I'm using a Bluetooth speaker in Mojave, and I noticed that every time the video I watch is silent for a second there's an audible click as if the audio stream is being shut off, and when the sound starts again there's another click after which the speaker actually produces sound again. Much too late, of course, which means that when people start talking in videos they get the first syllables cut off. This also means that short and sudden system alert sounds go completely unnoticed since they've finished playing by the time the audio is capable of playing again. Needless to say, it's a big problem.

The whole thing reminds me of those threshold volume levels in video conferences, where you're put on mute until you actually speak so as to not introduce needless noise.

Some details

  • The problem is with my Macbook Air (2012) — The speaker works fine with the same test video when played from another device, and the problem is reproducible with two different BT speakers.
  • The choppiness is not random. This happens as soon as the system goes silent. If the audio is continuous, e.g. music, then there are no gaps (except initially when starting playback, of course).
  • It happens regardless of which app is used for playback. I have tested it in browsers and in native media players.
  • It is not resolved by turning off and on Bluetooth (using the menubar icon).
  • It is not resolved by rebooting the system.
  • It occurs regardless of whether the power cord is plugged in or not.
  • Did I mention that it's not random? That means it occurs at the same times in the test videos, which means that it's not RF interference. But I shut off wi-fi anyway just to be able to say: turning off wi-fi makes no difference.
  • MacOS 10.14.1

Is this a known problem? Is there any way to fix it?

Video samples have been prepared but will have to wait since I wrongly assumed they could be hosted just like images.

Video samples

The first video is of the problem. The second is of what it should sound like, using the built in Macbook speakers.

What it sounds like

What it's supposed to sound like

1 Answer 1


I'm confident at this point that it is the speaker's fault. Buggy design.

Why it worked with one audio source device and not the Macbook I don't know, but it's been reproduced with another audio source since then.

I can't explain how I reproduced it with two different Bluetooth speaker models though. That has not happened since. The two speaker models are by the same brand but can't even play nice with eachother and coexist (selecting one of them connects to the other) so I'm just going to write the whole problem off as cheap hardware/firmware design.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .