Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Jonguy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 27, 2008
3
0
I bought a Santa Rosa Macbook Pro in November of 2007. It had an audio issue as best described by one blogger below:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Problem
The issue has three components, as described in this MacinTouch Report:
- A low hiss that is constant whenever the audio circuitry is on
- Static that occurs whenever anything is playing... even something quiet.
- A series of high-pitched noises that occur somewhat randomly. The best comparison I've seen is that it's like listening to those hearing tests where you raise your hand when you hear a tone.

Some Facts
- The problem occurs on ALL Santa Rosa MacBook Pros, 2.2 and 2.4 GHz. It is a design flaw on Apple's part, and returning your machine for a new one will not help. There are plenty of people who say they can't hear the noise, but those people either have high-impedance headphones or speakers, or just don't have very good hearing.
- Only Santa Rosa MacBook Pros seem to be affected by this particular static problem. I've seen some reports of other machines having audio issues, but they are always different.
- The 'Audio Update 2007-001' that Apple released about two weeks ago doesn't fix it. It does fix a popping problem on all Intel Macs (including the SR MBPs), so it's worth installing, but that is a different problem than this one.
- It does seem to be an Apple-specific problem; I've been unable to find any other reports of non-Apple Santa Rosa notebooks having the same problem.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I returned my Santa Rosa Macbook Pro and got a refund. Now, I'm wondering if the new Penryn Macbook Pro's have the same audio issue.

Does anyone know if this audio issue is fixed? The issue was present in both the speakers and audio out jack.

-Jonguy
 

brandon.vong

macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2007
154
0
Now that you mention it, I also noticed this noise emanating from the speakers but thought that it was due to me being tired. Has anyone received their Penryn's to give us an assessment?
 

Jonguy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 27, 2008
3
0
Now that you mention it, I also noticed this noise emanating from the speakers but thought that it was due to me being tired. Has anyone received their Penryn's to give us an assessment?

Which kind of Macbook Pro do you have? Penryn or Santa Rosa?
 

Lyngs

macrumors newbie
Feb 29, 2008
8
0
Bump. Any Penryn-MBP-owners care to inform if the problem is still present on the new MBPs?
 

Pukey

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2008
412
0
Gekkostate
If the issue has something to do with the Santa Rosa platform then wouldn't the Penryn MBPs also have this problem? The Penryn MBPs still use the Santa Rosa platform.
 

Lyshen

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2008
405
20
California
AFAIK, Penryn MBP doesn't have that hissing/popping audio issue. I've played some music and tried WoW on it, no abnormality.

Although I hope to go exchange it later, the right fan is making a rather annoying buzz sound that increases volume as the fan speeds up. Not even 7 days since I bought it... think they'll give an exchange?
 

brettd

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2008
1
0
Yes, Penryn MBP's have crap audio

Does anyone know if this audio issue is fixed? The issue was present in both the speakers and audio out jack.

-Jonguy


It most certainly is not fixed- I found this thread searching to see if it was a common problem. My Penryn Macbook Pro has a full complement of odd audio noises through the headphone jack. There's something coming from the speakers, but thusfar you'd need to probably be in a dead silent room with your ear right up against the keyboard to hear it. The headphone audio is much more annoying.

I'm running off battery power, and currently listening to static in both headphones and a steady tone in my left ear. It does something different every time a program starts/stops audio output- the tone started after a youtube video finished playing. I just played another video, and I've now got a varying static noise and a high-pitched quieter tone in my right ear.

So far, I've heard:

-static
-static noise that fades after playback stops (for example, if you pause a quicktime or youtube video.) It's like a wow-wow-wow-wow that fades out after a few seconds
-a steady tone
-a series of tones after starting playing (ie, the video starts, but is silent/quiet)
-a series of tones after audio stops

I'm listening at a level of about 2-3 dots, and one of the noises was louder than the video. The noise level does not change with the volume control. The noise does not go away if you mute audio output. Oh yeah, and there's a DC voltage of some sort- rotating the headphone plug causes static. Unbelievable.

The MBP (core duo) this machine replaced doesn't do any of this- the audio output on the older system is perfect.

This is clearly a defect, and I'm pissed- we're not even talking about something that would be annoying for audio engineers. It's something that makes the machine annoying for listening to anything on headphones.

What a shame, since otherwise, the machine is great. Runs very cool compared to the Core Duo, battery specs match marketing for the first time in the history of Mac portables, and the LED backlight is quite nice (though: the "matte" screen is noticeably more reflective than the 3-4 other non-Penryn MBP's I've compared it to.)

The trackpad gestures work poorly (pinch/zoom and rotate don't work half the time and are awkward to use) and aren't all that gee-whiz-bang; Apple's claim that it is "revolutionary" is a joke. The only real practical daily use I see is forward/back in Safari, which I suppose is useful.

New mail just came in- it was announced by a squeak-booop-beep and then the usual mail "Ding!". Sigh.
 

Lyngs

macrumors newbie
Feb 29, 2008
8
0
That's ridiculous! This huge problem shouldn't be able to persist on such a pricy and professional product!

It's incredible that this issue can continue to be ignored by Apple.. *sigh* It's driving me insane on my 3 month old 2.2 15'' MBP.
 

Lyshen

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2008
405
20
California
Well on my 3rd Penryn MBP now. I posted about my story in the other thread regarding yellow tint on LCD screen.

Anyways, the second one I had, did not even bother testing the audio due to the other issues I had, which were more noticeable than the audio.

So my current 3rd one, works flawlessly from what I've seen so far. The audio works, no popping, although when I stop playing music, on headphones it plays a very silent noise... like its 'on' and then shuts off the headphones. (Does that make sense?)
 

Lyngs

macrumors newbie
Feb 29, 2008
8
0
Well on my 3rd Penryn MBP now. I posted about my story in the other thread regarding yellow tint on LCD screen.

Anyways, the second one I had, did not even bother testing the audio due to the other issues I had, which were more noticeable than the audio.

So my current 3rd one, works flawlessly from what I've seen so far. The audio works, no popping, although when I stop playing music, on headphones it plays a very silent noise... like its 'on' and then shuts off the headphones. (Does that make sense?)

So the audio seems to have been solved on some of the new Penryn MBPs?
You do not have any R2D2 bleeps when using headphones on your current 3rd MBP?
 

e12a

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2006
1,881
0
(though: the "matte" screen is noticeably more reflective than the 3-4 other non-Penryn MBP's I've compared it to.)

I've noticed that the SR Macbook pros have a different matte finish than my second gen 2.33 MBP. I believe Apple took a step to amend the problems faced by my generation...SO many people were complaining about this graininess that hurt their eyes (threads were posted consisting of pages of so-called sufferers. never bothered me much). I think they modified their matte finish to make people happy. I guess you cant make everyone happy nowadays. first, its too grainy. Next, its too shiny. such is life.
 

Jonguy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 27, 2008
3
0
Update from the thread-starter

Hello all. I stand corrected that "Santa Rosa" is the platform and that "E" is the processor.

Shortly after posting this thread, I went ahead and ordered a Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz Penryn and just received it in the mail today. I can tell you that the new Penryn I received DOES have the same audio issue as the previous generation (bleeps, pops, high-pitched tones from audio).

I called Applecare right away and after going through much explanation, I have a gentleman at Apple contacting the Macbook Pro engineering department to see if they are aware of this issue and if they are working on a fix. I will post again when I get a response in the next couple of days.
 

rezonat0r

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2007
398
0
This sound is nothing new, it's just the well-known CPU whine issue that plagues all Intel laptops going back to at least Pentium M. My post about it is here.

I bet if you install shhmbp, which is a kernel extension that disables the S4/deep sleep processor state, the sound stops. Yeah, I know it says to only install on 1st gen MBPs, but it doesn't matter. It works fine on my 2nd gen.

Now what IS new to me are these reports of the sound being heard through the audio outs. That's definitely not good. But there's not much shielding there, and everything is basically on the same motherboard, so it's no surprise that there is bleed. The whine varies from processor to processor, so hopefully you can get a unit that doesn't have it as badly.
 

TurboSC

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2007
1,361
0
California
it appears there are a lot of people having audio issues as far as boot camp is concerned? I haven't noticed any sound issues in OSX, but boot camped XP is giving me a headache in the audio department.
 

Stridder44

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
3,971
171
California
I just plugged in my headphones into my new 2.5 MBP, and when I turn the sound up and down I hear...uh, almost a tiny electrical sounds. It's just for a second, it it almost sounds like the headphone speakers "turn off" after say 30 seconds. I know it's not my headphones because they work fine on everything else.:confused:

I must be lucky though, because I don't have any of these issues *knock on wood* when actually listening to music or whatnot.
 

brandon.vong

macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2007
154
0
Well on my 3rd Penryn MBP now. I posted about my story in the other thread regarding yellow tint on LCD screen.

Anyways, the second one I had, did not even bother testing the audio due to the other issues I had, which were more noticeable than the audio.

So my current 3rd one, works flawlessly from what I've seen so far. The audio works, no popping, although when I stop playing music, on headphones it plays a very silent noise... like its 'on' and then shuts off the headphones. (Does that make sense?)

I have the annoying buzzing/humming sound when I plug in headphones... and I do hear the noise and then it shutting off. It annoys me... along with my slightly yellow tinted screen. :mad:
 

rezonat0r

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2007
398
0
There is definitely some power saving kicking in on the sound circuitry. On my 2nd gen MBP I notice a slight "tss" sound (like a very quiet, short hi-hat) when starting audio playback if there was no audio previously for a while.

I would say though that if you're hearing electronic noises during normal audio playback that is definitely not normal and points to a bad sound card or bad shielding around the card. Ask for an exchange if that's the case.
 

StuNew78

macrumors newbie
Jan 15, 2007
20
0
I posted about this problem just today.

https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=5137478&posted=1#post5137478

I have to say, it's definately not a 'Pro' output IMHO.

I remember the days when the lack of these issues gave Apple the integrity of brand and workmanship which is linked to their name... unfortunately it's going downhill in some ways, even if they're small, they're important to a niche market such as audio/music.

come on apple, get back on the quality train please.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.