Suggestions for a broken Macbook Headphone Jack?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BeestieHalls, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. BeestieHalls macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2009
    So this is how the cookie crumbles...

    I got my MacBook 3 years ago this past december. I had the 3 year protection plan, and of course it expired about 3 weeks ago. Yesterday, my earbuds werent working. :( They were ancient ipod ones so i figured they were done. I tried my new skullcandy ones, same problem. It sounded crackly, and the audio would cut in and out. It reminded me of an old CD player i had where the jack went bad on it.

    I tried pulling the plug in and out, a few times i saw the red LED inside of it flash twice as i pulled it out. I tried putting the end of a match inside and slowly turning it, but no luck. In system preferences it shows it switching to headphones, but no sound is coming out of them-not even the normal low hiss you hear from them being on. External speakers work as soon as they're removed.

    I called Apple, of course they can't do much if you aren't under warranty- I reset my PRAM and everything, still nothing.

    I called a mac repair person, he said on my model macbook (Late 2006), the entire logic board would need to be replaced in order for the headset jack to be fixed. I got this answer from another person as well, this would probably run about $500.

    So as you can guess, I'm pretty frustrated. This was an expensive machine, and as a college student i need headphones to work on my computer. My question now is two fold:

    1. Is there ANYTHING you could suggest to fix this-Short of paying $500. I was sort of planning on getting a new macbook eventually but this computer works fine. Id really like it fixed and will take any suggestions

    2. What alternatives would you suggest? Something like this:

    I dont have high hope for it working... I guess bluetooth headphones are my only other options...

    Thanks for anything you might have to help.
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    1. I don't know about the MacBooks, but on my iBook it would be possible to simply remove the headphone jack from the logic board and solder a new one in, although doing so would require a lot of precision to avoid screwing anything else up.

    2. A USB sound card is the way to go, I think. You can also get USB speakers if that's the way you roll.
  3. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    If you look in the headphone jack is the red light still shining? If so, insert your headphone plug (or the match) and see if you can get it to go off. If it's not on I would imagine your only other choice would be one of these: USB to Audio Converters
  4. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    I don't really have anything constructive to add other than to say that the exact same thing is happening to me on my 3-year old MacBook as well. First the internal speakers went, now the headphone jack is going... guess I'm going to have to pony up for a new MacBook sooner than I expected.
  5. BeestieHalls thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2009
    Thanks for that link, that converter looks a bit better than the one that i found.

    This is really frustrating that after investing so much money in something like this is ruined by something that should be simple to make in a high quality fashion. Ive had macs for a long time, and I'm no longer feeling like theyre the best option-especially after this experience.

    Im not going to replace my computer with a computer that's essentially no different than the one i have now thats currently available from them-and theyve had 3 years to come up with something way better. People with the unibody macbook pros have problems with their headset jacks, too. And especially since the protection plan is a must... I cant count the number of times ive had to send this computer in for little things to be fixed that went wrong.

    Im seriously considering investing my money elsewhere next time around. I'm very disappointed.
  6. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    Try blowing some compressed air inside the jack (last ditch effort i guess). otherwise, bluetooth headphones might be a good alternative.
  7. LGgeek macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2010
    Try wireless headphones

    I have same problem (tried toothpick,air,etc nothing worked) , out of warranty and not worth the $ to fix motherboard. I use a pair of Sony wireless Bluetooth headphones (model DR-BT101) and they work fine.
    they cost about $45-50 , so inexpensive solution.
  8. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    1. Buy a can of compressed air, and a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol
    2. Power off your MacBook (remove battery if you can)
    3. Run the compressed air can under hot water until it's mildly warm
    4. Now blow out the headphone port by sticking the small red tube into it and move it in and out a few times while pulling the trigger fully
    5. Clean off the plug of a pair of ear phones using the alcohol
    6. Dip the end of the earphone plug in the alcohol and quickly plug it into your MacBook (91% evaporates very quickly)
    7. With it in, do 360's with the plug (Again try to be quick so it doesn't evaporate)
    8. Now pull out the plug and blow out the headphone port again (You want to blow away the liquid with the dirt still floating in it instead of just letting it dry back in place
    • Repeat until the sound is not scratchy anymore

    Pro tip: Don't turn the compressed air can upside-down/sideways while using it and always pull the trigger once before blowing off anything (that way any liquid in the nozzle gets force out). Also while 91% alcohol drys very quickly, try not to soak the headphone port in it.

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