warned me that VLC player pushes the volume beyond the threshold limit, thus damaging the speakers, they said, the problem is not with MacBook speakers but with Dell laptops too.

    But ignored that warning and continued using VLC player, because QC doesn't play mkv files. But after the speaker got busted for the second time, I decided, to remove VLC player and will not use it.
     
  11. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    maybe get a bluetooth speaker? Will sound better than the built in speakers. I sometimes use my EU Boom on my MacBook Pro, other times I am just airplaying it to my receiver through my apple tv.
     
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  12. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yo i am considering a pair of home-pod or Bose 360 sound-link, whichever sounds better. But that will take some time. Till then i have to live this in built speakers. Its so frustrating, that you spend 2000$ for such an awesome device, and its speakers turn faulty.
     
  13. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't have any problem with the sound quality of in built speakers, except its bit low n some cases . My concern is, are these speakers faulty, just like the faulty butterfly keyboard of Mac Book 2016-17 where there are reports of keys dying? Apple corrected it, with 2018 Mac Book (at least that's what apple claimed, we have yet to see how the keyboard of 2018 models work).

    When you spend 2000$, for a device, you will not expect to have separate blue-tooth speakers as a solution. In built Mac Book speakers sound good, if not great. Yes Apple home Pods or Bose 360+ will sound far better than the inbuilt speakers, but these speakers aren't cheap, it might have to wait for 2-3 months to gather enough $ to buy a pair of these speakers.

    Off the topic, I want to warn all the users who are using VLC player.

    "VLC is linux based player developed by open source. No doubt, it is a great media player. I remember 8 years ago i had Nokia N900, it had Linux based open source OS "Maemo" (the predecessor of Meego). I always listened to music while commuting to work. But that device killed 2 of my headsets, one wired and other a Wireless Bluetooth. With both the headsets the problem was that, right side, first resulted in crackling sound and then dead. The left side of the headsets remained intact. VLC and Meamo both are open source. My Mac Book speaker problem and the headset problem looks interlinked, in both the cases the right section was targeted. There might be some fault with the software, i might be wrong."

    MacOS is also Linux based, but unlike Maemo and Meego, its not open source and Apple developers work hard to provide security and ensure, there are no faults. I am not against any Linux Based OS.
     
  14. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Been using macs since 2008 with VLC being my exclusive video player. No problems.

    If you are having trouble, try not overdriving the speakers and not exceeding 100% volume in the VLC app.
     
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  15. Nenu

    Nenu Stay [H]ard

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    You are over driving the speaker or amplifier badly if it distorts.
    Any speaker in a laptop that is damaged before it even distorts is a rip off, they need to be able to handle some abuse. Either that or the amplifier is delivering enough instantaneous power that it rips the cone with one belt.
    I would not suspect the amplifier is strong enough to do this (due to cheapness) which means it could only be damaged by distortion or a its low quality speaker.
    A low power amplifier can harm a higher power speaker through distortion, I have done it.

    If you didnt hear distortion in plenty I very much doubt the problem is VLC player over driving the speaker.
    I would say the original speaker was sub par and the new one you got was too. Bad luck perhaps or just very low quality speaker drivers.
    When you have the speaker part number try and source an alternative replacement speaker that is known to be higher quality.
     
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  16. mope54

    mope54 [H]ardness Supreme

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    The speakers aren't defective, you've posted yourself that you were warned and used the software anyway. OS X is UNIX based, not linux. As far as MKV playback, I have used Movist for years. Before that, and simultaneously for a bit, I used MPlayerX. I have never been impressed with VLC. Everything I wanted to do seemed to be do-able better by something else. That said, MKV is a container. I think the old workaround was to simply rename the files to mp4 or something. One could also use Subler to remux the files or Handbrake to transcode them--that would also allow you to use the files on mobile devices and AppleTVs. There are at least half a dozen other players and methods to watch an MKV file, but Apple doesn't have incentive to make it easy given the source and intent of MKVs by and large. I haven't personally had to deal with an MKV file for a very long time.
     
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  17. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    Talking about speaker drivers. I bought this Mac Book in August 2016, and playing movies in VLC player without any issue, it was after the latest OS upgrade in , 3 months ago, when I saw the movies in VLC, the right player got screwed. Do you think the OS upgrade would have caused the issues with the driver?

    Alternative replacement speaker with higher quality.............My Mac Book is an old 2015 model (i purchased in 2016 though). I don't think, the speakers of 2016-18 Mac Book models will fit in it. I know Mac Books of 2016 and above have speakers with better quality and louder sound.
     
  18. mope54

    mope54 [H]ardness Supreme

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    No, the update didn't cause the problem. Two different authorized sources told you the problem--VLC. Here http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/80989-35-does-media-player-damage-speakers is a thread from 2012 discussing the problem in regards to HP and Dell. According to that thread, it was a documented problem as early as 2009. Someone provides a technical explanation toward the end of it, which you may find informative and interesting. One thing about Nenu's explanation that you should know: distortion doesn't have to be audible to damage speakers.
     
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  19. Nenu

    Nenu Stay [H]ard

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    I agree with respect to overheating the coil rather than a tear of the driver, which I assumed this to be.

    You make a fair point as I could be wrong about the sudden distortion being caused by a driver tear.
    A damaged coil can do this as well yet the speaker still operates.
    In a hot environment like a laptop on a hot day it could quite easily occur with sustained loud playback.
     
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  20. mope54

    mope54 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I believe the notion of a driver tear, or physical damage to the foam surround specifically, was speculation from Farkle. I re-read the thread and can't find any confirmation of that. Simple question would be whether the Genius opened the laptop to visually inspect the verdict or if he simply listened to it. Since the Genius asked if the OP had used VLC, we can safely assume he was not using VLC during the test. So unless he disassembled the laptop or shone a flashlight into the grill, he diagnosed the issue with his ears during normal listening volumes. A blown speaker would be immediately obvious, which is what I suspect happened (turned laptop on, played a sound, Genius said yeah that's bad).

    It's true that time and moisture can destroy a foam surround, but I haven't seen this issue very frequently expect with vintage speakers. I've also only ever seen it on woofers, and although this is reportedly happening to the speaker that handles the lower frequencies, it's still only a 1" speaker or so. Speakers that lose their foam surround aren't automatically ruined (unless it was physically blasted off the speaker, haha)

    It's true that too much speaker excursion can "blow" a speaker, but it's also true that I've never personally seen a speaker driven so hard it literally blew the foam surround off and that's not usually what people mean when they say a speaker is "blown." I've participated in car audio competitions decades ago where the speakers actually were responsible for physical damage to *other* things (sometimes themselves, but mostly other things) and even they didn't blow their foam off. As you know and mentioned, most of the time damage is from unclean, insufficient power rather than too much literally blowing a speaker apart.

    Blowing a hole in a speaker from the sound level alone is a pretty significant trauma and wouldn't likely result in the speaker being usable anymore. Certainly not to the point of someone listening and noticing some "crackling" sounds--low volume crackling is normally associated with coil damage in my experience. A speaker with deteriorating foam can be fixed. The foam is important but it being missing or damaged is not the actual problem. The problem is that once that foam is compromised, the driver can wobble and eventually burn itself out. I've run speakers without the foam for decades without consequence. I'm not saying one should do that, but it's almost unbelievable that a speaker so small and oriented horizontally would wobble much without the foam support.

    I think it's really important for people to understand how speakers are usually ruined and it's not from loud sounds. I suspect the speaker was replaced, the warnings were given, the laptop continued to be used w/VLC but instead of max gain w/ max volume it was max gain w/ low volume because people almost always think that loud sounds blow speakers. In any case, I wasn't arguing with Nenu so much as pointing out that low-volume distortion is the main culprit for speaker damage and it may or may not have been perceptible while it was occurring--especially if one wasn't sitting in front of the speaker actively listening for it. The way that post was written seemed to me to run the risk of people concluding if they weren't hearing obvious distortion then their speakers are safe from damage.
     
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  21. maverick786us

    maverick786us [H]ard|Gawd

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    When I showed it in Apple service centre and the other guy who actually replaced the speakers at almost half the price what apple was offering, they both drew the same conclusion without opening the speakers, simply playing a movie. They did open my MacBook and replaced the speakers in front of me and gave me the old faulty speakers, yes after first replacement, i used VLC player just once and kept the volume below 100%. In both the occasions, it was the right speaker that screwed up with the bass, the left ones were intact. But these speakers are somehow interlinked, where if something happens to one speaker you have to replace both.

    The only good part was when i visited him second time, I uninstalled VLC player and shouted at them WTF!!!, they said that for speakers they do not provide any warranty, they said that MacBooks of that generation had faulty speakers,
    I said that if their replaced speakers have no warranty, they should have told me earlier, I would have got it replaced from Apple store, yes Apple would have charged more but they would have give me 6 months warranty.
    They admitted their mistake said that the best best they can do is, replace the speakers with another MacBook 15, they had and charge 10$ less. For now the speakers are working fine but I will not take another chance of using VLC.