Why Are My MacBook Speakers So Quiet?

Your MacBook speakers can be very quiet if you don’t have the volume up on the computer or app you are listening to. Hardware issues can also cause it, and you might need to update macOS. In some situations, your speakers might be broken. 

I’m Donovan, an audiophile, musician, and producer. I’m also a Mac and Apple user and have a lot of experience dealing with various issues on these devices. I’ve dealt with MacBook speakers being quiet and know how to troubleshoot the problem. 

This post will explain why your MacBook speakers are so quiet. I’ll provide you with several possible causes for this and highlight how you can fix each issue. My goal is to help you resolve the issue quickly and easily. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Always start with simple fixes first when dealing with issues such as MacBook speakers being quiet. Check that the volume is turned up on your MacBook and the app/platform you want to listen to. 
  • A quick reset or restart of your computer can help fix audio issues if it’s caused by a small bug or glitch. 
  • Updating macOS can help solve some random audio issues, such as speakers being too quiet or not working at all. 
  • MacBook speakers can get permanently broken and can’t be fixed. This is rare but is possible if you’ve tried other fixes and nothing is working. 
  • Connecting your MacBook to speakers, headphones, or other ways of listening to audio will rule out the possibility of it being a software issue. 

Reasons Why Your MacBook Speakers Are Quiet

There are several causes for your MacBook speakers to be quieter than usual. I’ll provide you with several different reasons for this to happen here and will give you a quick fix for each of these. 

Before diving into that, it’s important to understand that MacBook speakers will always be quieter than other speakers you might be used to listening to. They are small speakers and won’t have the power of stand-alone models. 

If you are looking for the answer to why MacBook speakers are generally quiet, it’s because they are small. Even though they are pretty loud for smaller speakers, you simply can’t get that much volume out of built-in speakers on a computer. 

But if your MacBook speakers are quieter than normal, there is probably something going on with your settings or your computer itself. Run through any or all of the troubleshooting tips below to get your speakers louder again. 

1. The Volume is Down on Your MacBook  

Let’s start with the simplest solution to the problem of quiet MacBook speakers. The volume is the easiest thing to check, so it’s a good starting point for troubleshooting this issue. And if your MacBook volume is down, your speakers will be quiet. 

Your volume might have gotten turned down accidentally, or you may have pressed the mute button without knowing it. Sometimes the volume can get turned down without you physically doing it, so it’s always good to check.  

How to Fix It: 

You just need to turn the volume up to fix this issue. Press the volume-up key on your keyboard or touchpad, depending on which model MacBook you have. You can also access volume controls in the audio settings under System Settings > Sounds.

The mute button is located right next to the volume down button on most MacBooks. Adjusting the volume should turn off mute, but you might need to press the button if you don’t hear any sound at all. 

2. The Volume is Down in your App or Browser

Another reason your MacBook speakers can be quiet is that the volume is turned down in the app or browser page you are using or attempting to listen to. Even if the volume is up on your MacBook, you still need to adjust this in some apps or other platforms. 

How to Fix It: 

This is another very easy fix. You just need to turn up the volume in your app or browser. For example, if you are trying to watch something on YouTube and the volume is quiet, but it’s up on your MacBook, turn up the volume in the YouTube window. 

The volume controls can be in a slightly different location, depending on what app, browser, or window you are watching or listening to. But it typically has some sort of volume icon to indicate its location. 

3. Low Volume Caused by Bug or Glitch

Your MacBook speakers can also be quiet because of a bug or glitch in your software or system. This happens occasionally, and there isn’t always an obvious reason for it. Glitches happen and can be frustrating to troubleshoot. 

How to Fix It: 

A simple reset or restart of your MacBook can quickly fix this issue. Restarting your MacBook will often iron out random bugs and glitches that occur. This can fix quiet speakers and other minor issues you might be experiencing. 

Be sure to close out of and quit any other apps or open windows on your MacBook before restarting. This will help give you a fresh start when the computer comes back up again. If the restart doesn’t work, it’s likely not a bug or glitch issue. 

4. Low Volume Caused by Out-of-Date macOS

Keeping your macOS updated is important for many reasons, one being that it can cause issues such as the speakers being quiet. Typically, if it is an OS issue with your speakers, you won’t hear sound at all. But it can also cause lower volume. 

How to Fix It: 

You just need to update macOS to resolve this cause of the issue. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left of your MacBook window and click on About This Mac and then Software Update

The system will check for any available updates. Select the update if it’s available after this scan, then click Update Now. It might take a while for this update to download and complete.

After installing the new macOS, recheck your speaker volume to see if anything has changed. If it hasn’t, you might be dealing with a hardware or another issue unrelated to the operating system. 

5. Low Volume Cause by Hardware Issue

If none of the other fixes have worked so far to get your speaker volume louder on your MacBook, you might be dealing with a hardware issue. In other words, your speakers might be broken and might not be able to be fixed. 

That is not great news, but it can be the reality. MacBook speakers don’t break very often, but it is possible. These speakers can’t really be replaced or fixed, so you might need to get a new computer or at least take it into the Apple store and get a professional opinion. 

How to Fix It: 

If your MacBook speakers are broken, there isn’t much you can do on your own to fix it. These speakers aren’t designed to be easy to replace or work on, and you might need to get a new computer to head out of the speakers again. 

If your MacBook is under Apple Care or any other type of warranty, you might be able to get a replacement computer at no cost. Since speaker issues are usually related to manufacturer’s issues, a replacement is a likely end result 

Depending on what model of MacBook you have, you might be able to get the speakers repaired at the Apple Store or another Mac repair shop. But I don’t recommend attempting this on your own, unless you have experience with fixing or building computers. 

Additional Tips

You can further troubleshoot a sound or volume issue by attempting to listen to audio via external speakers or headphones. This will bypass the built-in speakers on your MacBook to help you isolate the problem. 

If you get sound when you connect to headphones or external speakers, it’s likely not a software issue. This doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a hardware problem with potentially broken speakers, but it’s a definite possibility. 

You should still restart your computer and update the OS if needed when you hear sound from headphones or external speakers but not through your built-in MacBook speakers. But just know that this can also indicate hardware issues.   


Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to why MacBook speakers are so quiet. 

Why is the audio on my Mac so quiet? 

If you are dealing with quiet audio on your Mac, check your settings to ensure the audio is turned up and have the built-in speakers as your primary audio output. If that doesn’t help, you might need to update macOS or are dealing with a hardware issue. 

Why is my laptop volume so low on MacBook Air? 

Older MacBook Air models don’t have the loudest speakers, so you might just be dealing with that. But if the volume is lower than usual, you should check your settings to ensure the volume is turned up or reset your computer to see if that helps. 

Why are computer speakers so quiet? 

Computer speakers don’t have the power of larger stand-alone speakers. Typically, smaller speakers are quieter than louder speakers. So even though you might get decent sound from your computer speakers, they will never be that loud. 

How can I improve the sound on my Mac? 

Connecting your Mac to a set of external speakers or listening to audio through headphones are both easy ways to improve the sound. If you have a MacBook, the built-in speakers will never sound as good as external speakers. 

How do I increase the volume on my MacBook Air? 

You can turn up the speaker volume on your MacBook Air on the touchpad or with the volume up button, depending on which model you have. You can also make these adjustments in the audio settings portion of the settings app. 

Why is the volume control not working on my MacBook Pro? 

If the volume control on your MacBook Pro is not working, try restarting the computer to see if that helps. This will often fix random bugs and glitches related to audio and other issues. You also might need to update macOS or are dealing with a hardware problem. 

Final Thoughts

Most of the time, your MacBook speakers are quiet because of something simple like the volume being turned down or a required software update. These are easy to fix with a quick tap of the volume button, restart, or update. 

There is a possibility that your speakers might be broken, which doesn’t have an easy fix. If your speakers are quiet because of hardware issues, you should take your computer to an Apple Store for further assistance. 

Have you ever dealt with quiet MacBook speakers? How did you resolve the issue? Let me know in the comments below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *