MacBook Air Audio Output Pretty Terrible

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by steve13, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. steve13 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2013
    Is it just me or is the audio output on the MacBook Air pretty terrible? :(

    I just go the newest model and it sounds really bad compared to my 27' iMac from two years ago. When using a decent pair of headphones it's as if the base has been cut in half. The treble is there, but something is lacking. Even my iPad is sounding significantly better. I think I'm going to be stuck listing to everything through my iphone from now on. :confused:
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  3. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
  4. Taskman macrumors member


    Apr 20, 2009
    For being a notebook(ultrabook) is actually sounds really good.
    I bought this years model and it is my first Mac ever and compared to all the notebooks I have owned before it sounds a lot better.

    I would however recommend the boom app which turns the sound into something even better.

    I'm also guessing the 27" have space for better speaker and most likely uses better ones as well. I don't know this so just speculation from my side.
  5. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    It's just you.
  6. hakr100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I think the sound output on my new MBA 13 is pretty decent for a laptop computer that isn't meant to be a "media center/player." It sounds damned good through a pair of headphones or hooked up to a pair of speakers.

    I have a friend with a 17" HP laptop and it has better speakers, but he also needs a wagon to haul his computer around.

    I don't think the MBA is a "replacement" for a desktop computer, but it is one hell of a package for a laptop you have to lug around.
  7. Frost17 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    The audio is not bad at all. I was better than I expected, I'd have yours checked.
  8. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    Bad news, it's just you.
  9. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Get a USB DAC if you're going to plug into good headphones or a nice stereo. It's a Mac, not a McIntosh ;)
  10. steve13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2013
    I was mostly referring to the output sound on headphone jack, not the sound on the actual laptop speakers, that of course is going to be bad.

    I re-listened this morning and there's no doubt the sound is worse then my 27' iMac, iPad and iPhone. I'm not fussy but the bass is just not there. I'll test it against another one to compare, but I think it's a limitation of the hardware (I hope not, everything else is top-notch).

    As for it being a ultra-book and not a media center computer, the iPad and iPhone are pretty light-weight and they are sounding better.
  11. Astrofox macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has any experience or theories on this. I may have to start using my external usb audio interface when I need better sound.
  12. Redrum509 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2012
    The audio sounds good but it is not nearly loud enough!
  13. keystothecity macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Just thought I'd chime in with my two cents here. The audio on my MacBook Air is awesome and definitely up to par with previous models of the Air. Not really sure what OP is talking about.
  14. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Neither is anyone else.
  15. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    It's not my home surround w/ Mirage speakers but it's sufficient. I use Bose headphones usually when watching a movie or longer content and want a 'better' sound.
  16. steve13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2013
    Jokes on me, I rest my PRAM and it seems like it fixed the audio problems. I need to remember to put that into my bag of trick, just wasn't thinking. Nothing to see. :eek:
  17. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    IOW, it was just you. :D
  18. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Mine too. I was quite pleasantly surprised at just how good these little speakers sound and the headphone jack was quite good as well.
  19. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2008
    My output is terrible, but that's because my keyboard cover muffles the sound.
  20. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    try Boom for starters ($6) - - then earphones or even external speakers.
    my 11" Air sounds great, though I do use earphones for watching movies
  21. JPamplin macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2009
    Nashville, TN
    I have a 2011 MBA 11" and I strain to hear The Daily Show videos with everything maxed. It's a tiny laptop - I guess we have to deal with it?

    Earphones. That's the cheapest answer.
  22. vicynic macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2013
    New Jersey
    I was quite impressed by the lack of any background noise on the headphone out, especially since my earphones are very sensitive to any interference. Also impressed by the quality and loudness of the speakers on the laptop for its profile.
  23. Fallingreason macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2013
    It's pretty bad. The iphone5 headphone-out quality is much better.

    I always use an external DAC with my macbook air though.
  24. vicynic macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2013
    New Jersey
    You probably have a bad unit or are suffering from what the OP originally had, but fixed later. I also use a nice DAC for my PC, so I'm coming from a good reference point. The sound is impressive for a thin laptop.
  25. ckeck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    That's odd, I have not noticed this to any degree on my 2013 MBA while using headphones. Now, one thing I did was turn on the EQ in iTunes and I'm using the 'Rock' profile and things sounds pretty good to me. I'm no audiophile though.

    Sounds good on either my Bose in-ear headphones or my V-Moda M80s.

Share This Page