Only one side of headphone/speaker is working

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dwservingHim, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    Hey guys,
    So I have a 15" Macbook Pro and the other day while trying out a subwoofer I got, it started playing only out one side of the headphones or speakers. I know it's not the headphones cause I've tried it on other devices and no matter what is plugged in to it, on only comes out one side.
    From the forums I've read it doesn't seem to be a sound card or the logic board, otherwise it wouldn't be working at all. The most logical explanation is that the connection inside the jack is messed up.

    Does anyone know how to fix this without having to take it in? Even a diagram of inside the headphone jack would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2011
    Are you sure it's a hardware problem? Have you checked the balance in your sound settings? You could also get some compressed air blow it in the jack with the opening facing down, something could have gotten in there and is keeping you from getting a good connection.

    If all else fails you would probably need a logic board replacement since the connectors are built into it. At least on the newer unibody models.
  3. macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Be sure to make sure that your balance is set in the middle on system preferences.

    Screen Shot 2011-10-25 at 8.23.34 PM.png
  4. macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2011
    Also note that balance is independent of output, so just because it was working fine with the internal speakers doesn't mean it still can't be the balance with external speakers. OS X will remember the setting for each and automatically adjust them based on what output is selected.

    You could also try a PRAM reset, but I doubt it will do anything.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    Yeah, checking the balance was one of the first things I did and that's not the issue. Also, from every forum I've read, it seemed like when the logic board went out it affected both side of the speakers, but this is only one. I may need to do that in the end though. Furthermore I already tried the PRAM reset and that didn't do that magic either. I've taken a cue tip with some rubbing alcohol on it and cleaned out the jack, but again no luck. Any other ideas or a diagram? Thanks for your responses though.
  6. macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2012
    I found this thread when searching for my problem, and for me it was a simple balance issue. Thanks for the input!
  7. macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2012
    hey did u get any solution
    even my macbook pro is giving same problem
  8. macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    I got my Macbook a few months and just using the headphone jack for the first time.

    It's only working in the right earphone Balance is correct. Also it's not the headphones

    I'm fairly pissed
  9. macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2013
    I had this issue with my new 15" Rmbp (speaker balance was fine, however any headphones would play back on right channel only), and it seems I've fixed it.

    I went into the Sound settings, in System Preferences. With the headphones plugged into the phone jack, I checked the balance settings, and to my dismay they balance knob seemed fine and centered. I played with the knob and re-centered it, and this mysteriously seems to have fixed it. Now the audio is playing balanced through headphones.
  10. mishkinn, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014

    macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    Check audio/MIDI settings

    This same thing just happened to me (even though my mac is less than a year old), but it was an easy fix in the end.

    Go to your Applications folder and choose the Utilities folder. Inside Utilities, choose Audio/MIDI setup.

    Make sure your output is set to 2-channel at 44100.0 Hz. If it got reset to 1-channel for some reason, then your computer would play the sound as mono, so just select 2-ch in the drop down. But in my case, the value of my 2nd channel was marked all the way down, while the 1st channel was at it's highest volume. So I just dragged the 2nd channel bar to match.

    Sometimes an update to your Mac operating system can throw off your audio settings. But mine did it apparently for no reason, so maybe something happened when I installed a software. Beats me... but glad it's working properly now.

    Hope this helps!
  11. macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2015
    Only one side of headphone/speaker is working - fixed!

    Thanks mishkinn,

    I also had the same problem, and like johnnnw, I too, was pissed, as my macbook is only 8 months or so old. Anyway, Mishkinn's suggestion worked. Had to go into utilities/Audio MIDI Setup.exe, and had to play around the the levels. It actually was set to 2 channel but for some reason when I started sliding the slider around, selecting other options, and then finally, unplugging and replugging in my headphones, it started to work just fine. Very relieved to know it wasn't a hardware problem.

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