Mini 2018 Hissing

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
I know there have been threads on coil whine, but does anyone have a Mac mini 2018 that does not "hiss" when writing or reading large amounts of data or on boot up. Mine hisses, to the point I can hear about 4 feet away (very subtle). Debating if it is a "defect" worthy of dealing with Adorama returns or if it is expected behavior to learn to tune out.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
636
United States
I know there have been threads on coil whine, but does anyone have a Mac mini 2018 that does not "hiss" when writing or reading large amounts of data or on boot up. Mine hisses, to the point I can hear about 4 feet away (very subtle). Debating if it is a "defect" worthy of dealing with Adorama returns or if it is expected behavior to learn to tune out.
Hearing a hiss at 4 feet is not normal. Hearing a hiss at 1 foot is not normal.

So, there's three main possibilities moving forward...

1. You have an interference issue and you need to track down what's causing it, because exchanging for a new unit will have the same issue.

The way to troubleshoot is to isolate as many variables as possible. It could be any device hooked up to the mini with a cable or even wirelessly (the display, speakers, mouse, keyboard, etc). It could be another device in the vicinity not directly related to the mini (tv, smart speaker, stereo, etc.). It could be its placement in the room. And so on.

The first thing I would try is plugging it in in a different room (even better, in a different building) without anything plugged in, turn it on, and go from there, adding back in one device at a time.

2. You determine you have a defective unit - exchange it. Simple as that.

3. You may determine that it's easier to get a different computer than to fix the environmental/device issues.

Best of luck!
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
For all intents and purposes, my Mac mini is silent to my ears. The only time I hear it is when the fan revs up when using Handbrake to convert video files.
Very interesting that you don't have the hissing. Lucky!
 

russell_314

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2019
720
910
USA
Very interesting that you don't have the hissing. Lucky!
My Mac mini is also quiet. When I'm browsing the web or doing something light I can't even hear the fan. I would try unplugging everything except the keyboard, mouse, and power. If it still does it take it to the Apple store. The mini does have an internal speaker so it could be that.
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,419
770
This is such a subjective thing on the "do not have" side. You bring in ambient noise as well as quality of hearing. A lot of people due to age or whatever will have ears that won't be able to detect somewhat faint noises.

I remember my grandparents had a TV with terrible whine of some sort but they couldn't hear it. Everyone else was paralyzed upon entering the room.
 
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palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
This is such a subjective thing on the "do not have" side. You bring in ambient noise as well as quality of hearing. A lot of people due to age or whatever will have ears that won't be able to detect somewhat faint noises.

I remember my grandparents had a TV with terrible whine of some sort but they couldn't hear it. Everyone else was paralyzed upon entering the room.
Very true. That is why I am at a loss on whether or not to risk a RMA for a new unit. It may be subjectively worse than the one I have! :p
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,343
310
Michigan
This obviously is bothering you, and probably for good reason, at least in your ears . Get the RMA and get a replacement. That’s the best thing you can do for your peace of mind. If I had this issue, it’s exactly what I would do.
 

Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2004
812
714
SoCal-Surf City USA
My ears are 64 years old and don't hear much anymore. Left ear is completely dead from a Led Zeppelin concert around 1974 (Indoor Venue!) . Yes, one very, very loud concert killed my left ear overnight.

That said, I only hear my Mini when the fan goes full speed, and then is is still pretty quiet to me. I've never heard any hissing or coil whine (although I may have it). The one program I use daily that ramps the fans up is Parallels. Whenever I run Parallels I hear my fan go full speed.
 
Last edited:

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,343
310
Michigan
My ears are 64 years old and don't hear much anymore. Left ear is completely dead from a Led Zeppelin concert around 1974 (Indoor Venue!) . Yes, one very, very loud concert killed my left ear overnight.

That said, I only hear my Mini when the fan goes full speed, and then is is still pretty quiet to me. I've never heard any hissing or coil whine. The one program I use daily that ramps the fans up is Parallels. Whenever I run Parallels I hear my fan go full speed.
Have you considered using bootcamp over parallels?
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
I actually have a PC Workstation that I use for my heavy lifting. But, for quick and dirty work I just jump on Parallels.

Good suggestion though. I agree bootcamp would be better than Parallels.
Off topic but have you tried Synergy to share your mouse and keyboard between your Mac and work station? I do that with my Mini and Gaming PC and love it.
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
This obviously is bothering you, and probably for good reason, at least in your ears . Get the RMA and get a replacement. That’s the best thing you can do for your peace of mind. If I had this issue, it’s exactly what I would do.
Thanks for your input! I think I will send it back. Sometimes you need to hear logic from someone else. Interestingly, i left Black Magic Speed Test running all night and it actually lessened the hiss. It is still there, but a lot less loud. Not sure why that would happen. Of course that came at the expense of knocking 2% off the SSD Health according to iStat.
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
For any future thread readers, I am bummed to report that I swapped out my Mini for the same spec brand new Mac via Adorama, who was very helpful. The problem is EIGHT TIMES WORSE. I have a recording if I could figure out how to attach. Coil whine and insane hissing... audible over city traffic and a gaming PC from 2-3 feet away (where I keep my computer).

GG Apple. GG.
 

airbatross

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2018
9
12
Sydney, AU
This was the main reason I returned my mini which performance wise was amazing. It's soo annoying in quiet rooms.
Coupled with Bluetooth issues, I decided to wait until they fix them all.
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2008
721
77
This was the main reason I returned my mini which performance wise was amazing. It's soo annoying in quiet rooms.
Coupled with Bluetooth issues, I decided to wait until they fix them all.
TBH I don't see them fixing this. If it is as widespread and common a problem as it appears to be, they seem to be fine. How many users are as anal as MR types like us anyway. :(