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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
    Intel Imac Speaker Issue
    Hi everyone! I searched for this but if I missed something, I apologize and please point me to the right place.

    I have a 21.5" Intel Imac that isn't quite a year old (year in April) and JBL Duet speakers that were bought with it at the same time.

    Last evening they were working wonderfully. I had no problems with them. Never have.

    I work my husband up to stay up so he can get back on track after holidays for working night shift, and went to bed. He came up about half an hour later complaining that the speakers were no longer working. He was complaining about buzzing when they were plugged into the headphone port. And distorted voices on his movie.

    He had them plugged into the microphone spot, not the headphones (and kept insisting that was right.) So I've fixed that and plugged them in where they are supposed to be.

    Problem is that I only have sound coming from the internal speakers. There's no little bloop noise when you use the volume control on the remote or the keyboard. With the speakers on or off, system preferences does not seem to see them. It does have headphones listed for output, so I have that selected. But on input, it has the built in mic and also is saying there is another input device but nothing is connected there. No sound from the speakers at all.

    I think he messed something up and now the Imac is thinking there's a mic when there isn't and trying to treat the speakers as the mic? I can't get them to work at all and really would like them too. He plugged them into his macbook the other day without and issue and back into mine without one, so I'm not entirely sure what happened.

    Please give me some ideas! This is my first mac and I'm clueless.


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    Sounds like your iMac is confused. Let's reset the PRAM / NVRAM and see if we can get it unconfused. LINK

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011

    I tried what you suggested, twice.

    It still thinks a mic is plugged in although there isn't one.

    I noticed something odd a minute ago. After I reset the PRAM/NVRAM, I turned on a song in itunes to see if it still sounded weird. It sounds fine if you change the balance to be all left or right, but in the middle on songs you hear the words from a distance and the music is tinny. On shows the music is overpowering and the voices distorted and you can't understand them.

    Other odd thing is my little boy was playing with something, and while the song was playing i could hear him rattling his toy through the speakers! But nothing is plugged into the mic jack. I checked sound in system prefs and the "line in audio" was registering sound coming in. So I was hearing my song and my son at the same time, through a mic that isn't there!

    Thanks for trying to help. I'm just totally lost! I'm afraid I'll have to do something like reinstall, and I have tons of things to back up before I can do that. I also worry that if I get new speakers, the same thing will happen since it thinks there's a mic somehow.

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