Apple Says Latest macOS Supplemental Update Addresses Audio and Kernel Panic Issues on 2018 MacBook Pro

Apple on Tuesday released macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update 2, exclusively for 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models, but the release notes only mention improved stability and reliability.

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When contacted by MacRumors for clarification, Apple said the Supplemental Update improves system stability and reliability across a number of areas, and addresses several issues, including crackling audio and kernel panics. Apple said it recommends all users install the update on their MacBook Pros.

The 1.3GB update hasn't been available long enough yet for any conclusive evidence from affected users, with mixed reports across the Apple Support Communities, Reddit, and our own MacRumors discussion forums.

Apple Support Communities user takashiyoshida, for example, claimed his MacBook Pro "no longer outputs the crackling noise" after updating.

"This evening, I set the microphone and speaker's sampling format to 44100 Hz and began playing back music on iTunes," he explained. "Before the update, I would normally hear the noise in about an hour. I left my MacBook Pro to play music for about three hours and so far I am not hearing any noises."

Reddit user onceARMY, however, commented that he was "still getting audio crackling noise while playing YouTube content on Safari." He did note that there were "no issues with the Spotify app" after installing the update.

As far as kernel panics are concerned, a handful of users have reported experiencing at least one since installing the Supplemental Update.

"Installed today's update… and then it happened," wrote MacRumors forum member King724, referring to a kernel panic. He shared a log indicating a system crash related to bridgeOS, the device firmware on the logic board that controls many functions on the 2018 MacBook Pro, including the Apple T2 chip.

Last month, Apple said it was looking into a small number of indirect reports about the kernel panics, but wouldn't say if the T2 chip was to blame.

Similar reports of kernel panicking began last year with the iMac Pro, which is also equipped with the T2, so it did—or perhaps still does—seem to be a potential issue with the chip, or the bridgeOS firmware that manages it. There was some speculation that the T2 chip was also to blame for the crackling.

For context, the T2 chip integrates several previously separate components, including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller. It also features a Secure Enclave coprocessor for secure boot, encrypted storage, and authenticating Touch ID.

Prior to yesterday's Supplemental Update, Apple support representatives provided customers with a wide variety of potential solutions to mitigate these issues, ranging from disabling FileVault to turning off Power Nap, but none of the workarounds appeared to permanently fix the problems.

Apple also asked some customers if they would be willing to send in their MacBook Pros so that its engineers can look into the issues. Some customers were apparently told that fixes were in the works, and at least based on what Apple told us, they are included in the Supplemental Update.

This is the second macOS High Sierra Supplemental Update for the 2018 MacBook Pro in as many months, with the first addressing a bug that contributed to excessive throttling of clock speeds under heavy thermal loads.

The Supplemental Update is not available to macOS Mojave users, but the issues could be resolved in future beta versions.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"

Top Rated Comments

CrazyForCashews Avatar
38 months ago
Ever since Apple redesigned and updated the MacBook Pro in 2016, there's been nothing but bad news and problems with them. Even more infuriating is how expensive these laptops are. At this point, the redesigned MacBook Pros have a tainted image that I certainly don't want to be a part of.

Get your **** together Apple, making great laptops should be child's play for you. Lay off the iPhone green for a while and sober up.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
86939 Avatar
38 months ago
#TimCooksApple
I hate this kind of response. I have spent tens of thousands of my own money on Apple products over the past decade (including $6,000 on the new MBP). Perhaps you're too young to remember, or just forgot, but things weren't 100% rosy when Steve was around. Remember Antenna Gate on the iPhone 4? We were all holding it wrong... Or how about how gawd awful Apple's cloud offerings used to be? Ever heard of Ping? Social for music...yeah, Myspace already happened.

Crap happens, and at least they are being proactive about trying to fix the issues.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Delgibbons Avatar
38 months ago
How’s about updating your software so it doesn’t pi$$ing stutter? I recently copped one of these and even Safari stutters when scrolling simple sites, I was shocked given the hardware and high price. Straight up embarrassing from Apple and goes to show it’s the software that really matters. Don’t care about pointless benchmarks. Will be returning mine as it doesn’t feel it’s worth £2,699 at all.

Edit: Running the latest Mojave beta which is supposed to be smoother but it isn’t? I guess you people had a different definition of ‘smooth’ to me. I can’t straight from a late 2013 MacBook Pro running Mavericks and it’s shocking the difference in smoothness (and design too which is hideous looking in comparison to Mavericks in my opinion).
God knows how Apple would manage developing an OS like Windows for BILLIONS of hardware combinations.

Apple can't even develop a stable OS for the 10 or so hardware configurations they haven't forced obsolescence on....
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
38 months ago
Does this also address the kernel panics I've been getting on my 2016 MBP w/TB? Every time I zoom in and out on Google maps I get it.
No. The article clearly says 2018 MacBook Pro. If your model isn't mentioned, this update doesn't cover it. Pretty plain and simple.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alphazoid Avatar
38 months ago
Gone are the days when all you had to worry about with the MacBook Pros was whether you got a Samsung or LG display.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheMacDaddy1 Avatar
38 months ago
The 2108 Throttlebook Pro has gotten off to a terrible start. Worse when you consider it builds upon the controversial 2016/17 Mabook Pro to begin with.

Apple just needs to end the Mac because they seriously do not care about it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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