Mysterious Noise Sparks Mac Studio Complaints


Some Mac Studio owners have noticed that their new machines make a mysterious high-pitched “groan” that seems to be coming from the fan, prompting complaints online.

There are complaint pages on the MacRumors forums about a noise issue with the ‌Mac Studio‌, suggesting it seems to be affecting at least a moderate number of users.

The ‌Mac Studio‌ has a significant cooling system to meet the thermal demands of the M1 Max and M1 Ultra chipsets, but most complaints seem to come from ‌Mac Studio‌ owners who chose the ‌Mac Studio‌ with the ‌M1 Max‌ chip over the ‌M1 Ultra‌ configuration, which may be because the two machines have slightly different thermal architectures and heatsinks.

Users experiencing the issues have described the noise as a high frequency sound that is hard to ignore, and it is said to be present in addition to the expected fan noise. Since MacRumors sunsetblvd player:

Hi, I’ve been following this thread and wanted to share my experience with the Mac Studio. I ordered the M1 Max version with 32 Core GPU and 64 GB of Ram. After a week or two I started noticing a high pitched moan. Ordinary fan noise was audible but not disturbing. The high pitched sound was something I couldn’t ignore. I have a relatively quiet workspace and the sound continues to be distracting. I decided to take my studio to the Apple Store after contacting Apple Support and trying a bunch of software fixes like reinstalling the OS. After a day of inspection, the technician at the Apple Store claimed that it was just normal fan noise within the expected noise range and said there was nothing he could do about it. Disappointed, I called Apple Support again and they agreed to send me a replacement, which I’m currently waiting for.

There is a wide range of complaints, but all seem to describe the same general noise. Since MacRumors h43m player:

I just unboxed my Mac Studio with M1max (64GB RAM, 32 core GPU, 1TB SSD). There is definitely some annoying noise at exactly 2120hz (I compared it with a sine wave generator). I’m pretty sure it’s coming from the fan and not coil whine, as the frequency changes as the fan speed changes. Unacceptable for a product of this price…

In addition to the potential issue with the ‌M1 Max‌ model causing the whining noise, the ‌M1 Ultra‌ ‌Mac Studio‌ has a much larger copper heatsink that likely prevents the fan from starting as often, making the problem more pronounced on the ‌M1 Max‌ model.

However, not all ‌M1 Max‌ ‌Mac Studio‌ models seem to experience this issue, and some users have reported not hearing any unusual sound beyond the standard, quiet fan noise. There are also some complaints about the noise level from the fan alone without the whine, but many people who aren’t happy with their machines seem to experience a distinct high-pitched sound rather than typical fan noise.

‌Mac Studio‌ buyers who are within their two-week return window can get a replacement from Apple, but some replacement machines appear to have the same issue. It’s unclear if this is something that can be fixed in a software update or if it’s a hardware issue that Apple is facing.

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