Macbook Pro 2011 Speaker Issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by amoergosum, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. amoergosum macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    I just discovered an issue with the internal speakers of my Macbook Pro 2011.
    The balance of the left and right speaker is off.
    When I move the balance slider all the way to the right only the right speaker is active (as it should be). When I move the balance slider all the way to the left, the left speaker is active, BUT also the right (not as loud as the left though).
    Do you have the same problem?
    I'm pretty fussy when it comes to stuff like I'm thinking about returning it.
  2. Treeman574 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    Just noticed the same thing. I wouldn't worry about it, but if you just got the laptop I would get whoever you bought it from to have a look.
  3. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    I'Ve received it (ordered online > Apple Store) 10 days ago.
  4. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Well...if it is like that on all MBPs I'm not going to return it of course.
  5. grazykid, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    grazykid macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2011
    wow you are right, i noticed from the beggining something weird with the speakers but could not understand what it was. this sucks:eek:

    edit: maybe the right speaker is louder in db?

    I am wondering if this might cause panning issues with songs..;
  6. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    I just checked it...when the balance is set to the middle the right speaker
    is louder than the left one.
  7. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    A member from another forum has confirmed the problem.
  8. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Well, I just contacted Apple Care.
    I was told that there's a subwoofer which is located
    somewhere on the right.
    But still...if the balance slider is moved all the way to the left,
    only the left speaker should be active, right?
  9. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    I found that my 15" 2011 MBP exhibits the same issue. Google MacBook Pro and audio balance... this issue has been around for a while. I don't like this, but I just adjusted the balance in my audio settings until it was to my liking. I don't use external speakers.... so not a big deal - I'm not sure if it changes the headphone output - I rarely use headphones. Sounds great and I've forgotten about it.

    Apparently external speakers and headphones are nicely balanced without tweaks.
  10. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    In regards to a subwoofer no. A subwoofer will always have sound to it, it's more of the beat of the sound not the words itself, but it will always have something. Speakers on the left and right will lose sound depending on where you slide the balance.
  11. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008

    Quote (from 2009):
    "I too have noticed the Right Side Imbalance of the sound, when you put the balance all the way to right it completlely
    blocks out the left channel/speaker which it should. But when you put the balance all the way to the left, you can still hear
    sound coming out of the right channel/speaker."
  12. amoergosum thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Check this out >>>

    "You may notice that when you move the Balance slider in the Sound preferences pane far to the left speaker that you can still hear sound from the right side of the MacBook Pro.
    This sound is actually generated by the sub-woofer, but because of its placement, the audio from the subwoofer seems to be coming from the right side speaker. Due to the placement
    of the subwoofer it is normal for the sound stage to seem shifted slightly towards the right speaker. If you prefer, you can adjust the balance control to shift the sound stage to the left or right side."
  13. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Excellent find - I had not seen that. It provides an adequate explanation. Not the best design, but I get it.
  14. StudleyBarbour macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2011
    Speaker imbalance

    Bit of a thread bump, but I just had this experience myself on my new Macbook Pro 15". I normally use headphones or external speakers, which work fine - balance is perfect. But with the internal speakers the sound is noticeably stronger from the right, especially higher notes. With music, all the vocals seem to come from the right speaker. Similarly when watching movies, voices emanate from stage right.

    Adjusting the speaker balance slider leftwards didn't seem to help much, and was annoying to reset anyway when I went back onto headphones. Suspecting there was a fault I took it into the Apple store. Two different techs claimed it sounded normal - "within tolerances". Now I have had each one of my 6 flatmates sit in from of this thing and played music at them, asking if they noticed anything. 5 out of 6 said it sounded like the balance was off, with more coming from the right. The sixth is half deaf anyway.

    I tried out 3 demo machines at the Apple store today - all 15" Macbook Pros. On every one I got the same thing: the right speaker overshadows the left, giving a mono effect. Now I learn that it is due to the placement of the subwoofer. Searching for similar stories I find threads going back to 2008 with people wondering if their speakers have a fault. They do, but it's an inherent design fault rather than one with their machine.

    In a way I am happier to know that "They all do that sir." It's a fantastic machine in all other respects. But it is a bit of a disappointment to find that numerous complaints about speaker imbalance on earlier models have still not been addressed on the new Macbook Pro.
  15. Criticalmass macrumors member


    Apr 12, 2011

    Doubtful. because of the low frequencies involved subwoofer placement matters very little as we have a difficult time determining where the sound is coming from. (we, being humans).

    Besides, Subwoofer frequencies do not jump into ranges like what is being described here. Apple is covering for a design flaw.
  16. Wafflausages macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    i honestly dont know how there would be a design flaw like this especially with apples engineering. its a subwoofer in a laptop it wont have low enough frequencies for it to have the ability to "hide" its location
  17. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    go to settings u can set the balance manually there

    the left side i believe has the sub woofer, so that may be why it sounds weird

    give it a few days u get use to the speakers

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