I have a 15' 2010 MBP. I have it plugged into external speakers 95% of the time and the sound is great, however, if I plug headphones in the audio from the entire system sounds like its being overdriven, even on low volumes, I have to turn the volume down very low to get it to sound okay.
I know its not my headphones as they work perfectly on other devices (iPhone, Other computers).
What could the issue be? I'm very confused and its extremely annoying so any help would be great.
[Update: I managed to fix the issue by using an Application called Audio Hijack to double the output volume of iTunes so I didn't have to turn the system volume up, it sounds fine. Very strange issue.]
I'm assuming the software in the MBP to be the same as an iMac; but is there a setting in your sound settings between "Headphones" and "Speakers"?
It may be the fact that in order for the sound card to properly drive a set of speakers, it needs more power. That same amount of power would, in fact WAY over-drive your headphones. The MacBook output amp. is set in the hardware at a consumer level of -10.
I've never had this problem with my iMac, as I normally have ext. speakers plugged in and "rarely" plug headphones in, but when I switch back and forth, I have no issues. However to me, it sounds like something along the lines of what marsmission10 said, OR, (going out on a limb here) there may be something in the hardware that the MBP senses whether speakers or headphones are plugged in at boot, and adjusts the power output accordingly, therefore if you switch while it's still on, you may have this problem. I have no idea.
If you come up with an answer, do let us know, as now my curiosity is peaked on this topic.
answered Feb 14 '11 at 12:33
I have had the same isue myself with my Imac going into external speakers and have not been able to resolve it. But in the past I have found that some times when this occurs it is some program some where that has the audio maxed thus overdriving the system.... check your other programs for the volume levels.... sorry i could not help more :)
answered Feb 14 '11 at 08:43