internal microphone not working, and earbud mic not recognised

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by matthewhunt, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    #1
    I have a 2010 11" Macbook Air, running OSX 10.8.2. Everything is great, except that the internal microphone suddenly stopped working. Could it be a setting that I don't know about, or is it a hardware problem? Could it be related to the OS upgarde? (I recently upgraded from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion.)

    Also, as the internal mic is not working, I tried to use my Apple iPhone earbud mic as an external mic for my Macbook Air. But when I plug the earbuds in to the headphone jack, the mic is not recognised. The audio input still says "internal microphone", and no sound is recorded via the earbud mic.

    So, ideally, is there something I can do to get my internal mic working? Or how can I get the Macbook to recognise the earbud mic?

    Many thanks for your help, much appreciated.

    Mat.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    wilsonlaidlaw

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #2
    Try repair file permissions

    Usual first aid is always to try repair file permissions. If that does not work, go to library in your user directory then preferences and find a file called com.apple.soundpref.plist and drag in onto the desktop. If library does not show in your user directory then run "chflags nohidden /users/nameofyouruserfolder/Library" in Terminal - obviously replace nameofyouruserfolder with the actual name. After that restart your Mac and see if the microphone works. If it does not, there may be a hardware issue with the sound chip, which I regret is part of the logic board and on the MBA, I don't think is repairable separately. I hope you bought Applecare!

    Wilson
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    #3
    Thanks, Wilson. Microphone still not working, so maybe a hardware problem :/
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    wilsonlaidlaw

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #4
    No mic

    Apart from the sound component on the logic board, there is one other thing it could be. There is a quite fragile cable that carries sound signals within the computer, that may need replacing. Unless you are really good with laptops, this is probably best left to an expert as a lot of an MBA is glued together and you need a spudger plus the knowledge of how to use it, without damaging the underlying board/component. A third party Mac repairer will do this a lot cheaper than an Apple Shop.

    Unless you have Applecare, replacing the logic board is probably uneconomic. As a work around, you could use an external USB sound card like this http://www.amazon.co.uk/1226-bus-powered-interface-compatible-operating/dp/B0048UJ24S At £3.99, it does not exactly break the bank.

    Wilson
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    #5
    Thanks Wilson, that USB seems interesting. I thought it should be possible to use my Apple headset as an external mic, but it doesn't work.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #6
    im having this issue slightly, my internal mic isnt working.. system profiler shows it and system prefs lets me select it but its not working. when i plug earbuds in the mic on them work but not the laptop itself, i did permissions repair and didnt work, i also looked for com.apple.soundpref.plist and it does not show up in my folder. all the other com.apple do tho. any ideas?
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    wilsonlaidlaw

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #7
    Firstly are your library folders showing both in your user and root folders? If not, you need to run the following in Terminal

    chflags nohidden /users/username/Library

    chflags nohidden ~/Library

    Then you should check in both all users and the root library preferences folder for soundpref file. Drag it to the desktop and restart. I have just checked three of my Macs and in each case it was in the user not the root library. If it is not there, then that is probably your issue. You will need to do a repair/reinstall of the OS to get this being recreated. Without the file, your sound devices will not work properly.

    Wilson
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #8

    nope its not in either folder even after doing as you said to do. my speakers work just fine tho? and when i plug the headphones in the mic works on them.. i still need to recreate the file?
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    wilsonlaidlaw

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #9
    I think you do need that file to be there. Sometimes you can force it to recreate itself by going into the Audio Midi Setup in Apps/Utilities and changing some things around on both input and output. Note what the original settings were, so you can change them back later.

    What I think may be happening is that your OS has become corrupted in the sound/audio area, the audio is stuck on some old settings (external microphone) and not auto-detecting what is required.

    Have you reset PRAM? May not help but it will not do any harm. Also do a reset of the SMU - again it will do harm and eliminates any reason for this to be screwing things up. There should definitely be the com.apple.soundpref.plist in your user/library/preferences folder. If it is not re-creating after a restart, then there is undoubtedly something screwy and most likely, this will need a repair/install of the OS to fix.

    The Apple tech would tell you to do this anyway, before he would be prepared to consider hardware issues. If you are using Lion or Mountain Lion, you can do this from the repair boot sector, rather than the original DVD, by holding down the ALT key on a restart and selecting the repair/install disk for start up.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #10
    im on a macbook air, so what i am doing is downloading ML 10.8.2 and going to create a usb recovery and start fresh to see if that resolves it just to rule everything out 100%. ill report back in about 90 minutes.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #11
    complete reinstall did not fix it, even after the clean install of 10.8.2 i DO NOT have that .plist file in either directory.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    wilsonlaidlaw

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #12
    I am afraid it sound like a visit to the Genius Bar is in order. Something weird going on here.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #13
    yep, i visited the genius bar today.. apparently when they replaced my screen 6months ago they forgot to reconnect the mic, only 1 of the 3 prongs were touching so yes it was showing in my hardware profile but prong 2 & 3 not touching were why it wasnt working. all is well now! (little annoyed i did a complete format..)
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    wilsonlaidlaw

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #14
    Glad you got it sorted. I did something similar a few months ago, when I replaced the battery in my MBP (the health was down into the 70's%). I had disturbed a tiny push on surface connector, which linked the lid hinges to the SMU. It meant that MBP did not go to sleep when I closed the lid. Like you, I did all sorts of software messing around with no improvement. When I opened up the MBP again just to check, I could see on very close examination that the connector was standing ever so slightly proud and just needed pressing full home. :(
     

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