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jeff664
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Headphone Jack Stuck on Digital Out

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Has anyone else had this issue where the headphone jack gets stuck in digital out mode?

My speakers are disabled (except for the chime sound when booting), the sound pref panel only allows me to select 'Digital Out' for sound output, and a red light shines out of the jack. Headphones work when I plug 'em in.

I've found other discussions out there about this (such as: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa...), but so far I haven't had much luck with suggestions found there.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Jeff

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rdklinc
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I've had success on several laptops taking the cotton off the end of a q-tip, and sticking the bare q-tip end in the jack, applying slight pressure and twisting it around a few times.

Make sure to do this kind of thing while the power is off, especially if you're putting metal objects in there.

Many laptops have long lives after this issue has been fixed, and with no recurrence of the issue, so I don't agree with the assessment above that the motherboard needs to be replaced.

This technique has worked for me. I used a toothpick. I think dust and dirt can trick the sensor.

Kyle Wiens,

I used a napkin that was all twisted up. I pushed as much of it inside the port as I could while twisting it, and it seems to have worked!

Sterling Hirsh,

These techniques seem to offer the best chance of success. I've tried the q-tip / toothpick / pen techniques, and none work reliably for me. Sometimes sound comes back for a bit, but it's not reliable. That little sensor/switch in there is pretty sensitive, I guess!

jeff664,

My thinking on this issue has evolved somewhat as I get more and more of these laptops. I now use a small torx screwdriver, and I twist it in the audio port when the laptop is on. The switch seems to be on the right side of the port, or about the 3 o'clock position. You'll notice the audio icon turn black instead of greyed out, but when you take out the screwdriver, it goes grey again. You just have to repeat this process until eventually it stays black. Sometimes it takes 2 minutes, and sometimes it never happens. I give it about 10 minutes worth of attempts, and if it takes any longer than that I just replace the board. Also, once it's working you'll want to reboot a few times and make sure it doesn't revert. If it does, it's most likely going to continue to be flaky, and so I replace the board rather than risk a return.

rdklinc,

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stacywebb
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As much as I would like for there to be an easy fix, there isn't. The same thing happened to my MacBookPro. The toggle switch inside of the port is defective. The only true fix is to replace the Logic Board which Apple will do for free, it's a known issue. If that is not an option for you, the "toothpick fix" listed in the forums at apple may work.

Edited by: stacywebb ( )

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stitchrobot
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This is not a fix, but if it comes down to logic board or bust, i'd get something like a griffin imic, it's small enough that it shouldnt be a huge burden and will you give you in and out via usb.

This is a good workaround. It might be a little better suited to desktops, but I could still see using it on a laptop.

Sterling Hirsh,

Well, it's not really logic board or bust. In my case, the headphone out still works, so I can plug in headphones or external powered speakers. But if some macs with this problem can't do headphones, either, then this is a great idea. There are lots of USB audio devices, and they work pretty well. I got a headset that came with a usb audio adapter, and you can use it either with the adapter or straight into the audio in and out jacks.

jeff664,

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Jmac
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This is a common problem with macbooks. Most of the time the switch inside the headphone jack is stuck. This is the switch that detects headphones when you plug them in. Use a flashlight and, with the power off, take a paperclip or cotton swab and gently trip the switch sometimes just plugging in and unplugging the actual speaker cord solves the problem.

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Martin Cleaver
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I fixed it using a digital optical cable. A couple of times inserting and removing did the trick :)

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OzCynic
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If it's any consolation, I, too, have this problem and am going to attempt the solutions offered above. My "workaround" right now is some Logitech USB speakers which clip on to the top of my screen.

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d0npian0
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As a last resort before a whole logic board replacement it looks as though you can remove the metal housing as shown in this blurry low res video

http://youtu.be/yIVYacOKzOs

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Froit
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Bent paperclip worked for me, don't be afraid.

Bend one end to a 90°, a hook of approx. 2 mm long.

In my MacBooPro A1286 the switch is deep inside, on the right-hand (3-o'clock) side.

Do this with the red light showing, don't shut down MBP.

As soon as the red light is off, sound!

There is also a switch/flexible contact near the outer edge, 12 o'clock, but that is not related to this problem.

On recurring, maybe follow up by taking the plug apart as shown in YT video.

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