An internal Apple memo obtained by MacRumors suggests that the company is aware of the audio issues users have encountered when using the $1,599 Studio Display, but no permanent fix for the issue is available. Instead, the memo, reportedly distributed to Apple’s network of authorized service providers, recommends that affected users unplug the Studio Display from its power source, unplug accessories, then plug the monitor back in and turn it on after waiting 10 seconds.
Apple released the Studio Display in March. Along with the display itself, the display is also designed to integrate many of the other devices on a typical desk, and includes built-in speakers, microphones and a webcam. But recently MacRumors notes that users have reported issues on Apple’s support pages, Twitter, and MacRumors own forums. Reported issues include audio dropout, distortion, and choppy playback.
Since yesterday my Studio Display only plays audio for a few seconds and then it stops. Audio playback works fine on the MacBook Pro connected to the display. Not sure if it’s hardware or software related. I’m running the Ventura beta.
Anyone see something similar? pic.twitter.com/u4yO1bFubq
— Simon B. Støvring (@simonbs) July 28, 2022
A video posted by Twitter user Simon B. Støvring mute audio played through the Studio Display after just a few seconds, while Parker Ortolani says he’s been struggling for days to get the speakers on his Studio Display to work. Mario Guzman tweets that, without frequent reboots, the audio playing from its two Studio Displays will eventually become choppy before being completely cut off.
The good news is that Apple’s memo suggests these issues aren’t caused by the Studio Display’s hardware, meaning a future software update could fix them. The bad news is that there’s no concrete information on when, or even if, this more permanent fix could come. Apple did not immediately respond The Verges request for comment.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first software issue to plague Apple’s expensive monitor. When we first reviewed the Studio Display, the device’s webcam looked awful. It was bad in good light and terrible in low light. Apple eventually released a software update that attempted to address the issues, but while it improved the webcam’s performance, its quality still falls short of many standalone webcams on the market. See for yourself.
It doesn’t look good for Apple’s premium Mac accessory. The Studio Display can have a lot of functionality, but in the end it means it has a lot more that could potentially go wrong.