Some 2018 MacBook Pro Owners Experiencing Crackling Speakers

Following the release of 2018 MacBook Pro models last month, some customers have turned to the MacRumors Forums, Apple Support Communities, Reddit, and YouTube to report intermittent crackling from the built-in speakers.


The crackling appears to occur spontaneously during audio playback on both 13-inch and 15-inch models, based on a handful of videos shared by customers. As with many crowdsourced issues, there are a lot of variables involved, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly what may be causing the problem.





Some customers appear to experience the issue while playing music in iTunes, while others are affected when using GarageBand, or playing a YouTube video. Some users also hear the crackling when running Windows via Boot Camp. It's unclear if the crackling is limited to specific volumes or frequencies.

MacRumors forum members have speculated about possible causes, including radio interference due to a lack of shielding, audio drivers, and the T2 chip.

A few years ago, some customers experienced similar crackling from the built-in speakers on the 2016 MacBook Pro, oftentimes when running Windows via Boot Camp. The crackling was so loud that it often permanently damaged the speakers, resulting in the MacBook Pro needing to be repaired or replaced.

Within days, Apple acknowledged the issues in a support document, and released updated audio drivers for Boot Camp with a fix:

If you installed Windows 10 using Boot Camp Assistant before November 25, 2016 on a MacBook Pro introduced in October 2016, it's important that you install the Audio Driver Update for Boot Camp using Apple Software Update for Windows to avoid issues with your speakers.

The speaker issues with the 2018 MacBook Pro don't appear to be as dire, or nearly as widespread, but enough complaints have surfaced that we wanted to bring some attention to the matter in the interest of those affected.

At least one user claims the issue may have been fixed in the latest macOS Mojave betas, which is unconfirmed. Another user claimed that Apple engineers are looking into the matter. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Of course, in a production run of millions of new MacBook Pro units, a small percentage may have defective speakers, but this does appear to be an actual issue that hopefully can be or has been addressed in a future software update.

If you are affected by this issue, we recommend contacting Apple Support. In the meantime, some users have shared potential workarounds, such as resetting the System Management Controller and NVRAM, disabling Hey Siri, or simply rebooting, but these solutions may not be ideal or work for everyone.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
25 months ago

Some of the above comments are not surprising already, as this really is a non-issue, as a software patch *should* be able to repair this problem. But some will make it seem like the 2018 MacBook Pro is a ‘failure’ because of the sound crackling.

I'll tell you what t is not surprising, Apple releasing a computer without testing it nowadays..

If it was such non issue, it would not be there to begin with :), it might not be a failure, and I am sure it is not (yet as you fail to see why people complain, I fail to see why people defends Apple no matter what), but it has pretty much the same issue 2016 and 2017 models had, it would be time Apple addresses them BEFORE releasing the new version.

But I am sure someone will explain us how this is the user's fault :D
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
You're listening wrong.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

What’s the price have to do with anything? That’s the nature of tech sometimes, is that there are glitches and bugs, just like it is with the Apple Watch, the iPhone, the iPad, those all have patches that repair intermittent issues, as it’s not perfect.

The price has to do with it because when you’re purchasing an expensive product you think they’d spend more than 5 seconds to make sure it works properly
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
Apple will now include the option to upgrade to non-crackling pro speakers for an additional $500. :p
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
I went to the Genius Bar today about this problem, but he told me it’s normal.
He told me that it’s part of the courageous deigns...
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

The price has to do with it because when you’re purchasing a expensive product you think they’d spend more than 5 seconds to make sure it works properly

Exactly. $500 Inspiron? No one would probably care. If I'm paying what Apple is charging for the Touch Bar models? I expect damn near perfection. That's the whole point of paying the price premium.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Apple Releases iOS 13.6 With Car Key, Toggle to Turn Off Automatic Update Downloads, Audio Apple News+ Stories and More

Wednesday July 15, 2020 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.6, major updates that come more than a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1. iOS and iPadOS 13.6 introduce new Health, Apple News, and software update features. The iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple has...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

iPhone 12 Could Ship With New Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Tuesday July 14, 2020 10:57 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models could ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design, according to leaked photos from ChargerLAB that surfaced on Weibo today (via Twitter users DuanRui and L0vetodream). The photos depict a USB-C to Lightning cable that has a braided design rather than the standard non-fabric design of the current cables. Apple has never...

Apple Pays Samsung an Estimated $950 Million for Missing OLED Panel Purchase Targets

Monday July 13, 2020 10:03 am PDT by
Apple in the second quarter of 2020 paid Samsung approximately $950 million for not meeting OLED panel purchase goals established in agreements between the two companies, according to display analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants. Samsung last week shared guidance on revenue and operating profit for the second quarter of 2020, which included a one-time gain related to its display...

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - July 2020

Tuesday July 14, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
Apps created for Macs don't typically receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we crated a series here at MacRumors to highlight interesting Mac apps worth checking out. This month's apps focus on productivity and feature great tools for working from home. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Twobird (Free) - Twobird is an email app from...

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...

SoftBank Considering Possible Sale of Arm Holdings as Apple Gears Up for Arm-Based Macs

Monday July 13, 2020 2:00 pm PDT by
SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that include a full or partial sale or a public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank is working with Goldman Sachs Group as an advisor, and the explorations are at an early stage. The Wall Street Journal says that it's unknown how much interest there would be in Arm from financial or industry...

Rumor Suggests New Apple App for Windows Could Be Coming Soon

Tuesday July 14, 2020 1:54 am PDT by
Apple could be working towards the release of a new app for Windows 10, according to a report this week from an Italian website. The blog Aggiornamenti Lumia suggests that an app from Apple is "coming soon" to the Microsoft Store, but stops short of providing additional details. Apple still maintains a Windows version of the iTunes app, which has been discontinued on Mac and replaced by...