Audio errors, errors after updating your operating system, problems connecting an external audio device, or sound not working at all are some of the most common problems reported on Mac. Incorrectly configured apps or incorrect settings can also lead to audio interference.

As a result, you may not hear any sound through speakers or headphones. Your audio output could be static or, worse, no output at all. Here is a list of fixes to reset and fix sound issues on your Mac.

1. No sound on the Mac? First check the volume

Before you spend all day fixing a non-existent problem, check the volume and make sure it's not muted. Press and hold the F12 Button to increase the volume or use the slider in the menu bar to adjust it.

Volume control via menu bar

In the next step we make sure that there are no problems with the individual apps. For example, many browsers have a volume indicator next to the tab. Check that they are not muted. When playing a YouTube clip, check the volume meter to be sure.

Volume tab display in Safari

2. Choose the correct audio device

If you can't hear anything even after adjusting the volume or plugging in your headphones, you've probably landed on one of the most common Mac audio errors. The first thing to check is the input and output settings of the audio device.

Sometimes your Mac may choose the wrong device due to incorrect configuration, driver incompatibility, or a conflict with other apps. Go to Apple Menu and select System settings. click sound then choose the output Tab. Click the correct output device for your audio.

Choose the correct audio output device

A common mistake is having a Bluetooth device unknowingly connected so that audio is playing on it instead of through your Mac's speakers. Repeat the process for the audio input device settings.

Choose the correct audio input device

Sometimes switching from one outlet to another can fix the problem. Also, try disconnecting and reconnecting your audio devices. Make sure to remove the check mark next to Mute Option and adjust the output again.

You get a better overview of all output devices with the Audio MIDI setup App is in the Utilities Folder. Start the app and select Built-in exit. From here you can configure the audio channel, bit depth, format and sample rate.

If your sound is acting weird, tweak the audio settings. After making changes, quit the app and try playing your audio again.

Configure the minute settings in the Audio MIDI Utility

3. Reset the Core Audio

If you're still having problems with audio playback or recording, reset the low-level audio API for Mac, commonly known as. referred to as Core audio, should work.

According to Apple's documentation, Core Audio is a set of software frameworks designed to meet the audio needs in various applications. This includes playback, recording, editing, signal processing, compression, decompression, and more.

On mac, Core audio is the launch daemon that powers Core Audio. Daemons usually run as root in the background whether you are logged in or not. Their process names end with the letter "d". We've covered more about launch daemons and how they affect macOS elsewhere.

If the sound stops working or there is a crackling noise, start the Core audio Process should solve your problem. Here are some ways to reset Core Audio on Mac:

Use activity monitor

begin Activity monitor and be sure to filter by All processes. Type Core audio in the search box and click on Force quit to end the process manually. Here is a complete guide on how to use Activity Monitor for Mac.

End the core audio process

Use terminal

begin terminal and enter the following command:

sudo killall coreaudiod

Press To return, enter your administrator password and check the sound again. That Core audio Process should be restarted.

Quit CoreAudio from the terminal

In rare cases, you may not hear any sound at all. If so, shut down and restart your Mac. If a reboot is not an option at the moment, use this command instead:

sudo launchctl start com.apple.audio.coreaudiod

That launchctl Command starts the daemon and initializes the Core audio Process.

4. The sound does not work due to critical updates and third party apps distress

Third-party plug-ins built into your Mac can cause the sound to not work properly. Musicians and sound engineers are usually particularly careful here, as there are often hardware and software incompatibilities with a new version of macOS. Major upgrades shouldn't be taken lightly, you must have a backup of the audio files.

While most developers release app updates quickly, both the hardware and the operating system can be a major headache. USB-related audio issues in 2018 Macs were quite common on discussion forums. Some of the most common audio-related update issues are:

  • Big Sur: Major problems with Bluetooth connectivity when trying to pair audio devices with Macs. Also, audio output devices would occasionally disappear and only show up on restart.
  • Catalina: Any third-party audio plug-in should be "certified" by Apple. Non-notarized apps were not allowed, which means that older audio plugins will no longer work. macOS 10.15.5 fixed a bug in the T2 chip where internal speakers in audio output devices might not be displayed in the settings.
  • Mojave: In macOS 10.14.4, Apple improved the reliability of USB audio problems in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. And in macOS 10.14.5, Apple fixed the audio latency on MacBook Pro models that were introduced in 2018. It was also the last version to support 32-bit apps.

Points to consider with third-party apps

With so many creative audio apps available for Mac, it is impossible to describe exact solutions for each app. Here are a few things to keep in mind when troubleshooting sound problems:

  1. Select the desired output device in the Audio MIDI setup Usefulness. Ctrl-click that Built-in exit Option to view the list of devices. Toggle the output device selection to resolve the configuration problems, if any.

  2. Each audio app saves a profile in the Audio MIDI setup Usefulness. If you see errors like "There is an error in the Core Audio sound driver," delete the profile and restart the app.

  3. Mix multiple audio interfaces by creating an aggregate device. This increases the number of audio inputs and outputs and reduces the likelihood of configuration-related errors. For help, see Apple's Aggregate Devices help page.

  4. If you work as a musician or have a dedicated audio workstation, don't upgrade to larger versions of macOS until music technology manufacturers have tested their drivers. Visit Gearspace to see which audio devices and software are compatible with the latest version of macOS and Apple silicon chips.

5. Reset the NVRAM

NVRAM is a small amount of memory that your Mac uses to store various types of settings, including volume, display resolution, startup disk selection, time zone, and more. Resetting the NVRAM can help resolve malfunctions. Follow our guide on how to reset NVRAM and SMC in Intel Macs.

On Macs with the M1 chip, you cannot use the boot key command to reset the NVRAM. Instead, your Mac will test the NVRAM itself. If something is wrong, it will simply reset when you restart your Mac.

6. Problems with external devices

Sometimes when you connect an external device (like an HDMI TV), the sound continues to come through your internal Mac speakers. Strangely enough, the connection still produces a perfect picture and the connected HDMI device is not displayed Settings> Sound> Output.

First, check the connection and examine the HDMI cable for physical defects. Even small mistakes can cause problems, so try a different cable if you can find one.

Make sure your devices are compatible. Some older components may not be able to receive audio over an HDMI connection, although your Mac and other devices can use it to play sound. Note that older MacBook models (before 2011) do not support the transmission of audio via the Mini DisplayPort.

Navigate to Sound> sound effects. in the Play through sound effects In the section, click the drop-down menu and select your connected device.

Adjust the sound effect settings in the sound settings

Restart your Mac. Then open it Sound> output In System settings and choose your TV from the Select a device for sound output Section.

Select HDMI TV from the Output tab

Start the Audio MIDI setup App. Select the HDMI option in the left pane and choose your TV from the output Tab. If you can't see the speaker icon next to cannot HDMI, click the gear button, and select Use this device for sound output.

Choose the right output device for HDMI TV

7. Check your hardware and ports

If after checking all of these software aspects, if you are still having audio issues, it is a good idea to check all of the ports. These include Thunderbolt, HDMI, USB, and headphone (or microphone) ports.

Remove all wired accessories. Then check the integrity of the cables to make sure nothing is frayed or split. Shut down your Mac and plug it in a peripheral device at a time. Try to play your audio every time.

If you are using headphones and hear crackling noises, check the jack. Modern Macs display a red light inside to warn of blocked outlets. Clean the jack, then plug in your headphones and adjust the volume.

Reset your Mac's sound and proceed

Fixing sound problems on your Mac is not always easy. The Mac lacks a comprehensive set of tools to diagnose and fix the problem. You need to use trial and error and your judgment to find the source of the problem. These tips will serve as a starting point to walk you through all of the steps required to repair your sound.

Sound issues aren't the only problem you can have on macOS. You should be aware of other warning signs on your Mac so that you can spot them early.

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About the author

Rahul Saigal
(159 articles published)

With an M.Optom degree in ophthalmology, Rahul taught for many years at the college. Writing and teaching others is always his passion. He's now writing about technology and making it digestible for readers who don't understand it well.

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