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waloshin
Jul 23, 2011, 12:17 AM
2011 Macbook Air sound recall?

I've read on the mac forums that some people are noticing a sound quality issue with there new 2011 MBA's. Anyone here notice anything?



Vihzel
Jul 23, 2011, 12:24 AM
No problems here. I can turn the volume up all the way and the sound is just fine.

mcpelto
Jul 23, 2011, 09:53 AM
Yes there is a noticeable difference between the new gen vs previous gen macbook air. ive compared the 2 and the new gen is not as full sounding and has a "tinny" sound. you may not even realize unless you heard them together. i contacted support and they said there is a recall or notice about sound issues so i am taking it in to have checked out tomorrow. will let you know.

richard371
Jul 23, 2011, 10:36 AM
Mine sonds fine. Its not super loud but I do not see any problem with it. i sold my 2010 so can't compare. If they recal im not taking mine back as i have all Samsung parts and don't want to get the Toshiba ssd or LG panel lol.

Oli3000
Jul 24, 2011, 05:47 PM
Any further info on this?

My right speaker buzzes at high volumes/video calls when people speak occasionally... Tis annoying!

mcpelto
Jul 24, 2011, 06:09 PM
Yes, so there is an issue with the external speaker sound on the new macbook airs. I took mine in and there is an "engineering notice" out on them. You may not even notice the sound issue if you had nothing to compare it to. But don't settle for a tinny or weak sound. Take it back. Mine would have been exchanged today - but they were sold out. another couple days before I get it but hopefully no more issues.

PaulWog
Jul 24, 2011, 08:36 PM
Yes, so there is an issue with the external speaker sound on the new macbook airs. I took mine in and there is an "engineering notice" out on them. You may not even notice the sound issue if you had nothing to compare it to. But don't settle for a tinny or weak sound. Take it back. Mine would have been exchanged today - but they were sold out. another couple days before I get it but hopefully no more issues.

So I wonder how we find out whether we have a recall version or a good version, if they already have good versions out. Maybe only some are up for recall?

Either way I hate these kinds of things... :( I'm satisfied with my MBA... a recall, however, makes me nervous.

runtohell121
Jul 24, 2011, 08:43 PM
Kind of want to know about the recall so I can take back my toshiba ssd+lg display on the i5 4gb MBA 11 :D lol

joyrolo
Jul 24, 2011, 09:56 PM
hm...i just placed an order on friday too..planning on calling customer service tomorrow to ask about this..

jason.siegel
Jul 24, 2011, 10:38 PM
Is there an official document about this?

tbobmccoy
Jul 24, 2011, 10:58 PM
I too am curious about this one.... I notice a difference between my MBA and my MacBook Pro, although to be fair, the MBA's speakers are definitely smaller and I would imagine not as high quality anyway as the Pro's....

jason.siegel
Jul 24, 2011, 10:59 PM
Compared to my Late 2008 Aluminum Macbook they sound really impressive…

eckthroi
Jul 25, 2011, 06:40 PM
I have looked everywhere but cant find anything about this- has anyone been able to confirm this "speaker issue"?

tbobmccoy
Jul 25, 2011, 06:48 PM
I have looked everywhere but cant find anything about this- has anyone been able to confirm this "speaker issue"?

I don't think it's actually there; the speakers are naturally going to be weaker than larger speakers... maybe just an isolated case, if that.

Typswif2fingers
Jul 25, 2011, 06:50 PM
I have looked everywhere but cant find anything about this- has anyone been able to confirm this "speaker issue"?

NO.

If my MBA has the problem, it also must be that my MBP has the problem too... MBA almost seem louder... Not really just it seems so..

In any case... If anyone has any official documents.. it would be nice..

psirix
Jul 25, 2011, 06:55 PM
I have the 2010 11" MBA and just purchased the 13" 2011 on Thursday. I definitely notice the difference. IMO the speakers on the new MBA sound very flat compared to the speakers in my 11" 2010 MBA. I'm waiting at the Apple Store now, hope to get some sort of an explanation...

eckthroi
Jul 25, 2011, 07:01 PM
I have the 2010 11" MBA and just purchased the 13" 2011 on Thursday. I definitely notice the difference. IMO the speakers on the new MBA sound very flat compared to the speakers in my 11" 2010 MBA. I'm waiting at the Apple Store now, hope to get some sort of an explanation...

Let us know what they say

theSeb
Jul 25, 2011, 07:01 PM
2011 Macbook Air sound recall?

I've read on the mac forums that some people are noticing a sound quality issue with there new 2011 MBA's. Anyone here notice anything?

Can't hear a thing.

eba
Jul 25, 2011, 07:07 PM
No problem here.

ovrlrd
Jul 25, 2011, 07:16 PM
No issues here on the 11-inch, it sounds exactly like the 2010 model I replaced.

onthecouchagain
Jul 25, 2011, 07:21 PM
Sounds pretty good on mine. Very impressive for such a small unit, however I have no ways to compare to the old Air, so I'm not well equipped to say it's better or worse. Hm... interesting to see this as it develops.

bursthead
Jul 25, 2011, 07:24 PM
I get a slight buzz off the keyboard or speaker, when I have the volume maxed out. Like a blown out speaker.. This is actually my replacement and I didn't experience this on my other 2011 air.

TheRealDamager
Jul 25, 2011, 07:31 PM
No issues here on the 11-inch, it sounds exactly like the 2010 model I replaced.

I watched "Breaking Bad" on my 2011 13" last night, and it sounded fine. I had the 2010 13" as well, and don't notice much difference between the 2.

psirix
Jul 25, 2011, 09:05 PM
After about a 45 minute wait at my local Apple Store, I explained the issue. The people at the store by me claim they have not yet heard of such an issue and there is not any "engineering note" available. However, they quickly exchanged it, no questions asked. I have not yet opened the new one and probably will not have time to post about this for a few days, but I will definitely let you know how the replacement is.

eckthroi
Jul 26, 2011, 12:30 AM
Please let us know once you do

Obscurelight
Jul 26, 2011, 12:50 AM
For me everything sounds just fine on the 11". Actually, I'm surprise at the volume this little guy can pump out. No buzz or weird sounds at the lowest or highest spectrum of the volume.

richard371
Jul 26, 2011, 01:22 AM
I've been playing Rush, Metallica, Journey, and Celine Dion and my 11 air sounds loud and clear to me.

Davidkoh
Jul 26, 2011, 02:35 AM
Any further info on this?

My right speaker buzzes at high volumes/video calls when people speak occasionally... Tis annoying!

Got exactly the same problem. Try moving your head to right over the screen and see if you still hear it, I don't, cannot see the screen then though, so it is not a fix :p.

marrzie
Jul 26, 2011, 02:43 AM
After about a 45 minute wait at my local Apple Store, I explained the issue. The people at the store by me claim they have not yet heard of such an issue and there is not any "engineering note" available. However, they quickly exchanged it, no questions asked. I have not yet opened the new one and probably will not have time to post about this for a few days, but I will definitely let you know how the replacement is.

Please let us know once you do

Clearly he doesnt have the new MBA............ just look at his sig. :D:D

maka344
Jul 26, 2011, 04:59 AM
My new 13" has this problem. You can't notice it until 90% volume, it's cracklery and sounds terrible. My replacement is on the way. Apple credited me £100 as a good will. So with student discount I'm paying £845 for a 13" 128gb air.

Oli3000
Jul 26, 2011, 02:08 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

How did you manage that :o I may as well complain about the buzzing in mine if that is the case!

rchip
Jul 26, 2011, 03:01 PM
I can confirm there is an issue, i got my air today and it was buzzing, i've arranged for it to be collected for a refund! Hah i didnt get £100 though, i picked one up at the apple store which isnt buzzing and sounds way better! I actually have both machines at home to compare!

Tootles
Jul 26, 2011, 05:22 PM
My 11" i5 MBA's speakers sound great! I'm loving what I hear out of these "wimpy" little speakers. I never would've thought to check them, since I always have something plugged into the audio output port when listening to music.

bursthead
Jul 26, 2011, 05:33 PM
My new 13" has this problem. You can't notice it until 90% volume, it's cracklery and sounds terrible. My replacement is on the way. Apple credited me £100 as a good will. So with student discount I'm paying £845 for a 13" 128gb air.

I just got my replacement.. Have the same issue...

richard371
Jul 26, 2011, 05:37 PM
Seems like based on the thread the 11" doesn't seem to have this issue.

jason.siegel
Jul 26, 2011, 05:43 PM
No problems on my 13"

NoisyCat
Jul 27, 2011, 12:32 PM
Same here, new 2011 13" MBA with the right speaker buzzing at 75% volume. :(

krogers34
Jul 27, 2011, 01:57 PM
Does anyone have anymore info on this? I noticed it on my 13", but thought it might just be the keys shaking since the speakers are under the keyboard.

Chopstick217
Jul 27, 2011, 02:13 PM
I called apple and they agreed to exchange mine for a new one. I believe they are aware of the issue

krogers34
Jul 27, 2011, 02:37 PM
I have to go to the genius bar for a problem with a different computer so I will ask about this when I am there and let you all know.

technopimp
Jul 27, 2011, 02:53 PM
I have my MBP and MBA next to each other. Played the same mp3, the Air is a lot flatter and tinnier at all volume levels. But, considering how small the speakers are and the dimensions of the case, I suppose they can only be "so good". Plus, I don't use the built-in speakers for really anything anyway.

psirix
Jul 27, 2011, 08:10 PM
I got my replacement 13" MBA open this evening. First thing I did was load up Metallica and I must say this one sounds better than the first unit I had. I still don't think the sound compares quite to that of my 2010 11", but I am much more satisfied.

blowabs
Jul 27, 2011, 09:58 PM
I too would like to return my 13" if this is a problem ...but i too have a Sammy SSD and don't want to chance getting a Tosh drive. I don't hear any buzzing but aren't all laptop speakers tinny??????:(

edit: Just did some listening on 'Radio'....on iTunes and these speakers actually are rocking' on: "Eclectic: Addicts Lounge"....give it a listen to judge your MBA....best i ever heard out of a laptop, period.

[I guess i lucked out twice: Sammy SSD & good speakers]

krogers34
Jul 28, 2011, 01:34 PM
Genius bar said there was nothing from apple about it, but then again they don't always know anything. Happy to be getting my 2008 macbook fixed for free though! Stupid cracking...

reclusive46
Jul 28, 2011, 02:14 PM
Hmm...This is interesting. I did notice something went really dodgie with speakers earlier on some youtube video though. Ran fine on other computers.

hh83917
Jul 28, 2011, 02:58 PM
Here's my take on the problem on the same topic in another thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=13063581#post13063581 :rolleyes:

mcpelto
Jul 30, 2011, 08:39 PM
exchanged for another 2011 air and the speaker quality is still not as good as the 2010 13". im surprised no one has noted this in any reviews.

jackyyeow
Jul 30, 2011, 09:57 PM
exchanged for another 2011 air and the speaker quality is still not as good as the 2010 13". im surprised no one has noted this in any reviews.

As pointed out by a MR member (this thread or other thread, can't remember), you can imagine:

2011:
keyboard
----------
backlights
----------
speakers


2010:
keyboard
----------
speakers


The backlights might not be something huge, perhaps very thin extra layer of component, but sound is very sensitive to any object blocking it, even a thin piece of paper.

hh83917
Jul 30, 2011, 11:26 PM
As pointed out by a MR member (this thread or other thread, can't remember), you can imagine:

2011:
keyboard
----------
backlights
----------
speakers


2010:
keyboard
----------
speakers


The backlights might not be something huge, perhaps very thin extra layer of component, but sound is very sensitive to any object blocking it, even a thin piece of paper.

I agree with jackyyeow, when you cover the 2010 MBA keyboard up with a thick piece of paper, you get similar higher pitched sound and flat bass like the 2011 MBA.

Don't know why Apple didn't put the speakers behind the two thin metal strip right and left to the keyboard and avoid the keyboard backlight film covering them like on the Macbook Pro 13". :confused:

Gemütlichkeit
Jul 31, 2011, 12:27 AM
Seriously lock this thread until further proof is provided.

waloshin
Jul 31, 2011, 01:55 AM
Here's my take on the problem on the same topic in another thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=13063581#post13063581 :rolleyes:

I see, but my thread was made 5 days before yours. :rolleyes:

kkel19
Jul 31, 2011, 02:11 AM
11' with samsung ssd and display 4gb version..no issues here...if anything its louder than my sold mba 11 c2d 2gb ram

RobNor
Jul 31, 2011, 04:39 AM
I have 2010 13" and a 2011 13" and cannot hear any difference at any volume setting

Leon88
Aug 1, 2011, 05:11 AM
Initially i thought my speakers were faulty as i was hearing buzzing noises at 90-100% volume. Then i realised it was the keys on the keyboard vibrating against the metal chassis. If i put my hands over them, the buzzing noise stops :) They sound much better compared to my 13" alum (late 2008).

NoisyCat
Aug 2, 2011, 02:19 AM
I have found the same. If I put my finger on the return key the noise stops...

RobT
Aug 2, 2011, 09:11 AM
I have a 2011 11" MBA and bought an app on the app store called "Boom" In addition to increasing overall volume, it will convert audio and video files to play "better" and it also gives you an EQ to tweak sound.

I'm not saying you should accept a faulty MBA and then buy a tweak in the app store to compensate...if you are having problems...return it. I just thought I'd throw out this option in case it's helpful to someone.

Travisimo
Aug 2, 2011, 07:50 PM
I bought the 11" Air a couple of days ago and all seems well. I have no qualms about the audio volume, but it definitely lacks any kind of bass. I supposed this could be described as "tinny" - but I don't know if this is the norm for the Air or if mine is faulty? Yes, one could say that as long as I'm happy, then there is no problem. On the other hand, if it's supposed to be better than this, then I'd want to investigate further.

My wife has a 2-year old Macbook Pro and the sound is definitely better on that. On the other hand, I realize the Air is much smaller and thinner, so I wouldn't really expect it to have as good of a speaker.

Travisimo
Aug 4, 2011, 07:57 PM
Okay, after a couple of days now with my 11" Air, I'd definitely say the speaker stinks. I can't really say there is something "defective" with it, but it's definitely not very good quality. The overall volume level is sufficient, I guess, but the quality of the sound is very "tinny" as you guys mentioned. There is very little bass response, and the higher frequencies sound too trebly.

In short, the speaker on my Air doesn't sound much better than the speaker on my iPhone. In fact, I'd wager that my iPad's speaker is actually a little better. It's not a deal-breaker for me since I don't actually use the sound too much anyway. But without the ability to Airplay the sound to my home theater speakers (except in iTunes, where I can do that), I'm a little disappointed...

alau0115
Aug 4, 2011, 09:45 PM
I have a 2011 11" MBA and bought an app on the app store called "Boom" In addition to increasing overall volume, it will convert audio and video files to play "better" and it also gives you an EQ to tweak sound.

I'm not saying you should accept a faulty MBA and then buy a tweak in the app store to compensate...if you are having problems...return it. I just thought I'd throw out this option in case it's helpful to someone.

Thanks RobT, after hearing your comment, I tried the boom in both MBA and MBP and it works. It is an interesting app. I enabled it when needed. But I won't turn it on as sometimes it makes MBP too loud for some audio source.

cityathrt
Aug 4, 2011, 10:29 PM
I'm slightly confused at what I should be finding that's wrong on my 11". I turned my favorite rock band's songs up to full volume, and nothing distorted the audio, but I could feel the song through the whole laptop if I put my hands on the MBA. Is this what people are talking about?

Thoughtful
Aug 24, 2011, 03:15 AM
Hi,

Thank you for the thread, I've also found the speaker issue.

For me (with the 2011 13" MBA) the speaker issue is not one of quality but of hissing/static sound. I noticed it a couple of days out of the box and attributed it to a poor audio on the film I was watching. However, in the weeks since I've experienced it on skype calls, multiple shows and music. It doesn't only affect it at the highest levels, either.

Sadly, I'm travelling in the Middle East and can't get back to the UK where I brought my apple for a few months. However, I will phone support tonight and tell them about the issue and let you guys know what they say.

Napolke
Aug 24, 2011, 03:52 AM
2011 Macbook Air sound recall?

I've read on the mac forums that some people are noticing a sound quality issue with there new 2011 MBA's. Anyone here notice anything?

and screen problem too.

reclusive46
Aug 24, 2011, 06:50 AM
Okay, after a couple of days now with my 11" Air, I'd definitely say the speaker stinks. I can't really say there is something "defective" with it, but it's definitely not very good quality. The overall volume level is sufficient, I guess, but the quality of the sound is very "tinny" as you guys mentioned. There is very little bass response, and the higher frequencies sound too trebly.

In short, the speaker on my Air doesn't sound much better than the speaker on my iPhone. In fact, I'd wager that my iPad's speaker is actually a little better. It's not a deal-breaker for me since I don't actually use the sound too much anyway. But without the ability to Airplay the sound to my home theater speakers (except in iTunes, where I can do that), I'm a little disappointed...
What exactly were you expecting from an 11inch notebook?

bizzle
Aug 24, 2011, 06:52 AM
What kind of sound do you guys expect from a laptop that is less than 1" thick? It's sounds better than I would have expected.

macgrl
Aug 24, 2011, 02:40 PM
Mine makes a slight buzzing sound when playing song with big base and volume over 75%. With my Mbp there is no such issue. I just put this down to smaller speakers. Presumably smaller speakers less power etc compared to Mbp / bigger mac means slightly decreased speaker output? The MacBook pro has two speakers on top. Not sure about air I can notice it slightly but I bought this for travel and work not so much playing music. Should I return it? Or would that just be a bit OCD

If it gets worse over time and is within apple care them they will fix it / replace it right?

Nioxic
Aug 24, 2011, 03:54 PM
i don't really use my speakers that much. i know that the speakers aren't good and i'm not considering perfection. :p

They are tiny and hidden behind buttons etc. its very limited how perfect the sound can be. I can just plugin my lovely nice in-ears and ... voila! perfect flawless sound <3 (and then I'm not disturbing anyone in class either!)

at home i have music and video playing on my desktop pc.

macgrl
Aug 24, 2011, 03:59 PM
Same here

boba7523
Oct 1, 2012, 09:01 PM
I'm having this issue with my MBA as well when playing bass-y music and the buzz goes away if i place my palm over the right side of the keyboard.

If my MBA is within its standard 1 year warranty, Apple will either fix it right? Mine is 2011 MBA... Will they replace it with a new 2011 MBA if they don't opt to fix it?

Did they repair it right away at the Genius bar or did it take a few days?