What's the best fix for Macbook pro headphone static and noise

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ryanrul, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. ryanrul macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    My macbook pro has the static, hiss, blips and bleeps on the headphone out that many owners have reported. It makes virtually any audio tasks (from casual listening to playing around with rough mixes away from the studio) impossible through the analog out. I think all or most of the current MBPs suffer from this problem.

    I've heard that the problem is less noticeable with higher impedance headphones, however i have a pair of grado heapdhones (32ohms) that i'd like to continue to use. Is there any sort of adapter i can use between my headphones and my computer to eliminate or reduce the noise?

    Ideally i don't want to resort to a usb sound card like the imic - i already have much better audio interfaces, and i am simply looking for the smallest, most invisible solution possible for when my macbook pro is out of the studio.
  2. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I think what you mention, an external soundcard is going to be the most reliable option, although I will mention trying to eliminate any other sources of mains or electromagnetic noise at the same time. I have found nearby poor quality transformers to be an issue, even though it theoretically shouldn't matter.

    As an example, the output from my MBP is 'noiseless' most of the time, but recently it was connected to the same ring main as a 500 watt amp, a 400 watt sub, a generic laptop, a mixing desk and a couple of synths and it buzzed and hummed like it didn't know the words. I disconnected the lot, reconnected it in a different location with a different ring main and it worked perfectly. It can be very unpredictable, and therefore it's impossible to give a good answer.
  3. DJJONES macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2008
    Newengland usa!
    an audio interface is the best cure for that.
  4. ryanrul thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Thanks ... i thought as much.

    Still ... does a headphone adapter exist that could up the ohms and eliminate the need for the a clunky imic hanging off my computer like a dongle? (I'm not sure how impedance works so i don't even know if this is possible)

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