Headphones only work if already plugged in when the Mac is turned on

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Naramis, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Naramis macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2013
    I have a 13” mid-2012 MacBook Air running Mountain Lion.

    I recently noticed this problem with headphones. If I plug them in when the laptop is already running, they don’t work at all. Sound continues to play through the speakers, and the OS doesn’t recognize that headphones were plugged in.
    If I go to Sound on the System Preferences, the headphones don’t show up at all on the list of output devices; only the integrated speakers show up.
    If I alt-click on the sound icon on the top bar, there are no headphones listed under output devices either. The sound continues to play normally through the speakers as if the headphones weren’t plugged in.

    However, if I plug in the headphones when the machine is turned off, and then turn it on, they work perfectly (well, sound quality isn’t great, but they work).
    If I then unplug the headphones and plug them back in, they don’t work anymore as described above.

    I tested this with multiple headphones, all of which work normally on other devices like my PC, iPod and Android phone. I tried resetting PRAM and that other thing (SNC?), didn’t work either.

    I don’t think it’s a hardware problem, since it works normally under specific conditions. Sounds more like a software bug, but I’m no expert..

    I searched around for issues like this, but only found generic answers which didn’t solve the problem, as well as unanswered posts.
  2. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    2 questions:
    1. Is it still under warranty?
    2. Have you gotten your Air wet or done anything which might be considered accidental damage ie your fault, which would've caused this bug?

    If the answer is yes to 1 and no to 2, just take it to the Apple store and they'll fix it for you :) Otherwise it sounds like a hardware bug (headphone socket malfunction) and idk what to say for that.
  3. Naramis thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2013
    I don't have access to warranty on my country :(

    If it's really a hardware problem, the only solution I can think of is getting bluetooth headphones to circumvent this problem.. do they work alright with the MBA?

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