However impressively slim the 2012 MacBook Air is, users are not so happy with this Apple product right now. Users of the MacBook Air who have attached their systems to the Thunderbolt display are facing unwanted noise in the Thunderbolt speakers after a little use.
Apple’s Thunderbolt display comes with the added bonus of FireWire, USB, Ethernet and audio controllers – all connected to the system through one Thunderbolt port. However, it is not a widescreen display.
A number of users have complained that sooner or later the use of the Thunderbolt display leads to notable audio problems. The noise begins after being connected for some time, or for others, immediately after connecting the display. While for some users the problem started after a very short use of the display, for others it began after some time. Others have not complained about the noise, yet.
In discussion forums users found that for some, once audio is played the static begins interfering with the signal, and for some the audio eventually fades out to nothing.
Users have tried to get rid of the problem by unplugging and reattaching their displays, toggling between audio outputs, or pausing and resuming audio playback. Some have found that the audio problem seems to correspond to USB activity through the display. Despite their measures, the best some have managed to do is to delay the audio interference. So far nobody has been able to get rid of it.
Since the problem is not uniform for all users, beginning at different time frames and acting up for random users, the source of the problem has become a tough thing to locate.
But this kind of problem is judged to be some kind of driver error in the form of a memory leak or similar progressive rundown of resource management in the driver that affects the buffering and streaming capabilities of the driver and device.
The problem is being deduced by some to do something with the external audio controllers. While in most cases reconnecting the device or otherwise re-initializing the driver gets rid of the problem, but it only gets exacerbated in this case.
Apple is apparently aware of this issue but has not publicly acknowledged it yet. This is taken as typical Apple behavior when it is about to come out with a fix.
Even if Apple does not acknowledge the problem right away, it will eventually have to address it in the form of a software or a firmware update.
The only solution so far for Air owners is to use the internal audio of the device and not connect it to Thunderbolt display at all.