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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Headphone port stopped working?


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derekjackson

 
Member Since: Jul 18, 2012
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Hi,
I think my headphone port on my Mac Mini has stopped working, but not sure how to test it for sure.

I've plugged both headphones and speakers into it and they fail to work on the Mini, yet work fine with my iPod. Instead, the sound only comes out of the Mini's internal speaker.

I hear the usual feedback sound as I insert and remove the jack from the socket (though I guess that could just be static instead of a hint of any audio data?)

It was working fine yesterday. I leave the speakers permanently plugged in so there shouldn't be any dirt in the socket.

The Sound option in System Prefs only has Internal Speakers listed under output.

I'm assuming it's a hardware thing - it's almost like a wire has come loose inside. Anyone know an easy way to tell where the issue is? And if it's fixable? I got the Mini in 2007 so I guess it's getting pretty old now - something had to go wrong sooner or later...

Thanks,

Derek
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Hmm, when it's dark do you see a red light inside the headphone port?
If there is, there's a tiny tiny switch at the back that probably got stuck.

Audio jack problem, no speaker sound, red light - MacBook Unibody Model A1278 - iFixit

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derekjackson

 
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Thanks for the response.

If I plug something in to the Audio In port next to the headphone port, a red light comes on in the headphone port. And obviously when I plug something into the headphone port, I can't tell if there's a red light on inside it or not.

Where's the switch I should be looking for - actually inside the port? If so, not sure why it should've actually got switched incorrectly, as I leave the speakers permanently plugged in...
McYukon

 
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If you see a red light inside the port with nothing plugged in at all then the switch is stuck. If not, then thats not the problem.

And it's just occurred to be that if that was the problem, you would only have the headphone jack option in the system preferences since OS X thinks the headphone are plugged in.
So yeah, something inside has broken so that OS X can't find the port anymore. Off the the Apple Store I guess.

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derekjackson

 
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Thanks. That almost sounds like it, except now when I turn it on there's no sound at all - not even the 'bong' through the internal speaker when I turn it on. Which suggests it's a software issue?
McYukon

 
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To me the fact that OS X will not see the port at all suggests to me it's hardware related.

If it would be a stuck switch in there, you would still see the port in the system preferences but have no option to switch to built in audio.

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derekjackson

 
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Fair enough. But any idea why it was also stop the internal speaker from working? I'd have thought the two things were separated.

If it was just the headphone port at fault, then I could get some USB / bluetooth speakers. But if the machine has stopped producing any sound at all, then that might be a waste of money?
McYukon

 
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Mhm, good point. Makes it look like it could be the sound chip.

Before we give up though, try
Repairing permissions
Reset PRAM and SMC - Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)
Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

Do you have any way of starting with a clean install? Like boot from an external HD?
The problem might also be in a corrupt sound driver, and if you could boot from a clean install to test it you could find out if it's a hardware or OS problem.

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derekjackson

 
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Thanks so much - resetting the RMC hass fixed it. And such a simple fix too!

Cheers.
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Thats good to hear! Thanks for reporting back!

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derekjackson

 
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No worries. Just turned my mac on again for the first time since we fixed it - we're back to internal speaker again.

I'll try the same fix, but any ideas as to the cause of the issue? I'd rather this wasn't a regular occurence...

Thanks,

Derek

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