Monday, August 20News That Matters

New MacBook Pro Has Another Embarrassing Problem


Well that didn’t take long. Following last month’s update to the MacBook Pro line, users of the macOS-powered laptops ave discovered another build quality issue that continues to cast a poor light on Cupertino’s hardware.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) previews a MacBook Pro during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest issue concerns the speakers. First up, it’s worth noting that Apple has advertised the new speakers as taking “…listening to new levels with wide dynamic range and more bass for maximum boom. And the speakers are connected directly to system power, enabling greater peak amplification.”

But they have issues, notably a horrible crackling noise during audio playback, as demonstrated on countless YouTube videos, including this one from Gábor Vadász.

Joe Rossignol reports:

It’s unclear if the crackling is limited to specific volumes or frequencies. MacRumors forum members have speculated about possible causes, including radio interference due to a lack of shielding, audio drivers, and the T2 chip.

A few years ago, some customers experienced similar crackling from the built-in speakers on the 2016 MacBook Pro, oftentimes when running Windows via Boot Camp. The crackling was so loud that it often permanently damaged the speakers, resulting in the MacBook Pro needing to be repaired or replaced.

The flaw in the speakers comes on top of the basic design flaw in Apple’s own leather sleeve for the new MacBook Pro machines – it covers the USB-C charging ports. As I noted in that report:

But what is clear is that this can be added to an ever-growing list of issues around the MacBook Pro that highlight a lack of focus and devotion from Cupertino. With thermal issues, poor bug hunting, problematic repair issues, safety nets removed, what has happened to Apple’s legendary focus on the user experience?

Now we can add ‘the speakers don’t work’, and that’s not even an esoteric issue. It’s something i would regard as a core function.

Obviously not every MacBook Pro is affected, that would be easy to spot, but once more new Apple hardware is affected by quality control issues, weakening its claim to be a champion for users, and damaging its historic legacy for delivering the best possible experience. When will Apple the focus that it once had?

Now read more about Apple’s quiet keyboard change on the MacBook Pro…

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