If I connect my MacBook to a monitor with no speakers, and use it in clamshell (with the lid closed) will there be no sound / volume? Or will any sound be muffled becaused the lid is closed?

How will I hear error noises or new mail sounds or music? Will I also have to buy speakers? Or only buy a monitor with built in speakers?


Just tested. It will play through the speakers with the clamshell closed and is very audible. It does change the sound quality so music might be a bit different (I din't play any music), but notifications will be easily discernible.

Tried some music and it comes through quite clearly, just a little quieter than with the lid open.

  • Thank you. I wasn't sure if the MacBook speaker would be disabled when in clamshell - so thanks for clearing that up. – Markeee Dec 28 '17 at 19:39

Given that the MacBook lid is not soundproof, you will hear sound with the lid closed in closed clam shell mode. Will it be muted? Yes; it's obviously being blocked. But, will you be prevented from hearing alerts and notifications? No.

If you are setting up external peripherals, a decent set of speakers isn't out of order.

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