Volume Fluctuation Issues With The 2013 MacBook Air

macbook airEarlier this summer I finally relinquished my beloved MacBook Pro in favor of the MacBook Air. I wanted a lighter computer since I do mostly remote work and it’s  easier to lug around a lighter device than one with a bit more heft to it, like the 13-in Pro. Of course, 12 days after my big purchase, the new MacBook Air was released and I had one day to turn around and trade mine in for the newest model before the 14-day warranty period was up.

Luckily, it all went off without a hitch and my data transferred over smoothly. The new MacBook Air has insane battery life. On a flight back from Scandinavia I spent six hours watching back-to-back episodes of a show on Quicktime and the computer didn’t even die. The battery indicator showed there were still 48 minutes of life remaining. So incredible.

But a few days later, when I started watching more episodes of the show while sitting in my living room, not on an airplane, I realized the sound seemed to be…doing weird things. I went into the bathroom and cleaned my ears with a Q-tip because I thought maybe something was wrong with my hearing.

Later that week while watching a movie on Netflix through Chrome, the same thing started happening. My boyfriend reached over and turned the volume all the way up and it seemed to stabilize.

Finally, the other day I was mid-Google hangout and I noticed my coworkers’ voices were fluctuating in and out. Again, I cranked my volume all the way up and it seemed to lessen the issue.

After these individual occurrences with strange volume issues on my brand new MacBook Air, I figured there must be something wrong. I checked the Apple Communities and saw that there were dozens of complaints.

At this point, Apple has no fix, but they are aware of the problem and it will likely require a firmware update to resolve the issue. Most Apple stores are agreeing to let MacBook Air owners turn their computers in for a new device but unfortunately it appears to be a model-wide problem. Experts agree that it’s unlikely to be an issue with the hardware – so that’s promising.

Hopefully the issue doesn’t persist. It’s not a serious problem and doesn’t significantly affect my love for the device, but Apple products have quality standards they need to meet and a volume bug doesn’t belong on a $1,500 MacBook Air.