Some Studio Display owners are having audio problems; software fix may be coming

Enlarge / Apple’s Studio Display.

Andrew Cunningham

Developer and blogger Michael Tsai has been collecting anecdotes about a new problem with Apple’s Studio Display: recurring audio glitches. Symptoms include audio playback becoming “choppy” or cutting out entirely, and some users have reported similar difficulties with the built-in microphone and even the webcam.

MacRumors reported today that Apple circulated a memo to service providers acknowledging the issue and recommending that affected users power cycle their Studio Displays. This recommendation is made somewhat awkward because the Studio Display has no physical power button and can’t be completely shut down or restarted through macOS. But if you unplug the display’s power cable, wait at least 10 seconds, and plug it back in, that ought to straighten things out while Apple develops a fix.

The Studio Display has more internal smarts than typical computer monitors — it’s essentially a low-end iPad on the inside, complete with an A13 chip, 64GB of storage, and an iOS-derived operating system. That means it can do some unique things, like supporting the pan-and-scanning Center Stage feature or always-on Hey Siri, regardless of the capabilities of the Mac it’s connected to. But it also means that, like any computer, it can have software bugs.

This is the second minor software-related problem that users have noticed with the Studio Display. Shortly after the monitor launched, reviewers and users noted that its webcam quality fell short of Apple’s front-facing iPhone and iPad cameras. Apple released a firmware update a couple of months later to improve the “noise reduction, contrast, and framing” of the webcam. That update, firmware version 15.5, is still the newest Studio Display firmware version available.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.