My MacBook Pro 15, mid 2015, has bad distortion on the right speaker. Headphones and bluetooth are fine, and when I use the Audio MIDI utility to swap channels it stays on the right speaker. I installed another right speaker I bought online, but the problem persists. Neither speaker had a broken cone, and the distortion sounds more electronic anyway.


  1. I got a replacement speaker with the same problem. Since it was used, this is possible but seems unlikely given that my searches online don't suggest that this is a common problem.
  2. I somehow managed to get the old one I removed mixed up with the new one, and put the old one back in. Possible as I'm a old fart, but I labeled the old one as "bad" to avoid this, and the one in my junk box is labeled "bad". Tho still possible that it was the labeling where I spaced out, but would require me to have been even more of a screw up than I usually am.
  3. There is some sort of preamp on the sound/mother/other board that has blown.
  4. There is some sort of software issue that is overdriving some amp somewhere.

I can solve #2 by doing the swap again, but it required more futzing inside the case than I like to do, always worried my fat fingers are going to break something else when I have to go that deep. Maybe it's possible to just plug the bad-labeled speaker in to test it, but I hate actually booting the thing with the back off.

It was pretty cheap, tho I don't recall where I got it, so if I could eliminate #2, #3, and 4, I'll just buy a new one.

Can any of you help me eliminate #3 and #4?

  • Decent self-answer. Just please do not edit your question to say “RESOLVED” as you did. Just post an answer to explain what the solution is and that’s that. That said, since this whole question and answer seems to be basically a mistake on your part — it happens to all of us — you might want to consider deleting the whole question and answer as well. Dec 10, 2020 at 1:16

1 Answer 1


I impatiently decided to check the other speaker and managed to bust the plug (Doh!) trying to pull it off so I could test the "bad" one. That left me having to actually install the "bad" one anyway, which I did, and lo and behold, it seems to be working.

Looks like I was indeed more of a screw up than usual, in that I somehow managed to label the new one "bad."

So anyway, never mind.

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