I have a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) running MacOS Catalina 10.15.6. Ever since I updated from MacOS Catalina 10.15.5, when I play music on my MacBook speakers, after a few minutes I'll start hearing a horrible distortion noise along with the music. See https://i.sstatic.net/9h07z.jpg for a video I recorded of the problem.

I'm able to temporarily resolve this issue if I plug in my headphones and immediately remove them (as shown in the video), or if I go to System Preferences > Sound and change the "Alert volume" value. But then after a few minutes, the problem recurs.

I'm getting the impression this is software-based, and it's not clear to me that the upgrade to 10.15.6 is the cause of the issue. Is there a way I can prevent this from happening?

  • Do you hear the problem over your headphones?
    – Allan
    Aug 3, 2020 at 5:37
  • I never heard the problem through my headphones. Aug 3, 2020 at 16:19
  • Then it’s very unlikely software. Try going into Safe Mode (hold Shift while booting) and see if the problem exists there.
    – Allan
    Aug 3, 2020 at 16:39
  • Interesting. Will try! Why would the problem be fixed once I update "alert volume" then? Aug 3, 2020 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


Can you report there as well https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251560058? You are not the only one.... My guess is that it is not the sound card as headphones work fine, but could be a driver / compatibility issue with the speakers. Def looks like a driver/OS not working as expected to me My issue happened with the exact same version: MacOS Catalina 10.15.6


You must log in to answer this question.

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