Headphones Not Working on Mac – What To Do

Posted by Arch on June 10, 2019
Headphones Not Working Mac

Some Mac users who have recently updated their OS to the latest version have reported an issue with their devices not playing sounds on headphones or TVs. If you have the same problem, don’t worry because we got you covered. This article will show you how to enable the sound on your headphones when connected to a Mac computer.

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How to Fix the Headphones Bug: 12 Things You Can Do

If your headphones or external speakers don’t work when you connect them to your Mac computer, here are some things you should try:

  1. Unplug your headphones and try connecting them to another device like your iPhone or iPad to see if they are working at all.
  2. Plug them back in because sometimes that’s all you need to do to make things work.
  3. If the sound is still not working, check the headphone jack for issues. Dust or fluff is enough to block the port from recognizing your headphones or speakers. Try blowing the dust off the jack and from inside the port on your Mac to see if that solves the problem.
  4. Plug the headphones back in while holding the volume buttons at the same time.
  5. Check the volume controls on your headphones. Some models have built-in volume controls that can be turned down or turned off.
  6. Check all of the ports by disconnecting everything plugged into your Mac. That includes HDMI, Thunderbolt, and USB devices too. Other devices could be channeling the sound away from your headphones. That can happen with multiple devices plugged in. If your TV is connected via HDMI, your sound is probably being redirected to the TV instead of the headphones or speakers.
  7. If you want the sound to play through your headphones or speakers while your TV is on, you need to switch to your speakers by clicking on the audio icon found in the Mac menu bar. Select your headphones/speakers there.
  8. Restart your Mac because that can sometimes fix issues like this one.
  9. Restart your sound controller by opening the “Activity Monitor” and locating “coreaudiod” in the process list. Terminate the process by clicking on the “X,” and it will restart automatically.
  10. Update your Mac OS.
  11. If your headphones still don’t work, try getting Apple branded headphones to see if they work.
  12. If you still don’t get sound on your headphones, you will need to contact Apple because you have a hardware problem.


Headphones Not Working

Another Method You Can Try

You can troubleshoot for problems and fix the missing audio output by following these simple steps:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.” Hit “Sound.”
  2. Click on “Output.”
  3. Choose “Headphones” as your output device.
  4. Adjust the sound to your preference as everything should be working now.

The issue often happens when multiple devices are connected to a Mac computer. Set the priorities, and you should be fine.

The Sound Won’t Play Through My TV Set

You can also run into a similar issue when you have no sound on the TV you have connected to your Mac via HDMI. If that’s the case, here is what you can do:

  1. Open “System Preferences” and select “Sound.”
  2. Select the “Output” tab and select “HDMI.”
  3. In rare cases, the HDMI cable can transfer the picture but leave the sound out. That can happen if your cable is too old.
  4. Check your HDMI cable. Look for cracks or sharp bends that could prevent the audio from playing. Check the port of your cable for bent pins.
  5. Try the same steps we described above and reset the PRAM and SMC on your Mac computer.
  6. The sound should now be working. If not, replace the HDMI cable with a new one.

If you continue experiencing issues with the sound, try running maintenance scripts.

CleanMyMac X Maintenance Scripts

If you have tried everything in your power to get the headphones running again, but nothing seems to work, you should download and run CleanMyMac X Maintenance Scripts. They will optimize the performance of your Mac PC, and find out all of the issues you might have.

Clean My Mac

Get the Sound Running Again

We have covered every method you can use to get the sound on your Mac’s headphones working again, but if you’re still having the same issues, you need to contact Apple. Chances are that your problem is mechanical. It could be a hardware issue, or it can be something benign like a dead port. Whatever the case is, you should try everything you can before contacting Apple.

Unplug all your devices and try to get the headphones working with nothing else connected to your Mac. If that works, you will need to rearrange your HDMI, USB, and other connections by using the Sound panel in System Preferences.

Get the Sound Running Again

Over to You

Did you have a similar issue with the sound not playing on your headphones connected to a Mac computer? How did you fix it? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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