I'm afraid I may have irreversibly harmed my internal speakers, or sound system in general.

Yesterday, I was trying to find a way to hook up my electric guitar to the computer. I, logically, thought that going through my amp and running the amp to the macbook line-in was the best course of action.

What came through my external speakers was just muffle-ly cracked noise that were very unstable sounding. After failing to get a decent sound, I found that my sound in general sounded really weird.

Now I get sound through the headphone jack, but it has odd sound artifacts around any sounds that are played, and when removed the internal speakers do not make any sound at all (but APPEAR available on the system and I can still adjust the volume). Here's what I've tried so far:

  • Tickling the sensor in the phone jack, managed to turn the red light on and off several times. No effect.

  • Hardware reset (by holding the power button for a while... could not hear the system "dings" though, due to the absence of sound)

  • Logging in to Linux partition. Same problem there.

  • Changing sound inputs a couple times and starting up and shutting down garageband with new and old projects.

Any other ideas? Or have I permanently harmed my sound system?

EDIT: Wanted to add that this macbook is past warranty and there's no apple stores nearby anyway. So I won't be taking it to a retailer.


1 Answer 1


Given that you changed OS's -- to the linux partition -- and still had the same problem, it sounds like a hardware problem.

If you did damage the hardware, don't worry -- you're not completely screwed. This may be the best excuse to upgrade your audio hardware with an external sound card.

Creative has some great ones that I have used along with Adobe Audition. However most of them are PC only... but in their professional brand (E-MU), they have some great ones for mac.

Creative's professional brand, E-MU is what I currently use. Details here:

Amazon link here:

  • This sounds, likely, like what I should do. But despite the lack of sound on the system... I can hear sound, albeit not of the best quality, when I have headphones plugged in. The only thing I can figure is that I must have damaged the speakers themselves, on the laptop.
    – Garrett
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 18:55
  • @Kayle: if the speakers themselves are damaged, they're not particularly difficult to replace yourself. ifixit.com has step by step guides on replacing just about anything in your macbook. Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 19:20

You must log in to answer this question.

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