Mac

Sound Not Working on Your Mac? Easy Fixes for Audio Problems

Rahul Saigal Updated 19-11-2019

Audio glitches, internal components making strange sounds, problems with connecting an external audio device, or sound not working at all are some of the common Mac sound issues you may encounter.

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At times, misconfigured apps or settings can result in static in your audio output, inability to change the volume, lack of stereo output, or even no output at all. Here’s a list of fixes to resolve sound problems on your Mac.

No Sound on Mac? Check the Volume First

Mac volume control through menu bar

Before you spend all day resolving a non-existent issue, 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.

Additionally, check your computer’s audio port to ensure that you haven’t forgotten about any connected headphones or other external devices.

Choose the Right Audio Device

If your Mac’s sound is still not working after the basic troubleshooting above, we’ll next find whether the sound problem is system-wide or only in a particular app.

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When you can’t hear anything after plugging in your headphones, microphone, or any other external device, you must check the input/output audio device settings. Sometimes your Mac might select the wrong device due to incorrect configuration, driver incompatibility, conflicts, or other reasons.

From the Apple menu, launch System Preferences and select Sound. Jump to the Input tab to check the input audio device settings. Make sure you have the correct input device for your audio selected.

Mac choose the right input audio device

Repeat the same procedure for the output audio device settings. A common mistake is unknowingly having a Bluetooth device connected, so audio plays to that instead of through your Mac’s speakers.

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Mac choose the right output audio device

Sometimes simply switching from one output to another can also fix the problem. Also, try unplugging and reconnecting your audio devices. Remember to uncheck the Mute option and adjust the output again.

You’ll get a better view of all output devices through the Audio MIDI Setup utility. Open the app (search for it using Spotlight with Cmd + Space) and choose Built-in Output. In here, you can configure the audio channel, bit-depth, format, and rate.

If your sound is acting funny, tweak the audio settings. After you’ve made changes, quit the app and try playing your audio again.

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configure settings in Audio MIDI Setup utility

Reset Core Audio

Apple’s documentation defines Core Audio as a set of software frameworks designed to handle the audio needs in apps. This includes recording, editing, playback, signal processing, compression and decompression, and more.

On Mac, coreaudiod is the launchdaemon that powers Core Audio. Daemons typically run as root in the background, whether you’re logged in or not. Their process names end with the letter “d”. We’ve covered more about launchdaemons and their implications on macOS How to Catch and Remove Hidden LaunchDaemons and LaunchAgents on Mac LaunchDaemons and LaunchAgents, which launch software automatically at login, can have a dark side. Here's how to monitor them and keep yourself safe. Read More if you’re interested.

If the sound stops working or becomes distorted (crackling or noisy), then restarting the coreaudiod process should solve your problem. This effectively resets the sound on your Mac, and you can quit the processes in two ways.

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One is to open Activity Monitor, type coreaudiod in the search box at the top-right, and click the Force Quit button to manually kill the process.

quit coreaudiod process in Activity Monitor

The other method is to launch Terminal and type the following command:

sudo killall coreaudiod

Press Return, input your administrator password, and check your sound again.

quit coreaudiod process in Terminal

The coreaudiod process should restart via either method. In rare cases, if it does not restart, you may not hear any sound at all. In this case, shut down and restart your Mac.

If rebooting isn’t an option at the moment, use this Terminal command instead:

sudo launchctl start com.apple.audio.coreaudiod

The launchctl command starts the daemon and reinitializes the coreaudiod process.

Sound Not Working Due to Third-Party App Issues

Third-party plugins that integrate with your system can cause the sound on your Mac to not work correctly. Music producers and audio engineers are cautious of this, because there are often hardware and software incompatibilities with a new release of macOS. While developers are usually quick and responsive to issue app updates, the operating system itself can be a major headache.

With the release of macOS Catalina, every audio unit plugin must be “notarized” by Apple’s security systems. Non-notarized apps are not allowed to run on Catalina, meaning that any older audio plugin will not work at all.

Also, macOS Mojave was the last release to support 32-bit apps. We’ve covered how to check for 32-bit apps How to See Which 32-Bit Apps May Stop Working on Your Mac Soon If you use a Mac, you should know which apps on your system are 32-bit and likely to run into compatibility issues soon. Read More on your Mac before you upgrade.

Points to Consider With Third-Party Apps

With so many creative audio apps available for Mac, it’s not possible to describe exact solutions for each app. Here are some general points to consider for fixing Mac sound problems with specific apps:

  1. Check the desired output device in Audio MIDI Setup utility as mentioned above. Launch the app and right-click the Built-in Output option to see the list of devices. Toggle the output device selection to correct configuration problems, if any.
  2. Every audio app stores a profile in the Audio MIDI Setup utility. If you see any errors like “Error in the sound driver of Core Audio,” 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 chance of any configuration-related errors. See Apple’s help page on Aggregate Devices for help.

Update macOS

Updating macOS using Mojave

Every macOS release comes with new features and improvements. Under the hood, you’ll notice many changes in kernel frameworks, audio drivers, Unix tools, and more. But often, people complain about new bugs aswell. USB-related audio issues in 2018 Macs were quite common in Apple’s discussion forums.

The macOS Mojave release notes highlighted some improvements. In macOS 10.14.4, Apple improved the reliability of USB audio issues used with the MacBook Air, Pro, and Mac Mini. And in macOS 10.14.5, Apple fixed the audio latency on MacBook Pro models introduced in 2018.

So if you’re having sound problems, updating your OS is a good solution. However, if you work with a dedicated audio workstation, it makes sense to install updates on other Macs before applying them to your production machine. You should also keep a backup of audio files in case something goes wrong.

Reset NVRAM

NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) is a small amount of memory that your Mac uses to store various types of settings, including sound volume, display resolution, start-up disk selection, the time zone, and more. Resetting the NVRAM can help clear up glitches with these and other attributes.

Follow our guide to resetting NVRAM and the SMC on your Mac How to Do an SMC and PRAM/NVRAM Reset on Your Mac A reset of the SMC and PRAM/NVRAM can help any Mac, including MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, run smoothly again. Read More to try this.

Problems With External Devices

Sometimes when you connect an external device (like an HDMI TV), the sound will continue to come from your internal speakers. Bizarrely, the connection still results in a perfect picture. And the connected HDMI device won’t show up in Preferences > Sound > Output.

First, check the cable’s connection and inspect the HDMI cable for any physical defects. Even tiny flaws can cause problems, so you should try an alternate cable.

Ensure that your equipment is compatible. Some older components might be unable to receive audio via an HDMI connection, even though your Mac and other devices can play sound through it. Note that older MacBook models (around mid-2010) do not support passing audio through Mini DisplayPort.

Navigate to Sound > Sound Effects. In the Play sound effects through section, click the dropdown menu and choose your connected device.

adjust the sound effects setting

Restart your Mac. Afterward, open Sound > Output in System Preferences and select your TV from the Select a device for sound output section.

select HDMI tv from the output tab

Finally, launch the Audio MIDI Setup app once again. Select the HDMI option from the left panel and choose your TV from the Output tab. If you cannot see the speaker icon next to HDMI, click the cog button and select Use this device for sound output.

choose the correct output device for HDMI tv

Check Hardware and Ports

If after checking all these software aspects, you’re still facing sound problems on your Mac, then you should examine all ports. This includes Thunderbolt, HDMI, USB, and headphone (or microphone) sockets.

Detach all wired accessories connected to your system. While doing this, check the integrity of the cables to make sure nothing is frayed or split. Then shut down your Mac and plug in one peripheral at a time after each restart. Try playing your audio each time.

With this thorough check, you’ll figure out if there are any problems with your hardware, cables, or ports. If you use headphones and hear crackling noise, examine the socket. Modern Macs display a red light inside to warn of blocked sockets. Clean the jack, then connect your headphones and adjust the volume level to address the problem.

Reset Your Mac’s Sound and Move On

Troubleshooting sound issues on your Mac is not always easy. macOS lacks a comprehensive set of tools to diagnose and fix the problem. Thus, you’re left with trial and error and your judgment on finding the source of the problem. Hopefully, these tips will start to guide you through all the steps.

Sound issues aren’t the only problem you can have on macOS. You should know other warning signs of Mac problems 5 Warning Signs Your Mac Has a Problem (And What to Do About Them) Your Mac often gives warning signs that it's about to run into a problem. Here 's what to do for several common Mac red flags. Read More so you can spot them early.

Explore more about: Hardware Tips, Mac Tips, MacBook, Record Audio, Speakers, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Crystal
    September 23, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    BROO I was so confused because my sound was so fricking quiet, but I did the terminal thing and it finally reset! Thank you so much holy moly!

  2. Michele
    July 19, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Thanks this helped me solve my sound problem by using the Terminal command.

  3. Tim B
    May 10, 2019 at 12:47 am

    Thanks for this. I have a 2017 13" MBP that decided it didn't want to see its internal sound devices anymore. killall didn't do anything to help, but resetting PRAM took care of it!

  4. Andrei Grigoriev
    August 22, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Very grateful for your advise on killall

  5. William
    May 9, 2018 at 1:56 am

    THANK YOU! This worked in May 2018. Killall coreaudiod, hell yes

  6. Neel
    April 28, 2018 at 12:03 am

    THANK YOU!!! Killing core audio totally fixed the issue. :)

  7. Selena
    March 25, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! The kill audio core on the terminal truck just made my day about a million times better and more productive. And I didn’t have to throw my computer out the window like I wanted to.

  8. Janet Hudgins
    March 23, 2018 at 2:12 am

    My sound is internal only and will not connect to speakers, and internal speakers does not appear in Input but does in Output, Line In is in Input, the aggregate doesn't appear at all. I've set up Keyboard shortcuts but they don't work/can't use them. And the System Preferences icon is not there, instead the top banner only, and none of the items. I've tried to restore with Command and R but nothing changed and I've spent hours with Mac trying to find a resolution. Any help would gratefully received---pretty frustrated!!!

  9. Karen
    March 9, 2018 at 8:20 am

    THANK YOU for this article! Got rid of an annoying static-y sound that occurred anytime the Messages app was open by killing coreaudio in the Activity Monitor. Much appreciated! :)

  10. Kingsley de los Santos
    February 7, 2018 at 7:48 am

    sudo killall coreaudiod

    It works!!!! right speaker buzzing gone!

  11. Julie A
    November 29, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I have El Capitan on a Macbook Pro circa 2012. I routinely listen to online radio stations while at work. Today the stations will play for 10-20 seconds and then cuts out completely. If I click the play button to off and then on again, it will resume for the 10-20 seconds and then cut out again. It does this on several different radio station websites. What do you suggest?
    Grazie.

  12. Umar
    August 26, 2017 at 2:21 am

    My Audio MIDI Setup does not show anything in there. Any idea how can I re-install it? I do not have the installation disc.

  13. Denny
    June 20, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    POSSIBLE SOLUTION

    After trying apparently everything there was on the web, I decided to check if the problem was actually hardware. So I opened the back of my macbook pro, gently pressed on the speaker and the problem was completely gone.
    Apparently the speaker popped out with some loud frequency, so it might happen again if the sound is really strong. Just do this and chill C:

  14. JACK
    March 31, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Unfortunately nothing seems to work. Just cannot get the Internal speakers to show in the Sound prefs.

    • Katherine
      May 26, 2018 at 3:58 am

      I'm in the same boat at you, did you ever get it to show? And HOW??

  15. Brian Ansorge
    March 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Wonderful article.

    Terminal command nailed it.

    "bang bang" ... symptoms killed.

    Issue fixed.

    I *had* been getting random (mostly, yet, for some reason, also, every time I closed a tab in Firefox) and weird sounding burst of distorted audio.

    Like a garbled, digital audio signal. Loud. Jolting.

    Very disturbing.

  16. Bilal
    January 10, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    My audio is coming but with distortion and dis clearity and noises humming when aloud plz help when i switched headphones the problem is gone i updated some software updates a few days ago then the fault came up...

  17. Chris Backhouse
    December 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Running a Mac Mini (late 2012) and have just updated to macOS 10.12.2 resulting in my audio being restricted to clicks. I am connected to my TV through HDMI for that and I've checked that it still works perfectly with the two other sources.

    Since I use the machine a media server (over 100Gb of music and the rest) this makes the machine useless. I've tried all of the above.

    Am I best waiting for Apple to notice and provide a patch? Not good at the start of the holidays.

    • Tim Brookes
      January 5, 2017 at 3:30 am

      You might want to bite the bullet and do a full macOS reinstallation, especially if you've tried all of the above. I'm not really sure what else could help, it's certainly an odd problem to have. Failing that you could roll back to a previous version of macOS that wasn't causing the issue.

      Keep us posted on whether you can resolve it, and what you did!

      Tim

      • Chris Backhouse
        January 5, 2017 at 6:44 am

        Hi,

        In typical fashion it started working again, I didn't do anything except wait for a week or so. Frustrating but the right result in the end.

        I am considering going back to El Cap anyway, as the extra features on Sierra aren't important to me and don't work very well. Probably a sign my system is struggling with the upgrade.

        Are there any disadvantages to going back? My files are all in cloud storage and an external drive has all my media backed up. I'm told it's quite simple if you have time machine, which I do.

        Thanks for your reply.
        Chris

  18. Mike Powis
    November 27, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I've started to experience sound problems using external speakers with my mac mini since updating to OSX Sierra.

    Despite the mac still recognising the external speakers, no sound it audible.

    I have used the "sudo killall coreaudiod" and it didnt work first time but when i tried it again it worked for some reason. However, a few days later the issue recurred. I turned my mac on and it wasnt playying any audio through the speakers.

    This has happened to me a few times now and I'm looking for something a little more robust to stop the need to manually kill coreaudio & restart the mac whenever it messes up.

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, it's getting very frustrating now.

  19. Mike Powis
    November 27, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    I've started to experience sound problems using external speakers with my mac mini since updating to OSX Sierra.

    Ill turn my mac on and despite it still recognising the external speakers, no sound is audible.

    I have used the "sudo killall coreaudiod" and it didn't work first time but when I tried it again it worked for some reason. However, a few days later the issue recurred - I turned my mac on and it wasn't playing any audio through the speakers.

    This has happened to me a few times now and I'm looking for something a little more robust to stop the need to manually kill coreaudio & restart the mac whenever it messes up.

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, it's getting very frustrating now.

    • Tim Brookes
      November 29, 2016 at 12:17 am

      Have you checked that the external speakers are selected under System Preferences > Sound > Output? And that it isn't muted?

      Test your speakers with other devices too. Try headphones with your Mac mini and see if you get the same problem. Maybe try searching for the problem in relation to your specific hardware?

      A last ditch attempt to fix the issue would be to back up with Time Machine and reinstall macOS (you can hold down R during startup to launch Recovery Mode and then delete your partition using Disk Utility, and reinstall macOS from there).

      Assuming you've tried all of the above I'm not really sure what else could help. Keep us posted!

  20. roskruge
    October 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    First of I am using a Mac Pro (2013) with macOS Sierra 10.12.1 with a OWC Thunderbolt 2 (Dock). The Mac Pro have (2) 3.5mm audio plugs - left output - right input - I have the same audio connections on OWC's Dock. Problem is no matter what microphone I use, unable to get sound into Mac Pro through different mic's. I tried to install Soundflower v1.6.6b but 'The Installation failed'.
    Now that Sierra has Siri I need to input sound. Is there an alternative to Soundflower. Or what do you suggest. No problem in copying/listening system sound to an application.
    Also no success with your LineIn,
    This problem has been with different versions of macOS over 2 years. and several reinstalls.

  21. randy
    October 7, 2016 at 1:37 am

    el capitan 10.11.1. sound preferences only showed headphones, (which i was in), line out and digital out. i switched from headphones to line out and then back to headphones and the problem (as of right now) is gone. thanks.

  22. chris
    September 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Dear Tim,

    followed your advice with resetting the coreaudio process but it didn't help.

    My setup:
    - Macbook Pro 13" early 2015
    - running El Capitan
    - Apple Thunderbolt Display

    Whatever I do, the static bombs hits my audio of the display speakers after a few minutes. Really need those speakers... Any other idea or solution?

    Really appreciate your help!
    chris

    • Tim Brookes
      September 26, 2016 at 2:51 am

      Well if you've followed all of the advice in the article, I can't really think what else to do. Did you try resetting SMC and PRAM? Maybe update to macOS Sierra and see if that fixes it? You could even try a full reinstall of the OS?

      Beyond this, if your laptop is from early 2015 then it may still be under warranty depending on where you bought it. Australia and EU have two years standard warranty, but if you got AppleCare then it's covered for 3 years anyway. It might be worth taking it to Apple and getting them to have a look at it...

      Good luck

  23. Krishna
    August 24, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Tim, my use case is

    1. I want to use my Rode VideoMic which has TRS 3.5mm to record voice in either my Macbook Pro (2015) or on my iPhone 6 Plus

    2. I bought a TRS to TRRS adaptor, where-in I can connect the TRRS input (male) of the adapter to my Mac/iPhone and the connect the Mic end (female) of the adaptor to the Rode Mic TRS

    3. Ideally this should work, however in the 'Input Tab of Sound Menu' in my Mac, Built-in Internal Microphone is only used for Input. There is no other device found
    In the 'Output Tab of Sound Menu', the device shown is Headphones

    4. If I connect a Headphone with separate Input & Output plugs, I can hear music through the output but the mic on the Headphone is not detected by Mac/iPhone

    5. However when I connect Apples Headphones, both the Input & Output is from the Headphone

    Question: What should I do, in order to use my TRS Rode for audio recording onto the Mac?

    Thank you in advance

  24. Ola Jonsson
    August 17, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    THANKS!I
    Had a strange issue, my Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, Bluetooth paired headset sounded just terrible on my work MacBook Pro (Retina 13" Mid 2013), but great on my private MacBook Pro (Retina 13", Late 2012) and great on my Iphone 6.

    Now, with the simple command to kill and restart the core audio process, I have great sound on the work MacBook Pro,
    one again,
    Thanks!

    Ola
    Stockholm, Sweden

  25. Ola Jonsson
    August 17, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Tim,
    found your post through Google, and I just wanted to say THANKS!
    I had a very strange issue where sound through my Headset

    Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, Bluetooth paired.

    sounded just terrible on my work MacBook Pro (Retina 13" Mid 2013), but great on my private MacBook Pro (Retina 13", Late 2012) and great on my Iphone 6.

    Now, with the simple command to kill and restart the core audio process, I have great sound on the work MacBook Pro,
    one again,
    Thanks!

    Ola
    Stockholm, Sweden

  26. Andy
    August 8, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I have an iMac, running Yosemite 10.10.5. I was given a gift of a digital turntable which came with Audacity software version 2.1.0. I installed the software, started to follow the instructions for configuring it for Mac (documentation was way out of date, the screen shots were for an earlier operating system) and, before I knew it, all my sound was gone. I've tried trying to find fixes online. None of them have worked. Settings in Sound preferences are seemingly set up correctly. I've now deleted the software from the computer and restarted the computer with no change. I've tried your suggestions up top of this article but Im a bit of a novice so am a little afraid of things like Terminal Windows. I just feel out of my depth here.

    Any suggestions. Thank you.

    Andy

    • Tim Brookes
      August 9, 2016 at 1:21 am

      Hi Andy,

      Don't be afraid of Terminal, the commands above won't cause any harm to your computer. You should try them and see if they make any difference. Did the digital turntable tell you to create an aggregate sound device by any chance? If so you can try deleting it (using the minus button) from Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup to see if that helps.

      If nothing is working, ensure that your Speakers are selected as your primary Output device and that "Mute" isn't on obviously. Use the Terminal commands (or just launch Activity Monitor) to kill the coreaudiod process. It will restart automatically. Make sure your turntable isn't connected to your Mac any more also.

      If nothing else can help, it may be time to reinstall your operating system. Back up with Time Machine and an external drive, then have a look at this guide: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-reinstall-mac-os-x-for-a-fast-squeaky-clean-mac/

      Let us know whether this helped at all!

      Tim

  27. Nerida
    August 7, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Hello Tim,
    I am a complete novice at recording. I need to have Windows on my Mac Pro for my work. I am trying to record on power point files on office 10. I need to do a recording on each slide.

    This is working but when I replay the recording there is so much background buzz. It is terrible.
    I bought myself a set of the latest BOSE headphones with a speaker and tried this this morning but the buzz is still there.

    Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make this sound more professional?
    Many thanks in anticipation.

    Nerida

    • Tim Brookes
      August 9, 2016 at 1:30 am

      Hi Nerida,

      It sounds like the microphone is the issue in this case. Do you have multiple microphones connected to your Mac? Be sure to select the right one under Windows' sound preferences (I can't remember where as it's been so long since I've used it).

      You could buy a nice microphone — we have a few suggestions here: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/starting-podcast-recording-equipment-platforms/ but anywhere around $60-$100 should yield a huge improvement over any in-built one (plus you can use it for future projects, talking on Skype etc). Whenever you do connect the microphone you should make sure you select the right one as per the instructions above.

      Some microphones to consider: Samson Meteor, Blue Snowball, Audio-Technica ATR2100. Just make sure you get a USB one, not XLR.

      Optionally you could try recording the audio on a smartphone in a quiet environment, but do keep in mind the audio quality is likely to be poor too. Once complete you can just send the file to your computer and import it into PowerPoint.

      Hope this helps,

      Tim

  28. Heather
    July 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I am having troubles while using Skype on my iMac running El Capitan. I use my internal speakers and have the noise reduction clicked. While I am talking there is a large amount of feedback. I can hear my own voice echoing through my brother's speakers in England and there is a ton of high pitched squealing. I've tried everything I can think of. Help!

    • Tim Brookes
      July 15, 2016 at 5:14 am

      While it might not be idea, headphones will solve this issue. It's possible that either you or your brother have your speakers too close to the microphone (a common problem on laptops), which is causing the feedback problem. As you say you can hear your own voice, it sounds like the problem is on your brother's side.

      Either use headphones or the Skype mobile app to chat as you would normally on the phone to solve this one.

      Tim

  29. Mason
    July 9, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Ran into a strange problem today regarding input and output channels. I'm running an old OS on my MacBook Pro (OS X, 10.6.8), which I imagine could be part of the problem.

    When running a line-in, in this case, an external mixer connected via RCA (with 1/4" adapters) to 3.5 cable into the microphone/input jack, I'll recieve distortion and no playback from equipment plugged into the mixer or sometimes no sound at all.

    Perhaps more strange, when also having headphones plugged into the headphone jack, while the input is also plugged in, the sound is booted from my headphones and played through the internal speakers?

    In the sound preferences, the "headphone" option disappears and automatically assigns itself back to the internal speakers. When I unplug the input jack and re-plug in the headphones, sound comes through the headphones as usual. I tested this through iTunes, since I am recieveing no audio via the input jack.

    The strangest of all these things is that this seems to have happened out of the blue. I have been doing this process for quite a while, specifically, recording from the mixer into Logic via the input jack and monitoring out through the headphone jack.

    Through process of elimination I can deduce that this must be an issue with my Mac/ports, the mixer, cables, and equipment all work fine when connected directly to a different source (external speakers) and I have also checked and double checked the preferences in my applications/os.

    I tried most of these steps but to no avail. Just wondering if you had any other ideas before I give it a full wipe.

  30. John S.
    June 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I've been struggling with distorted audio over google hangouts. We use it to play online games. I'm the only one using a mac and the only one having this issue. I was going to try your technique of killing the "coreaudioud" but when I called up the activity monitor I couldn't find it. Is this a file that comes and goes as needed?

    • Tim Brookes
      June 22, 2016 at 5:19 am

      Hi John,

      Open Activity Monitor, select the CPU tab, and search for "core" and it should pop up with about 5 other processes. It doesn't come and go, it should always be running. Hence the system automatically restarting it when you kill it.

      Alternatively, launch Terminal and type/paste: sudo killall coreaudiod

      You'll need to follow it up with your admin password (which is your account password, if you're the main admin user).

      Let us know if we can help further!

      Tim

  31. Molly
    June 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I'm having problems with stuttering/crackling/completely distorted audio- both with headphones and without. It sounds similar to the problems in Mavericks, but I'm using El Capitan, any ideas?

    • Tim Brookes
      June 17, 2016 at 5:59 am

      Hey Molly,

      Have you tried resetting Core Audio as the article states?

      El Capitan occasionally causes issues like this, though it's generally a lot better than Mavericks was. This will also depend on what your hardware is.

      To reset, open a Terminal window and input: sudo killall coreaudiod

      You'll need to type your admin password. Audio will stop for a second then the process will restart. I suggest you move on to resetting PRAM, as per the article, if this doesn't help.

      Tim

  32. Luro
    June 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    This is a very important article for every OS X user, thank you for this.
    My problem was no sound after unplugging headphones, sleeping iMac, then returning hours later. Although the sound bar was adjustable and not muted in preferences, no sound was to be heard, headphones in, or headphones out.

    Quitting "coreaudiod" from Activity Monitor worked fine!

    Just another thanks, Tim, you're a cool guy.

    • Tim Brookes
      June 17, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Glad this article could help you out! I'm really glad El Capitan suffers from these audio problems a lot less than Mavericks did, but it's definitely handy to know how to restart Core Audio when things start sounding weird.

  33. Joed
    June 6, 2016 at 4:04 am

    didnt work! :(

    • Tim Brookes
      June 9, 2016 at 4:21 am

      What's the problem, Joed?

  34. chris
    April 27, 2016 at 3:42 am

    thank you for this article..
    Was enjoying watching using VLC and suddenly the audio was distorted for the speaking part but the background (laughter, music) was fine.. Really weird..

    Anyway, used the terminal and reset the core.

    It didn't work at first, then removed headphones, now audio is clear then replugged earphones = working!!

    cheers !!

  35. Aaron
    April 1, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    This was hugely helpful and I had success!

    I picked up the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth (both keyboard and mouse).

    The mouse connected easily but I could never get the keyboard to connect, no matter what I tried. When doing a Google search I even tried some specific examples in the Apple support forum for this particular device. Once I tried this it worked like a charm.

    Thank you Tim, great write up!

    -Aaron

  36. Marcus Iannello
    March 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Hey everyone, My macbook Air ( OS X El Capitan) is being dodgy.in Sound input and output, No devices get recognised.My macbook is also slow.My macbook says it's on mute and wont play music, please fix!!

    • Tim Brookes
      March 15, 2016 at 1:54 am

      Hey Marcus,

      There's not much I can really suggest with such a vague description. Assuming you've tried everything here, you might want to backup with Time Machine and reinstall OS X. If it's a software issue, that should fix it. It should also make things run a little faster too.

      How to backup and restore: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-reinstall-mac-os-x-for-a-fast-squeaky-clean-mac/

      Good luck!

  37. Daev
    March 1, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Does anyone know how to delay audio output? I have managed to get all audio air playing through my sonos (yes it took a lot of work) but there is always a 4 second delay. I know you can delay certain apps like VLC player but can you just delay all output so you don't have to do it for each app? I'm starting to think you can't but it seems like such a simple feature.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

  38. Kathie
    February 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I use a headphone and speaker with my iMac. Today on a call, my internal microphone was on, how can I resolve that?

    • Tim Brookes
      February 18, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Hey Kathie,

      You can fix this by defining your input device in System Preferences > Sound > Input. You'll need to connect your headset in order for it to show up.

      Hope this helps :)

  39. memskye
    February 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    my volume in the bar keeps coming and going continually, or just greys our completely.. help

  40. Anonymous
    October 26, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    My issue is with the Sound Preferences. I use an external device, i.e. tv as my monitor and select the HDMI option. This works. My question is 'why do I have to do this every time I turn the computer on?' When I choose other preferences they stay 'chosen'.

    I'm having a similar problem with my iPhone contacts. I select iPhone contacts only (I don't want to scroll down my entire list of contacts looking for a number to call), but then after my next charge it goes back to all contacts. Its not a big deal, just annoying.

    Any ideas out there on how to make selections permanent until I want to change them?

    • Tim Brookes
      October 27, 2015 at 3:07 am

      Hi Sraddha,

      I generally find that my Mac remembers the settings, based on the device I have connected. E.g. if I connect my LG TV, I never have to specify HDMI audio out because it seems to remember that the LG TV is the preferred destination. Granted, I don't connect any other HDMI devices to my MacBook so I can't say whether this is entirely down to the device.

      Are you running El Capitan? If not I'd suggest updating your Mac so it's as up to date as possible, you may also want to submit feedback to Apple:

      Tim

  41. Anonymous
    October 20, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for the post! Sound output had suddenly stopped working for me — both for the speakers and the headphones, although System Preferences (and Option + clicking the menubar sound icon) listed all my output devices correctly. Killing coreaudiod through the Terminal fixed my issue.