Apple Studio Display firmware update squashes pesky audio bug


Apple Studio Display
A firmware update for the Apple Studio Display is hopefully the end of the monitor's audio problems.
Photo: Apple

A firmware update released Thursday fixes an audio problem that has afflicted the Apple Studio Display. Users of the pricey monitors have been complaining of choppy playback, audio that cuts out unexpectedly and playback speed issues.

Previously, Apple’s only solution to the problem was a variation on “turn it off and then back on again.”

Apple Studio Display audio problems finally fixed

The Apple Studio Display is more than just a screen. At its launch in spring 2022, Apple highlighted its six-speaker array consisting of four force-canceling woofers and two tweeters, as well as its support for Spatial Audio. The monitor also features three studio-quality, directional, beam-forming microphones.

Turns out these didn’t work as well as expected. But not because of bad hardware – poorly written software was the culprit.

The new Studio Display Firmware Update 15.5 (19F80) is supposed to fix the issues. The laconic release notes say it “resolves an audio issue with Studio Display.”

Users of Apple’s screen can install the firmware update from a Mac running macOS 12.3 or later. Go to the  menu > System Preferences > Software Update. The update should be available from there now.

Not a smooth launch

The Studio Display costs $1,599 for a 5K monitor with some extra features, so one might expect Apple to have it perfected before launch. But the product has been plagued with problems.

Initial reviews panned the sub-par quality of its 12MP camera. Eventually, Apple improved the webcam’s performance with a firmware update. However, the camera still does not work as well as promised.

At least the verminous difficulties have been software related. These are easier to deal with than hardware issues.

Rajesh Pandey contributed to this article.


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