I live in a small apartment. My Mac is in the living room with the TV and family. It's always a struggle to hear the computer when the TV is on. My Mac speakers get loud, and my external speakers get louder. The trouble is when I use headphones I can barely hear them. They're good enough if I'm alone and it's quiet, but when it's the least bit noisy in the room, the noise is louder than the headphones. It doesn't matter if I plug them directly into the Mac or the external speakers. They are not loud enough. I've gone into the Mac and the volume is turned up all the way. I've tried four different headphones, from the dollar store ones to a pair costing over $100. Still the same outcome. Is it the Mac or the headphones? I read somewhere that in some headphones there is a resistor that can be bypassed to make them louder. I tore the dollar store pair apart and there was no resistor. Is the Mac or headphones designed that way so people don't blow their eardrums out?