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
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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22 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)
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22 months ago
You're listening wrong.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 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)
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22 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)
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22 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)
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22 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)

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