A number of MacBook Air owners are reporting audio issues when connecting their laptops to Apple’s Thunderbolt display. They complain of static, distortion, and crackling coming from the speakers built into the display.
Electronista (via AppleInsider):
The problem usually presents itself intermittently after a few hours’ use when sound from Apple’s new 2012 MacBook Air, which was announced during WWDC in June, is routed through the Thunderbolt display’s speakers, reports Electronista.
Apple’s Support Communities contains a thread started on June 23, and is now seven pages long. The issue only seems to be affecting a small number of users. Users with both the 11-inch and 13-inch models of the MacBook Air have reported problems.
The exact cause of the problem is unclear, though it could be related to how the Air handles audio output. Sound being played through the Air’s internal speakers are unaffected by the bug, meaning the interconnect could be the issue.
Some speculation by forum users has centered on the adapter needed to connect Apple’s new MagSafe 2 power connector to the Thunderbolt display’s power cord. However, owners have unsuccessfully tried to switch adapters and run the laptop without plugging into the display’s power connector.
AppleInsider reports that users have found a workaround of switching between audio inputs, which resolves the issue temporarily, and others say they have found temporary relief by closing and restarting an offending application. Another group have found that unplugging and replugging all connections seems to resolve the problem.
Apple is aware of the issue, but has not released an official response.