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My headphone jack sometimes not responding to headphones.

Hi. I got new problem - Sometimes my headphone jack not react with headphones insertion, and SMC/PRAM reset not fixing it.

Only thing is working - reboot laptop with headphones on it.

But, after system goes to sleep it again it doesn’t see the headphones.

Update (10/11/2012)

So finally I have found a replacement and ordered it:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181122080684?ssP...

After installation I will inform you if this fixed problem.

UPDATE: Just want to share with you that replacement of headphone port hasn’t helped at all. Dont know what to do now, so disappointed. I think this is something with motherboard then.

UPDATE 2: Today i will clean install whole OS. If that is software problem - that should fix it.

UPDATE 3: Clean install doesn't make any difference. Big still exists

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I found this same issue on a mac mini, it happens after screen lock or sleep. It happens because the screen the it is plugged into has speakers and is connected via HDMI. when it happens go in to sound preferences and switch back to "headphones"

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I have a MacBook Pro early 2011, this has been a perennial problem since the beginning. Restarts usually make it work for a while. I think this is a hardware/software problem. It's not the headphones, or my external speakers--it's the MacBookPro. They've replaced the logic board twice. It'll work for a while and then it won't. What seems to happen is I'll plug the external speakers in and out every day for a couple of weeks and it works. Then it won't work without a daily restart, or multiple restarts every day. This too goes on for awhile. Zapping the PRAM doesn't seem to solve the issue. Occasionally when I remove the plug to the external speakers, the computer sound won't work. This indicates something with the plug in the computer. It's a drag that only people with a problem are the resource for finding a solution.

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I was having the same problem and have finally found a way out of it. I tired this on Windows 7. Just go to the Control Panel> Device Manager>Sound, Video and Game Controllers and then just reinstall all the sound drivers; no need to update even! The Sound shall be positively come from the headphones now. Hope this works out for ya'all.

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This is common in Labtops, the headphone jack is probably damaged, it is not an easy fix, the best solution is to just buy a USB headset and use that. It could also be dirty and have lint or dust in it.

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5 Answers

Chosen Solution

I have exactly this problem and here is what seems to fix it:

1. Bring up system preferences - and 'sound' settings within it.

2. connect your headphones or jack lead into the audio socket.

3. From the apple icon menu in the top left corner of the os x screen, tell your computer to go to sleep

4. Immediately wake it up again from sleep

5. A second or two after waking, under 'output'; 'internal speakers' should change to 'headphone port'.

NB. Weirdly, this fix switches the output to headphone port, but you lose the option for internal speakers at the same time. However, to switch back to internal speakers, remove the headphone/jack lead, put the computer to sleep then re-wake it. This switches it back.

Hope this helps! Peace ;)

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thx you this helped alot

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This helped me out loads! Just as an extra - once you have switched it back to the 'internal speaker mode', you can then plug in your headphones as normal.

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Did not work. Tried this several times. What's weird is that the external speakers were only working after a restart, but just a little while ago I tried them as a preliminary to trying this solution and they were working. Then about 30 minutes later I tried playing a video and the external speakers weren't working. I tried this fix. No luck. btw OS X Mavericks, but this has been an intermittent but chronic problem since I first bought this machine in 2011 (early). Remember how Apple only a few months ago owned up to the Video card problem? The MacBook speakers are so weak, when this doesn't work, it might as well be a mid 90s Windows machine with no sound care.

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worked for me as well.

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WOW ... what a simple fix !! Dude, you rock ... !

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This works (it is a Lion bug):

Under Sys Pref> Sound > Click on Internal speakers. Then at the bottom set audio port for "sound output."

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Not working:

http://www.screencast.com/t/edwPOQnMc0V - done as you recomended

was listening music via headphones

closed notebook

opened - music starts play via speakers

in sys pref headphones no longer available http://www.screencast.com/t/Yo0Trx7NvNW

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I have not found any solution to fix this problem.

The workaround mixed with the failure of replacing the headphone jack suggests it's not a hardware problem but a firmware or logic board failure.

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hi, i had the same problem with headphones not working. after a while of looking i saw that there is a mute button on the output page of system preferences sound. mine was ticked and had to untick. this most likely won't help, but thought id suggest it :)

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Apple support told me to restore back to default. But all my application used for work is all setup inside. I only notice this headphone problem 3 months after purchase. They could not advice me which is the app causing the problem.

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at the 3rd repairs at the singapore center, they finally concluded that my headphone jack is damage and willing to change the hardware for me.

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@night4cat, exact same problem here - Headphones not detected when plugged in after sleep, same thing when the port is used for line-out or with another headphones set. This is almost certainly a firmware issue since the machine never fails to recognize the headphones after a reboot. It is not physical port damage.

For now the best workaround is to use a USB DAC such as the USB adapter supplied with Beyerdynamic MMX2 headphones, or just reboot. For a real fix I think we will be waiting on Apple for a software update.

Update

Hey night4cat: if you don't know how to measure impedance I strongly recommend you don't do it. Firstly, it's pointless - this is nothing to do with hardware. Secondly, you have a warranty and you should be taking your machine to an Apple authorized service centre if you still don't believe me, not tinkering with it yourself. If you do mess with it, and you create a hardware problem by incorrectly applying meter probes or by some other method, then you will have a hardware problem and you won't have a warranty any more either.

Why is it definitely not a hardware (bad socket or headphone) problem?

1. Reliably occurs after system sleep.

2. Fixed by reboot.

3. Mac headphone jack is also software controlled, it is not a simple analog output controlled by a mechanical switch alone! How do we know this? Look at System Preferences - you can have something plugged into the headphone jack and still direct audio output elsewhere, such as a USB DAC.

Try this also - Play some music through internal speakers. Insert headphone jack while wearing just one earpiece. You will notice that the music does not immediately start coming through the headphones. The switch inside the headphone jack causes the system to mute the output, switch to the jack and then unmute. Same in reverse when you pull the plug, the system mutes, switches to internal speakers and then unumtes. You can even slow this down by running all your cores flat out (encoding video for instance) - this is software controlled, it is not an ancient transistor radio with a simple mechanical switch. There is a switch to detect whether something is plugged in or not but all it does is supply an input to the system, not connect/disconnect the internal amplifier output.

If you have a real hardware problem, like a crackly headphone jack - and you're out of warranty. And you can handle disassembling your machine, replacing a part and then reassembling it, then I'm all for buying parts from iFixit and doing it yourself.

But not when it isn't a hardware problem, and not when this non-existent problem would be Apple's responsibility to fix under warranty (or software update) anyway.

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While I do understand why you think that, I can tell you the sockets are just easy to break. There's a contact shaped like the letter S which presses the plug when inserted but when relaxed presses on a contact pin. It is easily damaged either not making contact to the plug or not pressing on the contact. Open the images below I pasted an example of what it looks like inside. This is a simple mono outlet the stereo version is more complex and the units with a switch or two and offer a digital signal are the most complex and sensitive to damage.

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If it is a hardware problem how is it fixed by a reboot? Remember this problem appears after the computer has entered sleep and then wakes. Headphones never fail to be recognised after reboot. I am sure there is nothing physically wrong with the jack, am very familiar with the mechanism.

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The Retina headphone/Ext socket connection is a simple analog output from the DAC with a mechanical switch to either send the signal to the internal speakers or the inserted plug. The only thing that could be a factor here if the connector it's self is not damaged is the impedance of the plugged in device (i.e. headphones) Vs the speakers impedance (<24Ohm).

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FYI - There was a software problem with Lion which was fixed within Mountain Lion. It is also true people have damaged the socket as well (I have also replaced a few). It's also possible you have a different problem altogether.

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IF there was a software problem, it didnt fixed my bug. Today i will try to clean install Maveric, will see.

Now im sure there is nothing with socked (replaced for new and still same symptoms)

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Check your headphones could be the connector is bad.

If you have tried a known good set and it still doesn't work your socket in your MacBook Pro is likely damaged. Unlike the older MacBook Pros this model does not have a dual analog/digital socket which was mounted on the main logic board. The MacBook Pro Retina has the socket mounted directly to the case but is a bear to get to.

Here’s a good image on what is happening inside of the socket

Block Image

Here's the needed steps to get to it and replace Headphone Jack iFixIt guide

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Thank you for your reply. I really dont know how to check if port is damaged, cause yesterday it worked without problem (used same headphones koss porta pro and iphone headset with mic). But today, after it went to sleep while i traveled to work, it again haven't recognize headphones

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With a good magnifying glass and flashlight and looking inside you can try to compare a working to a non-working unit. Sometimes it's just dirt, other times the contact is bent/broken and other times it's spun around missing the contact point and hitting something else. I first try clean it and then with a dental probe I've managed to fix a few. Sometimes it will stay working other times not until I replace the socket.

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replaced connector - no result

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perfect. Thank you!

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Did you review the iFixIt guide I pointed to on how to replace the headphone jack: iFixIt guide. Yes, the jack is a custom part assembly. Check online or bring your system into an Apple Store or an authorized Apple service center for them to replace the part. If your very sure the jack is OK then you may have an OS or logic board problem (very unlikely here).

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Hi, I have an early 2011 MacBookPro and it has the very same problem.

This solution solved my problem:

  • Start music or video or anything that produce sound on internal speakers (my internal speakers are muted, it’s no matter)
  • Plug in your earphone while the music/video still playing

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Oleg will be eternally grateful.
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