Apple’s Newest Macs Seem to Have a Serious Audio Bug

Posted on February 19, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Hardware with 15 Comments

Apple’s new Mac products might have a serious audio glitch for professional users. The company’s newest Mac products with its T2 security chip suffer from a software-related bug that leads to issues with audio performance.

The issue seemingly affects devices with the T2 chip — that includes the iMac Pro, Mac Mini 2018, MacBook Air 2018, and MacBook Pro 2018. Although Apple’s T2 chip is designed to offer improved security, it’s affecting users in the pro audio industry.

As CDM reports, there is a bug in macOS that leads to dropouts and glitches in audio whenever a Mac automatically updates its system clock through the system time daemon. Users have been reporting the issue across a bunch of different pro audio forums for months, and it seems like the issue has never been acknowledged by Cupertino. The issue here is pretty simple to understand, as explained by a DJ software developer on Reddit: whenever the system time daemon automatically updates the system time, it somehow sends a “pause-audio-engine” message to the kernel, leading to dropouts and glitches in audio.

There is a solution — however: all you need to do is switch off Mac’s ability to set the date and time automatically through System Preferences, and it will stop the system time daemon from messing with your audio streams.

Still, when Apple is aiming devices like the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro at professionals, issues like this are not acceptable at all. The company has faced a lot of backlashes over the last year because of similar quality control issues, with the latest being a FaceTime privacy bug that lets users hear the recipient’s microphone before they even pick up the call.  And what’s even surprising is that the new audio bug also affected the iPad Pro, though Apple later fixed that through an iOS patch.

Now that the new audio glitching bug is getting more attention on the media, Apple will hopefully take actions to address the issues on the Mac as it’s been going on for months. At the end of the day, though, these quality issues aren’t acceptable at all when you are spending thousands on a computer. At least not from Apple, a company that claims to focus extensively on its product quality and customer experience.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Apple’s Newest Macs Seem to Have a Serious Audio Bug”

  1. dontbe evil


    butbut mac is the best for music

  2. Bob Shutts

    Meh. Software update.

  3. locust infested orchard inc

    Indeed there is a bug, or rather millions of bugs, for the entire catalogue of products at the Cupertino Orchard are infested with bugs, including the locust variety, devouring everything in sight.

    It won't be long till the once hotbed of ingenuity and entrepreneurship under the stalwart leadership of Steve Jobs is consumed by the now rudderless entity, eventually leaving the just the pips and core as the Apple logo, signifying the demise of a once bold and truly innovative enterprise.

    For Apple, the end is nigh.

  4. soundersfan

    Title correction : Apple’s Newest Macs Seem Have to Have a Serious Audio Bug

  5. mattbg

    It's not their only audio issue:

  6. Patrick3D

    It feels like every MacBook since the dawn of time has had an audio issue of some sort. I seem to recall the 1st generation having problems with digital audio, and then various problems throughout the years with volume, one speaker not working, buzzing, screeching, clicks, etc...

  7. provision l-3

    Apparently the issue is isolated to USB 2.0 devices with USB 3 and Thunderbolt working just fine. Of course, knowing that doesn't do much for musicians that have invested in a bunch of USB 2 kit other than probably annoy them more.

  8. blackcomb

    Real pros use Windows or Linux.

    • cmntc

      In reply to blackcomb:

      Real pros use the tools they find best for them to get things done. I use Windows and/or macOS to get things done. Getting things done is not done through some monolithic, narrow point of view that forces a side to have to be chosen. You use whatever the f*** you want, pro or not. This is such an unnecessary choke point of division.