Apple offers feeble fix for Studio Display’s speaker problems


Apple Studio Display
Apple's $1,599 Studio Display is marred with issues.
Photo: Apple

After months of complaints from Studio Display owners, Apple finally offered a temporary fix for problems with the pricey monitor’s speakers and microphone. The frustrating glitches include choppy playback, audio that cuts out unexpectedly and playback speed issues.

The company provided a temporary solution in an internal memo while it scrambles to come up with a software fix.

Apple Studio Display problems

The $1,599 Studio Display has been plagued with problems since its launch in March 2022. Initial reviews panned the sub-par quality of its 12MP camera (despite its support for Apple’s killer Center Stage feature, which lets the cam follow participants on video calls).

Eventually, Apple improved the webcam’s performance with an update. However, the cam still does not work as well as promised.

In fact, the Studio Display — a sophisticated monitor with an Apple A13 chip inside to handle audio and video tasks — faltered on many of the aspects the company boasted about during its launch alongside the Mac Studio. While the company may eventually rectify all the Studio Display shortcomings, the company really should not have released such a buggy product in the first place. Especially one with such a hefty price tag.

Restart Studio Display to fix speaker problems

The 27-inch Studio Display features a six-speaker array consisting of four force-canceling woofers and two tweeters. The company says the setup delivers immersive and cinematic sound quality thanks to Spatial Audio. The monitor also features three studio-quality, directional, beam-forming microphones.

Apple’s workaround for Studio Display audio problems will sound familiar to anybody who ever dealt with a malfunctioning computer. It involves switching off the Studio Display, unplugging it from power, removing any connected accessories, and waiting 10 seconds. After that, plug the monitor back in to see if the problem persists.

As reported by MacRumors, Apple recently outlined the latest Studio Display “fix” in an internal memo to authorized service providers.

Apple says it’s not a hardware problem, implying a future firmware update can fix the audio hiccups. At the moment, it remains unclear when Apple will roll out a fix. Until that happens, Studio Display owners should reboot the monitor regularly to keep the speaker problem in check.

Apple’s acknowledgment of the audio problems follows months of complaints from Studio Display owners. Its own support forum is filled with reports about the display’s poor speaker and microphone performance. (Twitter is filled with kvetching about the situation, too.) The problems seem to be widespread, with no clear and permanent solution.

While they wait, disgruntled Studio Display owners should get used to power-cycling their expensive monitors.


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