Running Windows Boot Camp on 2016 MacBook Pro may kill your speakers

Mark Coppock
Digital Trends
boot camp audio issues macbook pros windows apple inch touch pad
boot camp audio issues macbook pros windows apple inch touch pad

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

One of the things an Apple Mac can do that Windows 10 machines can’t do — at least easily and completely legally — is run both Windows and MacOS. Interestingly, it’s Apple’s Boot Camp utility that makes this feat possible, which essentially enables Macs of all flavors to boot directly to Windows 10 and use the Mac as if it were a Windows machine.

Usually, this is a fairly straightforward process that works well, with the resulting Boot Camp configuration doing fairly well at mimicking a Windows 10 machine with a few hardware limitations. As of the 2016 MacBook Pro machines, however, it appears that Boot Camp might be causing some serious and uncharacteristic audio issues, AppleInsider reports.

More: How to get back into MacOS from Windows when using Boot Camp

It appears that the new speakers running on the refreshed MacBook Pro line aren’t working so well with the obsolete drivers provided in the current version of MacOS Sierra Boot Camp. Users are reporting the issue on all models of the 2016 MacBook Pro and they are not experiencing the issue in MacOS. Virtual machines using Parallels or other software are also not experiencing the issue, providing more support of a bad audio driver causing the problem in Boot Camp.

Those experiencing the issue are complaining of intermittent volume “pop-outs” that occur independent of the volume settings, although raising the volume past 50 percent seems to contribute to the issue. Volume imbalance between the left and right speakers seems to be another symptom of the problem. Worse yet, some users are reporting that the speakers are being physically damaged as time goes on, making this issue more than a mere inconvenience.

Apple has since released new drivers via the Boot Camp Software Update utility that resolves the problem, MacRumors reports. The following video outlines how to install the new drivers:

As noted, the new drivers won’t fix speakers that were physically damaged by the bug and anyone affected should be sure to contact Apple support for a resolution. Given the serious nature of the bug, 2016 MacBook Pro users should remain cautious in using their external speakers until the fix has been thoroughly tested in the wild and its efficacy fully confirmed. Apparently, the new drivers aren’t perfect, as some users report issues with low volume — given that higher volumes were involved with the damage previously reported, that might not be a terrible thing.

Article originally published in November 2016. Updated on 12-1-2016 by Mark Coppock: Added information on Apple’s new Boot Camp audio drivers issued to resolve the bug.