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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - iMac Alu Sound Problem...

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Member Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posts: 4
Netgeezer is on a distinguished road

Netgeezer is offline
I've posted here as the other thread seems to have had absolutely no response...

I'm the very proud owner of a 24" Alu Imac. I bought it last October. I have finally made the switch, but as I have customers running windows I decided to use boot camp so I can continue to support windows platforms, and I also occasionally play games.

My question is to do with the sound quality in Vista/XP - no matter what switches or parameters I've changed I can't get rid of the muffled, hissy sound. I play a few games that run through windows so it's nice to have good sound!

If I plug in external speakers it's as clear as a bell - but I'm trying to cut down on cables. It's more a nuisance than anything else.

In Leopard I have crystal-clear sound using the internal speakers. In Vista (also XP when that was installed) it's very poor.

I've re-created the boot camp partition, reloaded Vista, applied correct driver updates etc, all to no avail. I'm now running a vanilla Vista SP1 install on my boot camp partition and have left the problem for someone else who knows what I'm doing wrong! Can you tell I'm hopeful??

Any suggestions? Thanks in anticipation!
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Member Since: Jun 14, 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 574
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Mac Specs: 2xiMac24 w Parallels 6 (1x White, 1x Aluminum), iPhone 3GS with iOS5

Chilbear is offline
My best guess is that XP or Vista may not be stereo savvy so that may be the issue with the drivers. I would get some speakers and enjoy life and stop worrying. What a great machine isn't it.
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Member Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posts: 4
Netgeezer is on a distinguished road

Netgeezer is offline
lol, cheers for the reply.

XP and Vista are perfectly capable of perfect clarity sound. This seems to be an output issue - external speakers (my 5.1 setup) work beautifully, whereas the internal speakers are hissy and muffled.

It's not really a big issue but just something I wanted to fix - I like everything to be sweet. It's been documented in other places too, but infrequently and nothing seems to have been resolved. A long thread on the official Mac support forums ends with nothing but a rant asking for Apple to sort the problem!

Otherwise, yes, it's fabulous - and I've been recommending switching to quite a few people too. The iMac is sat on my network, reading and writing NTFS when necessary, talking to my network storage and guess how many crashes, hangs, foul-ups - NONE!
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 2,255
Alexis is a jewel in the roughAlexis is a jewel in the roughAlexis is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

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The Realtek sound drivers Apple provides are poor. Don't ask me why.

Download these drivers to fix the whooshing problem:
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Member Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posts: 4
Netgeezer is on a distinguished road

Netgeezer is offline
Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
The Realtek sound drivers Apple provides are poor. Don't ask me why.

Download these drivers to fix the whooshing problem:

lol, thanks for your kind reply. I have that page bookmarked already! This does not appear to be your average 'update the drivers' problem. The sound output is absolutely fine - as long as you use headphones or an amp, or my 5.1 setup, whatever. It's just sound as outputted (sorry for unreal word) through the internal speakers.

Just so you know, I re-applied that driver anyway. I uninstalled the old one first, and then installed 1.90.

No change... Bit weird isn't it?
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Member Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 3
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Hi,, I am new here, just finished registering and saw your post..I have Vista and Parallels and Leopard 10.52 ..and Ihad problems of garbled sound as soon as I first tried playing audio on the Vista side,, plus I was unable to play any .wmv files ,which I thought was extremely odd seeing as that they are native to Microsoft on Windows Media player.. Saw a post somewhere, perhaps on the Parallels site.. Briefly,, when I clicked on the parallels icon, one of the first windows shows ,I think video Ram or something like that. I boosted mine to something like 1500 mb (sorry, I am at the office right now, so I am going from memory),anyways, the amount that default was for operating Vista appeared to be horrible low,, also there is a panel somewhere in VGA (I think in Display area), where you changed from 24 bit down to 16 bit.. You then reboot after changes,, and now my sound is normal and I not only play, but hear my wmv's everything sounds normal.. They are still working on this fix at Parallels on Vista,,so you will see them talking about it. If you have any problems locating this temporary fix,, email me at and I will find and send you a link.. I think this is the answer to your problem,, not the others mentioned..
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Member Since: Oct 14, 2009
Posts: 2
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I've a iMac bought in March 2008, 2.40 Ghz, 4GB RAM.
I've WinXP Pro SP3 in Bootcamp, actually at the version 3.0 (I have Snow Leopard).
Since I bought this iMac, the audio in Windows is very bad. If I plug my headphones the audio is good. I installed the last HD Audio from Realtek, nothing to do. I need a simple thing: HELP.
Thank you!
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Member Since: Feb 02, 2010
Posts: 2
charlz99mn is on a distinguished road

charlz99mn is offline
I am going to check out that realtek site i have been having a few issues with garbled audio as well -- the deal is windows audio runs great on windows pc machines -- some serious tweaks will have to be made to get some smooth running on a mac
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