No audio with new speaker

Hi there,

I just purchased some Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers, and when I plug them into my 2014 27" iMac’s audio output jack, in the Sound System Preferences panel, it shows that they’re connected to “Digital Out”. When I play audio, there’s no output through the speakers at all. The volume is about 3/4 of full on the speakers, and at 100% at Output volume.

If I plugin some headphones to the same audio output port on the iMac, they show up as connected to the “Headphone port”, and I instantly hear audio.

If I plug the speakers into my 2019 MacBook Pro (running Catalina) the speakers show as being connected to the “Headphone port”, and I’m able to hear the audio.

I tried resetting the PRAM, but that hasn’t helped.


Those headphone jacks are also optical audio out ports. The optical jack is longer than a 1/8 audio jack and there is a little door that the jack flips open to engage digital audio. Sometimes that door is stuck open - there might be dust, there might be something wrong with the little mechanical “door”. It’s not uncommon. If you unplug the jack and see a red light, that’s almost surely what happened.

You may be able to fix it with some simple steps; see this for some ideas:

Reading your message again, maybe there is something on the audio jack for the Klipsch that is engaging the optical jack. Sounds weird, but maybe it’s as simple as you are pushing the plug in just a bit too far? Maybe pulling the plug out just a little bit will fix it?


I just read this posting on the Klipsch Forum:

Got it figured out, thanks to the Genius bar at the Apple store. First they tried a different speaker, and it worked fine. Then they put the ProMedia on my iMac, and the buzzing was there. They moved it to another iMac, it still buzzed. They moved it to a MacBook Pro, worked fine. As it turns out, the design on the 3.5 jack on the ProMedia is such that it doesn’t plug in properly on the curved back of the iMac, but it plugged in fine on the flat side of a MacBook Pro. So, the solution, a $9 3.5 Jack to USB-C adaptor. Plug went fine in the adapter, and then into my USB-C port. No buzz, things are good.

This is just one of those things, thankfully the Apple genius guy was actually pretty darn sharp and figured it out pretty quick. Speakers sounds amazing now.

It’s not quite the same issue that I’m having, but it’s in the ballpark. However, do I really want to have to buy an adapter, just to get these speakers to work!? I plugged in my old, damned near dead JBL Speakers, and they connected on the “Headphone port”, as expected.

Maybe a simple headphone jack extender cable would work? I have a bunch of those hanging around the house.