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OS X Mavericks: If you can’t hear sound from your speakers

If you can’t hear sound from your speakers

First, make sure any volume controls in the app you’re using aren’t turned all the way down. Also, try playing a different audio file, CD, or DVD, or try playing the file or disc on another computer or media player. Then, try the following solutions.

For information about the audio ports on your computer or computer’s display, see this help topic:

Audio ports

If you’re trying to listen through your computer’s built-in speakers

  • Unplug any headphones or external speakers.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Output. Make sure “Internal Speakers” is selected, the Mute checkbox is not selected, and the “Output volume” slider is not all the way to the left.

If you’re trying to listen through external speakers

  • Make sure the speakers are plugged into the audio out port (or, if your computer has only one audio port, the audio port) on your computer or computer’s display, and if necessary, into a power supply. Check for a power switch and volume adjustment on your external speakers. If necessary, turn the speakers on and try adjusting the speaker volume.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Output. If your computer has only one audio port, choose Sound Output from the “Use audio port for” menu, and then make sure your external speakers are selected.
  • If you’re trying to listen through speakers or headphones connected only to the USB port on your computer or computer’s display, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Output. Make sure the external USB speakers are selected. Open System Information, and make sure you see your speakers listed.

If your external speakers still aren’t working, check the information that came with your speakers.

If you’re trying to listen through your display’s built-in speakers

  • Unplug any headphones or external speakers.
  • Make sure the cables from the display are connected to the ports on your computer.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, and click Output. Make sure Display Audio is selected.

If you’re trying to listen through a digital receiver

  • If you’re using your computer’s digital output port (not available on all computers), choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Output. Make sure Digital Output is selected.
  • Make sure your computer is connected to a digital-ready receiver using an optical digital cable, and that your receiver is set up for digital input (see the information that came with your receiver).
  • Try adjusting the volume on your receiver. You can’t use the computer’s volume controls to adjust the volume while using digital output.
Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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