Sierra Sound Problems

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by alphacrust, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. alphacrust macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
    I guess I'm hoping this might well have been posted before and somebody can point me in the right direction as this is starting to my head in...

    My late 2009 27" iMac seems to have developed a problem where it insists a pair of headphones is plugged in and there's no internal audio option in the preferences.

    I've tried a PRAM reset which will cause the startup chime to be heard making me think it's a possible software issue but once the mac reboots I still get the headphone only option.

    Plugging in a pair of headphones gives me a faint bit of static noise whilst the mac reboots / configured itself but no system audio.

    Also noticed a distinct lack in responsiveness from keyboard presses to adjust the volume.

    Tried a fresh install of both El Capitain and Sierra but both seem to be giving the same problem.

    Any help at this stage would be greatly appreciated.


  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Mr. Obvious would have to assume there's an issue with the hardware somewhere from the motherboard to the audio jack.

    Did you mean that you don't hear any audio through headphones when they're plugged in?

    Also...describe the "lack of responsiveness from keyboard presses to adjust the volume".
  3. alphacrust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
    I don't hear anything from the headphones whilst they're plugged in. You'll hear a little static, but that's about it.

    I did a complete clean install of Sierra last night. Once the install had finished the iMac ran perfectly fine showing the internal audio / making the correct sounds when the keyboard is pressed to adjust the volume. A reboot this morning now shows the only option is Headphones, the response back from the iMac after pressing the volume up or down keys is lagging by about a second.

    Just seems a little odd that it appears to be intermittent which I presume would rule out a failure of the headphone socket. Local Apple Dealership seems to think it could be a problem with the audio chip maybe ?
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Maybe, or an intermittent failure of the socket. Given the age of the Mac, I'd suggest picking up an inexpensive set of USB speakers and call it good.
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland

    I could ask you what "System Information" reports about Audio but if it were me I'd consider this my opportunity for an audio upgrade.

    You can spend whatever you like on speakers. I see USB audio jacks on Amazon for less than $10. Be sure to check for Sierra compatibility in the reviews.
  6. jonal17 macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2017
    I have same problem. I am using a 2009 iMac running Sierra. I'm using the internal speakers and they suddenly cut out and go to sound to the external speaker which is attached by a USB port. in the volume setting application the internal speaker option has been greyed out. Then a few hours later the speakers come back on using the internal speaker. I am at a complete loss what to do

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5 January 31, 2017