I recently bought an old Macbook Pro (A1398).

The internal speakers make a buzzing sound; anything plugged into the headphone jack also does.

Is there any way to determine if it is a software problem or a hardware problem?

(I know the hardware explanation seems unlikely, but only the buzz in the internal speakers varies with the volume, so the cause may in principle be different).

Hopefully the answer can be of interest for anyone who wants to learn how to tell a hardware problem from a software problem in this kind of situation!

  • 1
    Does the buzzing change if plugged/unplugged? Nov 12, 2021 at 1:26
  • 1
    If it's software the sound will turn up & down with the volume control. if it's hardware, it won't.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 12, 2021 at 7:00
  • @ Tetsujin : if you are right, then it is a software problem for the jack port and a hardware problem on the internal speakers. But e.g. a blown speaker (hardware problem) will make a stronger buzz with a louder volume, so I'm not sure if you are right.. @JaimeSantaCruz : I don't know what you mean so I'm not sure if I am answering your question. The buzz coming from the jack port is more uniform and less sound-dependent than the one in the internal speakers. I barely hear anything there, but the internal speaker sound is hearable despite the buzz. Nov 12, 2021 at 17:21
  • I meant to say if it changed when you plugged the computer charger, apologies for the ambiguous comment. Nov 12, 2021 at 19:36
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    @JaimeSantaCruz I just checked and no, it doesn't make a difference! Nov 18, 2021 at 3:39


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