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Users experience sound issues with Apple's 27-inch Cinema Display

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Owners of Apple's new 27-inch LED Cinema Display have had problems with the hardware's speakers, with sound that cuts out and issues with volume control.

A thread was started on Apple's official discussion forums in October for problems with the new 27-inch, LED backlit screen, which sells for $999. Since then, it has grown to over 200 posts and 15 pages as of Wednesday, with numerous users reporting the same problems, while other threads (1, 2) have also been created.

Some of the new Cinema Displays completely lose sound after a period of use. Users said the only way to fix the problem is to unplug the display, and then plug it back in. But the temporary fix does not prevent the issue from returning.

There are also issues with the response time of volume control on the keyboard. Some said they experienced delays of 6 to 7 seconds after pressing a key to change the volume.

Some who contacted Apple support were sent replacement displays, but those also exhibited the same problem. Some who contacted support were told that Apple is aware of the problem, but the company could not provide any details on a potential fix.

Some said they have experienced the same issues while running the display with Windows as well, suggesting it is not a software issue related to Mac OS X. Some have found success by changing audio settings, and have suggested the problems are related to USB audio, as newer Macs that send audio over the Mini DisplayPort are apparently unaffected.

"Audio becomes disabled and I cannot even select Display Audio (USB) audio from Sound preferences pane," user hmss007a wrote. "The only options available are Internal Speakers and LED Cinema (DisplayPort), which doesn't work."

Before it was released, Apple issued a software update for the new Cinema Display. But that update simply added the ability to adjust ambient light sensor settings in the System Preferences pane.

"System power setting re-set does not fix it, nor does unplugging mini-display port," user jeremypk wrote. "Very disappointed. Puzzling because the sound did work at first (at least after installing the recommended software patch from Apple), and sound seems to be dead completely now. I hope Apple is reading this."

The 27-inch LED Cinema Display went on sale in September. It packs a 2,560-by-1,440 pixel resolution and a 178-degree viewing angle. The hardware replaced the previous 24- and 30-inch Cinema Display models.
post #2 of 36
I would hope this will be a software fix. It would be pretty annoying if it is a hardware problem.
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post #3 of 36
I don't use the built-in speakers on my 27" monitor, so I don't know if this affects me or not.

I must say, though, that overall I love the monitor. My only gripe is that the default color profile has a slight bluish tint. I understand that LEDs tend to skew blue, but couldn't this have been fixed at the factory? I know I can calibrate the color using the rather cumbersome utility that Apple includes, but that's kind of a pain.

But really -- I do like the monitor. I even like the glass covering -- it makes it so much easier to clean.
post #4 of 36
The 27-inch LED Cinema Display went on sale in September. It packs a 2,560-by-1,440 pixel resolution and a 178-degree viewing angle. The hardware replaced the previous 24- and 30-inch Cinema Display models. [/QUOTE]

love this display and wish i could get one. but it is really sad that apple doesn't offer the 24 or even a 22 for people who want to use a mini and have to get some ugly dell etc rather than shell out 999 dollars
post #5 of 36
Yeppers ... a bleeding edge technology still in the process of working the kinks out that everyone is having trouble with! rolls eyes
post #6 of 36
One has to wonder... what changed between the 24" and the 27".
The 24" did not have these issues did they?
post #7 of 36
...this must be one tiny minority of users. I once again know a lot of people including a UK, Japanese and US university who each have 30+ of these and no issues, only have one myself and again no issues. Let's wait for the media to blow it out all proportion and users of this site (who have not experienced an issue and probably haven't even used the product) to berate Apple once again.

It's a great monitor, love it and it looks incredible next to my 27" iMacs.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

One has to wonder... what changed between the 24" and the 27".
The 24" did not have these issues did they?

Agreed that is a good question. Our 24" is flawless and we test it to the limits by alternately attaching two different MBPs in rapid succession all the time as the wife and I fight over it. I was about to get the larger one but now I think I'll wait a while.
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post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

...this must be one tiny minority of users. I once again know a lot of people including a UK, Japanese and US university who each have 30+ of these and no issues, only have one myself and again no issues. Let's wait for the media to blow it out all proportion and users of this site (who have not experienced an issue and probably haven't even used the product) to berate Apple once again.

It's a great monitor, love it and it looks incredible next to my 27" iMacs.

Oh, that is good to know.
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post #10 of 36
I have the 30" cinema which I love. I'm sure the 27" LED is better but I don't want to give up 3" of screen real estate. Still holding out for a 30"+ LED.

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post #11 of 36
I have a spring 2010 i7 15"MBP. A couple of weeks ago I got the 27" ACD. When I have the audio going through displayport, it doesn't go dead, using USB I have had it go dead.
Strangely enough the microphone only goes through USB and I have had it go dead trying to use it with FaceTime. Funny the iSight camera hasn't gone out. Pretty annoying. Shut down and reboot fixes it but not restart. Since I set preferences to use displayport for audio at least the speakers don't seem to go dead and I seldom use the mic.

I love the display, it would be hard to give it up. I also have little kids and they can't help but touch the screen, the glass panel makes it a breeze to clean.

I'm hoping it's a firmware issue related to the fact that now audio can go through either displayport or USB and the damn thing gets confused. Of course I'm also hoping apple fixes the issue.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

One has to wonder... what changed between the 24" and the 27".
The 24" did not have these issues did they?

I'm pretty sure on the 24" the audio only goes through USB.

On the 27" you now have the option to go through either USB or displayport.
Maybe someone with a 24"'can confirm?
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

The 27-inch LED Cinema Display went on sale in September. It packs a 2,560-by-1,440 pixel resolution and a 178-degree viewing angle. The hardware replaced the previous 24- and 30-inch Cinema Display models.

love this display and wish i could get one. but it is really sad that apple doesn't offer the 24 or even a 22 for people who want to use a mini and have to get some ugly dell etc rather than shell out 999 dollars[/QUOTE]

Agree.
They should also offer the 21.5" screen they use in the smaller iMac.
Coughing up the dough for the 27" sucked, but now that I have it I couldn't go back to something smaller/ lower resolution.
post #14 of 36
Let me too (like everyone else here) ignore the problem and just say how wonderful it is, - or claim "it's only a few having this problem"....

God People, so it get's a little bit on the blue side and makes weird noises - let's just talk about how great it is. The 27" Cinema display is elegant, gorgeous, magical, and delicious. Isn't this enough for you whiners??????????
iMac 24" (Late 07), iMac 17" G5, Mac mini (Early 09), MacBook (Mid 07), iPad WiFi 32, iPhone 4, iBook G4 1.2, HP Compaq 610 Laptop, eMachine W5233, (1) Xserve G5 and (1) Xserve G5 Cluster node with...
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iMac 24" (Late 07), iMac 17" G5, Mac mini (Early 09), MacBook (Mid 07), iPad WiFi 32, iPhone 4, iBook G4 1.2, HP Compaq 610 Laptop, eMachine W5233, (1) Xserve G5 and (1) Xserve G5 Cluster node with...
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post #15 of 36
Thanks for reporting this. I've been having this problem since I got my cinema display a month ago, but didn't want to call support and go through the hassle of getting a replacement just to face the same problem again. Hopefully if this gets picked up by more news sites, Apple will produce a definitive fix.
post #16 of 36
Count me in. The issue happens after waking up the my mac, but not consistently for some reason. Taking out the plugs and putting them back on fixes it for me.
post #17 of 36
AI-guys, thanks for making this a topic!

@nkhm: this can't be a minority. i have two (out of two) 27" displays behaving this way and ther is a guy on the support forum with 16 affected displays.

the biggest issue: it becomes worse with time. while the 'fixes' lasted for a couple of days initially, i am unplugging my display at least twice a day now.
17" MBP 3.06GHz C2D 8GB
OSX 10.6.4
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17" MBP 3.06GHz C2D 8GB
OSX 10.6.4
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post #18 of 36
Not only is it a speaker issue, the mic doesn't work either! Everytime I iChat, the mic drops. Speaker issue too! Sucks, but what a great monitor!
post #19 of 36
hi, I have one of these monitors that's having the sound issues. I registered to share that its not a rumor. i got it new at the apple store and it started having issues about a week in. some people have reported being able to have apple send new monitors out but most of those have the same problem i think. anyway over at macrumors there's several threads about it, go here for more info:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1026132
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1027419

also apple's site has a huge thread on it too. lots of problems i hope they can fix it.
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....11014&tstart=0


thanks for the writeup hopefully this will get some attention to the issue so that apple can fix it.
post #20 of 36
I hope Apple fixes this!!!
post #21 of 36
@nkhm Just because you do not have it, doesn't mean a LOT of users do not have this issue. I can say the same thing about people like you, defending Apple like it's a family member. If you read the forum, you'd see one user in the UK has 16 of the monitors and ALL have the issue. Also, a lot of users never use the speakers, have another speaker setup, so for them, there isn't an issue. Many users have replacement monitors and have the same exact issue.

I'd like to thank AI for posting on this. It is a major issue.

I do not use iChat often, so I do not see the mic or video issue for me. This is a major issue and Apple support has even ignored my emails when I was told, "Any issues, just email me" from the level II support person. I've emailed just twice respectfully, without a response.

My guess is this is a hardware issue and Apple will have to replace the monitors, but will do so quietly. Eventually, all replacement monitors will work without Apple acknowledging it at all. This is just a guess as I hope I am wrong and a firmware is released.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary54 View Post

Yeppers ... a bleeding edge technology still in the process of working the kinks out that everyone is having trouble with! rolls eyes

Monitors are a bleeding edge technology?
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohto View Post

AI-guys, thanks for making this a topic!

@nkhm: this can't be a minority. i have two (out of two) 27" displays behaving this way and ther is a guy on the support forum with 16 affected displays.

the biggest issue: it becomes worse with time. while the 'fixes' lasted for a couple of days initially, i am unplugging my display at least twice a day now.

It is a minority of units - if every single one of these displays reported the same error, or even a majority, you'd have heard much more about this and sooner. I know of 91 of these displays, all perfect. Even by this anecdotal evidence (and the guy with 16 affected displays I find hard to believe, but hey if they've not been returned for a full and immediate refund then he needs his head examining) it's in the minority.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by theBigD23 View Post

@nkhm Just because you do not have it, doesn't mean a LOT of users do not have this issue. I can say the same thing about people like you, defending Apple like it's a family member. If you read the forum, you'd see one user in the UK has 16 of the monitors and ALL have the issue..

I'm not defending anybody - the second largest company in the world are quite big enough to take care of themselves. I'm reporting my experience with this issue as this is a forum, it's called freedom of speech.

I haven't claimed that because I haven't experienced this issue no one else is. Maybe you should have re-read my post? I've seen the guy with 16 monitors. It's a shame - and I'm sure that there's no way this could be an environmental factor specific to him which is why he has 16 with issues, and others have 30 with no issues? No need to attack me for sharing my experience just as Mr. 16 has shared his and you have accepted it.

Strange attitude indeed.
post #25 of 36
I just got my 27 inch Cinema Display today and I can confirm the usb issue and that the display port audio fixes the problem. Now I have two audio devices not playing nice on my Mac. My Bose Companion 5 speakers cut out almost at will as well. I hope Apple comes up with a fix soon.
post #26 of 36
I have had mine for five days and have the same trouble. I don't plan on bringing it to the store or ask for an exchange yet s I believe it to be fixable with a driver update. However, I suggest calling apple and logging the issue.

Logging the issue here and even on Apple Support forums does not get the same attention as logging it through Apple Support. The best way for Apple to notice the issue and tag it for a fix is if we as customers call in and log the issue

As I bought it for a display, I don't see this as a big issue.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

I'm not defending anybody - the second largest company in the world are quite big enough to take care of themselves. I'm reporting my experience with this issue as this is a forum, it's called freedom of speech.

I haven't claimed that because I haven't experienced this issue no one else is. Maybe you should have re-read my post? I've seen the guy with 16 monitors. It's a shame - and I'm sure that there's no way this could be an environmental factor specific to him which is why he has 16 with issues, and others have 30 with no issues? No need to attack me for sharing my experience just as Mr. 16 has shared his and you have accepted it.

Strange attitude indeed.

Your main reason for posting was about people whining that their monitors are not working. I have the strange post? Interesting.

Also, I HIGHLY doubt all of the monitors that are the 27" LED do not have this issue. Maybe you should use them first hand for longer than a few minutes.(even if you have at all, since all of your statements are heresy. The other people with no issues may also not be using the sound, as I said in my first post. If you don't use the sound, you won't notice it.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by theBigD23 View Post

Your main reason for posting was about people whining that their monitors are not working. I have the strange post? Interesting.

Also, I HIGHLY doubt all of the monitors that are the 27" LED do not have this issue. Maybe you should use them first hand for longer than a few minutes.(even if you have at all, since all of your statements are heresy. The other people with no issues may also not be using the sound, as I said in my first post. If you don't use the sound, you won't notice it.

Does anyone else sense Deja Vu? (antenna gate?). Maybe you're holding it wrong.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko03 View Post

I have a spring 2010 i7 15"MBP. A couple of weeks ago I got the 27" ACD. When I have the audio going through displayport, it doesn't go dead, using USB I have had it go dead.
Strangely enough the microphone only goes through USB and I have had it go dead trying to use it with FaceTime. Funny the iSight camera hasn't gone out. Pretty annoying. Shut down and reboot fixes it but not restart. Since I set preferences to use displayport for audio at least the speakers don't seem to go dead and I seldom use the mic.

I love the display, it would be hard to give it up. I also have little kids and they can't help but touch the screen, the glass panel makes it a breeze to clean.

I'm hoping it's a firmware issue related to the fact that now audio can go through either displayport or USB and the damn thing gets confused. Of course I'm also hoping apple fixes the issue.

Correction. I have the speakers running through Displayport. Last night I test called my iPhone using Facetime. My Mac then went to sleep. This morning I had no speaker output.
Unpluged the displayport & USB and then plugged them back in. Audio works again.

It kind of confirms, in my mind, that somehow the display is getting confused as to which source to use for audio. I suppose it could be hardware, but I'm leaning towards firmware. Or maybe I just want to believe that because I would think it would be easier to roll out a fix for everyone.
post #30 of 36
Really? Another hardware release with problems? I'm shocked!
post #31 of 36
I hope when they fix this they also fix the lack of an anti-glare option (that's the bigger issue in my opinion)
post #32 of 36
After only two days of use from new, my 27 inch display failed to produce any sound - another case! I am using an early 2009 aluminium MacBook and the problem arose after a night's sleep. Unplugging the display and the USB connection has solved the problem for now, but I live in fear that it is going to happen again. So thanks also for the writeup and hopefully some kind of Apple fix will be forthcoming. It seems that current MacBook Pros don't suffer from this problem, but it is a bit much to have to buy a new laptop to get an expensive display working reliably.
post #33 of 36
Yep, just had this occur today with a late 2008 unibody Macbook after waking from sleep.

Apple had this display "languishing" in their labs for so long and did not notice this? What exactly do their QA people do then, I wonder?

Still within the 14 day return window... an official response on this would be nice.
post #34 of 36
After installing both the software update and firmware update, I have tried a mid 2010 Mac Pro 2 x 2.4 GHz, 6 GB RAM and 10.6.5 OS, which will NOT even allow sound output to be set to the SOUND-OUTPUT -Display Audio - USB type or the LED Cinema Display - DisplayPort (but LINE OUT-Audio line out port works fine to external speakers),
Interestingly, I also tried a 2010 MBP which WILL allow sound through the mini-display port to the monitor speakers.
Shutdowns and unplugs made no difference on the MAC PRO, so this is a REAL problem, but the INPUT - Display Audio - USB Input does run my iCHAT microphone - so it is an isolated problem (for now).
post #35 of 36

(*solved for me*)

 

i regularly plug and unplug my 27" display to a 17" macbookpro, the sort that doesn't get audio thru the display port.

programs that depend on coreAudio (safari, quicktime and most any apple or third-party software) have no trouble hot-switching (i.e. start playing from the display the moment it is connected)

VLC (videolan.org) consistently fails to detect the new source, and since version 2. on osx10.7.4, has been causing the system preferences to get stuck trying to open. Again, this could be consistently reproduced by plugging in or unplugging the display usb while vlc is running.

Tried lots of things, nothing worked, it even got worse, in that the display audio wasn't recognized even after a restart.

Then I pulled the display power cord, plugged it right back in and everything went back to smooth apple-y goodness.

My educated guess is that the display firmware (the hard-wired software bit) simply needed a restart.

lesson learned: even space shuttles need wheels

 

short version: unplug the display from its power source

post #36 of 36

Also solved.

 

I'm using a 2008 model Mac Pro. I tried restarting and removing the computer power cord then restarting, restarting then removing the USB cables for 15 seconds, plus a bunch of other things. The only one that has actually worked is pulling out the power cable of the monitor itself while everything is running. Plugging it back in has then caused Display Audio to reappear in the list of inputs and outputs. 

Might help someone maybe!

 
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