My MacBook Pro Retina updated last night (10-APR-17). Now the audio with my Plantronics USB headset is choppy ... it sounds like someone is talking through a fan. The built-in speakers sound fine. I called Apple support and they think it is a hardware issue, but the headset was working just fine before the update.

Also Apple support suggested that I reinstall the OS :( does anyone have any other suggestions?

  • Have you contacted Plantronics to see if this is a known issue?
    – fsb
    Apr 11, 2017 at 17:26
  • They asked if the headset worked before the upgrade. I told them that it did. They think that software update most have caused the problem. Apr 11, 2017 at 18:07
  • Try connecting thru a USB hub to your MBP and see if that helps. I've read some posts that this workaround works for some people until Apple can fix the problem. Let us know if that works.
    – fsb
    Apr 11, 2017 at 18:30
  • Thanks ... what is a MBP? :) Sorry for be so dense. Apr 11, 2017 at 18:31
  • Sorry, it's shorthand for MacBook Pro. You might also see it as rMBP for the retina model.
    – fsb
    Apr 11, 2017 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


This was a problem with MacOS Sierra 10.12.4. It was fixed in the latest update to MacOS Sierra 10.12.5, which was released today (May 15, 2017). Update to the latest release of MacOS!

From the release notes:

This update:

  • Fixes an issue where audio may stutter when played through USB headphones.

  • Enhances compatibility of the Mac App Store with future software updates.

  • Adds support for media-free installation of Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp.

  • ...

  • Well dang! I already bought another head set. May 15, 2017 at 22:42
  • i have upgraded to 10.12.5 and am still experiencing the problem... :( it's a bit less annoying as it doesn't stutter all the time. Stuttering time to time is still an issue :(
    – igrek
    May 24, 2017 at 14:36

Quite a few users are reporting issues with USB headsets of various manufacturers on the macOS 10.12.4 Sierra update. I myself am observing the same on a Microsoft LifeChat LX-6000 headset.

There seems no clear solution at this time, apart from rolling back using TimeMachine.

Example link: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7905407?start=0&tstart=0

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