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I'm on a M1 MacBook Pro. For a couple of weeks now, every time I wake the Mac up from sleep, the list of audio devices is empty and shows "No output/input devices found," like so: Screenshot of System Preferences showing empty Output audio devices list

I can still hear the audio coming from the MacBook speakers, however, and the item "MacBook Pro Speakers" still shows up on the Sound section of the menu bar.

When I add a new sound device, for example when I plug headphones in, they show up the devices list. But if I quit and reopen System Preferences, the list shows up empty again.

The main issue is that because the device list is empty, Zoom and other web meeting platforms do not recognize the output/input devices, requiring me to restart my computer before every meeting. This is what Zoom shows in their settings. Strangely, I can record just fine with Voice Memos even when the list is empty.

Does anyone know how I can troubleshoot this? I haven't installed any kernel extensions or things that could play with that, so I'm at a bit of a loss.

Update: I updated to Monterey 12.0.1 and the problem persists.

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  • What version of macOS are you running?
    – pion
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 20:27
  • @pion I am running macOS 11.6 Big Sur
    – trms
    Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 4:57

2 Answers 2

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There must have been a conflict in the audio plugins. The M1 Macs get unstable over time if you install apps that have audio recording feature, since the permissions have changed. For me, I've installed Zoom, Teams, Krisp, Utterly, BoomAudio. Here's the solution I used:

  1. Go to /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/ folder. This folder contains the systemwide audio extensions that were installed by third-party apps.

  2. Delete folders from the apps you're not using. These files are just plug-ins, not core files so it won't affect your Mac performance.

  3. Restart the machine. You will be expected to reinstall some of the apps you've deleted the plugins from.

My advice is to not install too many apps with audio recording features. The M1 is still in its infancy and developers are still adapting to the architecture.

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  • Moving some folders outside of HAL seems to have solved my issue. Thank you very much! :)
    – trms
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 6:00
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Open Terminal and run sudo killall coreaudiod. In my case, it works like a charm.

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