2012 13" MBA Ultimate speaker buzz and gray backlight issue.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Tuppery Numnak, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Tuppery Numnak macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I recently ordered a CTO 13" i7, 512 SSD, 8GB machine from Apple (they didn't have that machine in stock at the time). It took over a week to receive the machine (coming from China). I was on a fence between a 13" MBA ultimate or the $2199 rMBP (I was coming from a mid-2008 pre-unibody 15" MBP) but decided on the Air because I only do a little bit of Lightroom work, light gaming, but mostly web browsing and listening to music, and wanted the 512 SSD vs. the 256 SSD on the rMBP.

    I received my Air...I noticed it immediately upon turning on the machine that I had the dreaded gray/backlight issue along the bottom of the whole screen. I never got a chance to look before I swapped the machine, but due to the saturation of the display, I assumed it was a Samsung.

    So, I took it to Apple where they had the ultimate in stock (only had it for less than a day) and they swapped it no questions asked. I turned on the new machine and immediately saw the same gray/backlight issue along the bottom of the whole screen. At that point I was just frustrated, I had to do another data migration from my old machine AND this one didn't come with Mountain Lion, so I had to install that.

    I figured I would just deal with the "issue" and eventually get over it. Well, I've discovered another issue. Whenever I play music at 60% or higher on certain songs, I get a bad rattling/feedback/buzz sound. I've heard it's the speakers vibrating the keys, but when I put my hands on keys...the buzzing is still going on. It doesn't help that I'm an audiophile.

    I'm wondering who else has had both of my issues and if they ever got them resolved? Taking ANOTHER trip to the Apple store on Friday to swap it again, fingers crossed I get a "good" machine. A $2200 computer, you'd think I could get one that meets mine and Apple's standards.
     
  2. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #2
    Can you post a pic of the screen issue? I've never seen a "perfect" screen perfectly evenly lighted along the bottom on a white or grey screen, but I've also seen some that are much worse than others. If you are expecting perfection there, you may have a hard time finding it.

    The speakers aren't really meant to satisfy audiophiles - they are as good as they can be in a system of this size. I have heard some people complain of rattles - can you reproduce for the folks at the Store?
     
  3. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #3
    It's so faint on the screen, it's hard to take a good photo...maybe it's not as bad as some others. Yeah, the speaker rattle is the more important issue. Though I'm an audiophile, I don't expect Bose-esque quality, but on the same token, I don't expect a rattle/crackling. I worked at Apple for 3 years so I still have many contacts there that will take care of me.

    Just posting to see what type of feedback people have for these. I know there are a couple of other threads floating around out there.
     
  4. MaulRx Suspended

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #4
    I just bought the 11" MBA yesterday and I've not noticed any problems with the screen. However, the speakers have horrible static and buzzing that changes intensity both with the volume level and where my hands are placed on the keyboard. Interestingly, it only seem to be with system sounds and not through iTunes.
     
  5. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #5
    Glad you have no screen issues. Ahhh, my issue is when I'm playing music in iTunes. Spoken word is even worse.
     
  6. Wokis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #6
    Sounds like the thing I had with my right speaker. Certain frequencies would make a distortion. Made me cringe, not pleasant to listen to.

    It's currently in for repair. Been without it for a week :(
     
  7. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #7
    SAME HERE! Not pleasant at all.

    I really hope it comes back and is fixed. There is nothing worse than being without your machine, getting it back, and the problem is still there. I'll post about my new machine once I exchange it. Crossing my fingers.
     
  8. MaulRx Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #8
    Upon further investigation I can get my MBA to produce the rattle\static by forcing it to play a similar sound repeatedly, an error sound for example. Since I don't hear anything during music or movie playback I'm assuming it's just the physical quality of the speakers.

    Thinking of taking it back for a new one but I don't really want to download Mountain Lion again...
     
  9. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #9
    That is what I'm worried about. I'll be on my THIRD Air. If the next one has the same problems...I'm not sure if I'll keep it and deal with its flaws...or debate going to the rMBP.
     
  10. MaulRx Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #10
    It may just be a flaw inherent to the design of the computer. Try this: Go to systems preferences and then sound. On the Sound Effects tab, with your speakers all the way up, quickly click on the sound 'Funk' a few times. Now try it with your palms resting on the metal...

    It almost sounds like its physically jumping about in the case.
     
  11. dbdynsty25 macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    #11
    It's actually funny you mentioned the rattling keys. That annoyed me to no end on my 11" 2011 Air and now that I've got my rMBP I was thinking it may be too big and I'd go back to the 13" Air, but now that you reminded me...I'll stick with my retina. LOL. It's definitely a design flaw and it annoyed me nearly every day I tried to listen to podcasts or music from the internal speakers. Insane how that gets through quality control.
     
  12. Tuppery Numnak, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012

    Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #12
    The more replies I'm seeing, the more I may not even deal with the hassle of exchanging and migrating all of my data if it's going to keep happening. I'd go for the rMBP in a second...but I want 512 SSD...I hate external drives and a 256 SSD just isn't big enough. Can't justify spending ANOTHER $500 to go from 256 to 512.
     
  13. Wokis macrumors regular

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    Jul 3, 2012
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #13
    Thanks!

    I got a status update from the shop now saying spare parts are ordered. So I guess at least they were able to replicate the problem. Something I was afraid they might miss if they played tones that didn't make the rattling appear.

    I left a 1KHz tone in a QT export on the desktop and gave them my password, though. Maybe that did help if the guy I talked to ever took a note of it.

    Seems it's a thing that a repair shop can fix, then. It's an apple authorized thing so it'll go on my warranty and all. Maybe you could go that route? Though perhaps they can't fix the screen :/
     
  14. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #14
    3rd Air.

    I ended up swapping the second Air. Speakers are completely fine, even at the highest volume. Screen had a bit of the graying at bottom but I could deal.

    Well...all of a sudden...two nights ago I was watching a YouTube video full screen. The scrub bar dropped off the screen and there it was...a blue stuck pixel. I have THE worst luck. I now have a genius bar appointment to get the screen replaced (not going through another computer exchange/data transfer) and hope that it will be the end of all drama with this machine. The Air is the only computer I want from Apple, so I either have to get it right or just deal. Hoping the Genius team will put it back together properly. :)

    Time will tell.
     
  15. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #15
    Keeping this Air...

    So, the Genius Bar just swapped my Air with the dead pixel instead of sending it out to be replaced. The new Air has virtually no graying at the bottom, it's a Samsung display. However, it has a bit of backlight bleed (only on white/gray screens).

    I'm not sure I want to take another chance on swapping it and getting a machine with a worse screen. I'm pretty sure with screen issues on these Airs, we are fighting a losing battle. Though it's not perfect...I don't think there is an Air that is. Maybe whenever they release a high-res Air down the road...
     
  16. Luigi3 macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #16
    Dude... you have just bad luck... I think that even seriously broken Air would be better than 'almost-perfect with trifles' Air.

    On the other hand... Almost everyone have some issues with their Air... and bleeding is very common, unfortunately. If you don't see it, just have fun with Air. Replacing would be fatiguing and you have no guarantee that next Air will be perfect.

    But this is your decision. Nontheless, as you can see, there is no pefect Air;) These laptops are too thin and exposed on issues.
     
  17. Tuppery Numnak thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    #17
    That's the thing...everyone has some issue. I think it's ridiculous that I can't get an Air I'm 100% satisfied with. You're right though, I don't want to deal with the fatigue of exchanging it all again.
     
  18. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

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    Jan 5, 2011
    #18
    I'm not sure there is a "perfect" Air. Even if you found one, you'd scratch it 10 mins later and it wouldn't be perfect anymore.
     

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