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I typically use the headphone jack output to my mixer. I used a 3.5mm to RCA left and right connectors which is connected to my stereo amp.

I forgot stereo amp was on, and for some reason a spark zapped the sound on my MAcBook Air. All other functions on the MBA are working fine.

Is it possible the I/O sound card is blown? I’m not sure if the I/O sound board generates the sound or does it get generated from sound circuitry on the main board?

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Sound is generated on the main logic board and converted to analog (what goes to the 3.5mm jack via a DAC (Digital Analog Converter) chip. There is also additional circuity near the jack that handles this audio.

It is likely you fried this. To see if your sound chip still functions, go into the System Profiler and look for the audio adapter. If it shows details, it means it is still functional and only the circuitry at or near the jack has failed.

You could potentially get this repaired, but you’d be better off getting a USB Audio Adapter* or a Bluetooth headphone. It will be less expensive and the quality much better (depending on the quality of the device you purchase).


* If you’re going to connect your Mac to audio gear, my recommendation is to avoid the built in audio. It’s good for the average user, but if you want quality sound, you need quality gear. The DAC in the MBA isn’t that. Besides, if you had a USB adapter, it would have taken the zap and not your Mac (cheap insurance).
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  • Yep fried. Thankx for how to discover the issue. Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 1:13
  • Hope I was able to provide useful info to assist you.
    – Allan
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 6:53

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