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Static Problems on Input/Output with Some Macs?

About a year ago, I gave up on using some headphones on my 2010 Mac Pro because of unacceptable static. At the time, I blamed it on the headphones, but maybe that was unfair to the headphones. Perhaps readers out there have some insight.

Kevin B writes:

I think Apple may have a serious hardware problem on its hands. I’m referring to the plethora of reports during the past several years with respect to audio static and the iMac. There are a number of other links, but this will suffice.

Whether we are talking about playback through external speakers, input through the internal mic, input through an external mic (which is how I use the iMac), etc., there are a number of reports on Apple Support pages (as well as Google) noting all of the problems people are experiencing with intermittent static.

Furthermore, people seem to be reporting the exact same thing with respect to Apple’s response: Apple denies that it knows anything about such static problems, that it has ever had reports of such static problems, and so forth; furthermore, it says the only way it can definitively know whether there is a problem with the iMac is for the individual owner to bring the iMac into an Apple Store and have the technicians test the iMac.

Unfortunately, there are a few reports of people who have done just this, only for the technicians to — of course — deny there is anything wrong with the particular machine.

I am one who is dealing with these exact issues. Our family has 2 iMacs: a 2009 model along with a 2013 iMac. We originally thought the problem was exclusive to the 2009 iMac. We were wrong. We get this brand-new 2013 iMac… And the exact same problem!

Both iMacs respond identically with respect to rather expensive Sennheiser microphones (ME-3, we have 2) connecting through a USB pod (Andrea USB pod, we also have 2 of these as well): there is a wealth of static after using the microphones only for a short period of time. (I use these microphones in association with voice recognition.)

I’ve also been in contact with Apple and have received the exact same response noted above. I have about 98% certainty that if I take this iMac into my only-somewhat-local (about 130 miles away) Apple Store I’m going to be informed that the iMac is performing perfectly. This, notwithstanding the fact that I only experience these problems when dictating with the iMac, not on a Windows machine we also own. There are never such static problems when using the Windows machine.

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