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My MacBook Pro internal speaker has crashed, as it does every few months. I'm sure a reboot will fix it, but wondering if there's any way I could restore the speaker without rebooting? (Setting things back up again is time-consuming.)

UPDATE: It didn't actually work after reboot. I noticed the headphone slot is red, like in this picture, so it seems it's trying to serve optical out, since MBP uses the same slot as explained in that thread.

UPDATE 2: Best solution I've seen is here. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4220803?start=0&tstart= Note that it's fiddly and you might need to reboot before re-trying the headphones.

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What do you mean that your speaker has "crashed"? Does it simply not work? Have you visited an Apple Store or Apple reseller to see if they can fix it? –  CajunLuke Jun 5 '12 at 18:17
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Have you tried anything like a SMC reset or PRAM reset? –  da4 Jun 5 '12 at 18:19
    
CajunLuke, it's not a hardware issue. It just does this sometimes. da4 no, just asking if there's a way to do it without reboot. –  mahemoff Jun 5 '12 at 19:38
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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Sometimes changing the sound output from your system preferences > sound panel will reinitialize the connection to your hardware. If you only have one output device available, try installing soundflower, just to have a second output in your list that you can cycle through.

an image is here: http://i.stack.imgur.com/h8GfV.jpg

Also: setting things back up after a reboot is a snap with snow leopard. It can remember which apps you had open and reopen them for you.

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WRT setting things back up - see my previous questions on here. Setting up a dev environment isn't easily automated. –  mahemoff Jun 5 '12 at 19:40
    
Didn't work unfortunately. I switched to SoundFlower and also a USB headset (which works fine). –  mahemoff Jun 6 '12 at 2:55
    
Time to hit the genius bar... sounds like a hardware problem. –  Steve Cooley Jun 7 '12 at 19:26
    
This isn't a hardware problem I know of, just something that randomly happens once every few months when I pull the headphones out. (Which is why I'm back here.) –  mahemoff May 14 '13 at 18:41
    
Time to hit the genius bar... sounds like a software problem. –  Steve Cooley May 15 '13 at 20:45
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Try quitting CoreAudio from activity monitor, forcing it to relaunch itself.

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That's the kind of thing I was looking for, but didn't work unfortunately. –  mahemoff Jun 6 '12 at 2:54
    
This is cool and it worked for me.. –  Nikhil M Feb 4 '13 at 5:58
    
Unfortunately, CoreAudio is such an integral part to pretty much every Cocoa based Mac application so when it starts messing up, many aspects of the OS go haywire until it's s restarted. It also makes isolating the issue is difficult. =/ –  XAleXOwnZX Feb 5 '13 at 3:47
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Are you using headphones with your MBP? This thing happens when you take the phones out? Just plug them back make the sound go up and down gently pressing F11 or F12 (a few keystrokes). Unplug it and keep pressing the F11 or F12 keys until you hear it...

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Headphones work, but it doesn't work when I take them out. The prefpane changes to "Digital Out" of type "Optical digital out port" and doesn't let me even change the volume. (the volume controls faded and hitting volume keys shows a crossed out sign) –  mahemoff Jun 5 '12 at 19:43
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I clicked on System Preferences then chose Sound, clicked on the Sound Effects Tab and then double clicked any sound effect and the sound returned.

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This answer is based on a comment on @morphos' answer.

Headphones work, but it doesn't work when I take them out. The prefpane changes to "Digital Out" of type "Optical digital out port" and doesn't let me even change the volume. (the volume controls faded and hitting volume keys shows a crossed out sign)

That means that it thinks you have an optical toslink cable connected. Hold down option and click the volume button in the menu. Now select "Internal Speakers"

Alternatively, you could go to System Preferences > Sound > Output and select Internal Speakers

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