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Apple's 2016 revision to their laptop lineup targeted at professional users. Features a 15-inch, 2880-by-1800 Retina display, quad-core Intel Core i7, 256 GB / 512 GB /1 TB / 2TB storage options, 16 GB RAM, and a keyboard equipped with a Touch Bar. Released November 2016. Features Model A1707.

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Speaker replacement made sound even worse!

Hi,

I got a question about a speaker replacement in the 15” MacBook Pro Touch Bar 2016.

Recently I replaced them for a customer of mine. I ordered a set speakers from China (I'm sure they're original).

Because the left speaker didn't sound as good as the right speaker. I thought it would be an easy job, but it was a huge mistake. Apparently the speakers in this system are held down with strong adhesive. VERY strong adhesive!!

You can compare it with the adhesive underneath the iPhone batteries. So it took me a hour to get both speakers out (I replaced the right speaker also, to be sure there would be no difference between the left and right).

I did get the speakers out without damaging them, and I replaced them with the new ones, and put tesa tape underneath them. I thought, well easy job. I turned the MacBook Pro on. Only the sound by low tones and bass is horrible (you can hear it obvious in the video)

It sounds like something has loosen in the speakers.

So I put back the old ones, thinking it would be the new speakers themselves that just aren't good enough. But then the sound was also worse and exactly the same as the new ones. So maybe it was the way I assembled the speakers in the system. I putted a lot of tesa tape, 2 layers!!, under the speakers but that also didn't help. I really don't know what to do right now.

Does anyone recognize this problem?

Kind regards,

Sten (Netherlands)

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you can fix all this by reverting to OSX Lion and changing the date back to when you where covered by the warranty.

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I think the Tesa tape is the issue here.

Speaker design is often very magical ;-} Sound can travel through the air from the cones but some sound is also transmitted through the speaker cabinet its self, in this case the plastic shell of the speaker this transmission needs to travel onto the case without being dampened which I think the Tesa tape is doing!

If you look at the IFIXIT teardown you’ll note the adhesive Apple used is not a double sided tape its a thin film of adhesive thus its more transmissive than the Tesa tape which is two layers of adhesive on a piece of stock (sandwich).

Sound references:

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Thanks for your answer Dan! I think you’re right. Do you know if it’s possible to get this tape?

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Staples has what they call Roll-On Permanent Glue Tape for mounting pictures. That might work.

You might want to contact 3M helpline they maybe able to aim you to something better.

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In my case it’s worked perfectly through trial and error. I used double-sided tape which I bought at a one dollar shop near my house(I live in Japan). It is a little thicker than the original adhesive, but it is strong enough to glue on the enclosure. The only tip I can say is not to make a gap when you cut it and put on the speaker. A gap between adhesives cause distortion and cracking bass sound. Just glue it as original does. Here’s the picture how I put it on the speaker.

Block Image

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This was definitely my issue. I saw this picture and realised I hadn't filled the gap between the sub and the tweeter, and it was the low mid frequencies that were popping which is where both drivers will be acting together and the pressure must interfere from both speakers and push the sub driver where it isn't meant to go.

I used some cheap, foam double sided tape I bought from Amazon,

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0...

When I used the same tape and created a barrier between the two drivers, the sound was absolutely perfect when I put the computer back together

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Hi, I have the same 2016 MacBook Pro 15” TouchBar with a blown out left speaker (very common it seems). So I am interested in what you did. Which kind of speakers did you order from China. I found several suited for the A1707 laptop but they all seem to be the same. Is there a quality difference (besides price). Also, for replacing the speakers did you have to take out the motherboard? And how did you manage to defeat the adhesive and get the speakers out?

Thanx!

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Tried several kinds of tape. It didn’t help, also the original speakers didn’t sound good anymore.. my advice: don’t do it yourself. Go to the Apple store and let them fix it, ofcourse it will cost more money but you simply make it worse.. I repair macbooks for a few years now, so i kinda now what I do. The speakers are not the problem, the tape is.

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Hi, is there any update? Can you talk about the tape you used? My 15” MacBook Pro Touch Bar 2016 also has the problem with the left speaker. I replaced with one I bought from aliexpress. I works after I just finish. But now there's the same noise. I doubt the original tape does not work perfect with the new speaker. I ordered some 3m double sided tape and will try with them.

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The sound you ear is a distorsion.

it grows when you lower the frequency because it’s ringing the structure of the speaker with the mac structure.

If you have too much adhesive tape between the speaker and its “cabinet” you will have distorsion

if you have a semi contact between the speaker and its cabinet you will have distorsion too.

I replaced mine because of the same issue you had (and obviously I know that will happen again sadly)

I had this blown sound on my replaced left speaker too, I fixed it again.

You have too keep the best way you can the original adhesive on the mac structure when you leave the speaker.

You can manage it to keep this really really thin adhesive surface at the same place it was originally.

After that you just put the new speaker and press it in its cabinet… but really press it a LOT !!!!

to have the best contact between the speaker and the structure.

Before doing anything you can try with a sound: just play on the new speaker a sound like low voice (you will ear better this distorsion with low medium frequency than very low frequency)

and just press on the speaker, the distorsion will disapear.

Of course don’t press directly on the “sub” speaker. Just press the plastic structure of the speaker.

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I thought to give my contribution to this post, because I had to replace the right speaker.

Went thru 6 different suppliers because of different faults (either weak tweeter to blown woofer) all of them provided to me with glue residue , either on the frame or on the connector itself, also analysing the pictures on amazon they all have old glue.

Came to the conclusion that none of this speakers are brand new but just pulls from top cases, and altho yes the aluminium acts partly for resonance (like a transducer on a wood board) and transfer the lower frequencies , most of these woofers are mechanically flawed because if you send a low volume sine wave it should slowly oscillate not cracking straight away..

I suppose the demand of new speakers (due to the blowing issue) is higher than supply , then from mainstream channels you get all the pulled one.

I’ve used different strength of double adhesive cutting it to shape, it doesn’t matter they are all broken.

If air escapes from the lower part (the most crucial as the tweeter doesn’t need to be airtight) yes you could have unwanted movement from the woofer flat cone, but not to the point of crackling at low volume, it’s just insane..

I also think that Apple with this model has pushed to far the sub frequencies , considering the size of the woofer..

So get your money back, and hopefully you will find one of acceptable quality that doesn’t crack as before and install a general EQ app like https://bitgapp.com/eqmac/ to kill the global lower frequencies and have a sound comparable to the old retina A1398.

I hope to find a decent replacement in the future, in the mean time I have stereo sound!

Emil

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It is absolutely the tape. I just installed a new speaker for the 5th time. On the first try it definitely sounded like the speaker was blown. The tape was a good quality 3m double sided tape, sort of a thin foam material, and I was careful to carve out a gasket all the way around the speaker for a good seal but when installed I noticed that the tap must have been a smidge thicker than the original, the speaker was not quite fully seated against the frame. The gap was tiny, like less than 1 mm, but it was a gap. The first test was super disappointing because the speaker took months to get and it sounded pretty bad, usable, but it was buzzy. Suspecting that the tape was causing the tweeter to buzz agains the frame I tried again with a paper thin double sided sticky tape. The theory was sound but the results just as disappointing, the buzz was gone but now it got distorted very easily and just didn’t sound quite like the other side. After a few days of that grating my nerves I came across this thread and went for another attempt. When I pulled the speaker out it lifted pretty easily, the thin tape wasn’t making full contact all the way around. This time I used butyl tape, this stuff is like a sticky putty that you can mold into any shape. I rolled it into the thinnest little roll I could manage, about 1-2mm and ran a line of it around the speaker and pressed it into place. It seated well and the butyl flattens out to a perfect gasket. The sound is perfect now.

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I found a solution for this problem. Just add extra pressure point to the bottom case.

Block Image


See image. Red marked areas needs to be have extra tape or something that press the speakers down. After that the problem is gone. You have again the great bass :D.

I also taped my speaker with a thin double sided tape.

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Hello, I have a similar problem. My left speaker is NOT noisy but the woofer doesn’t work. So I have a deep full sound coming from the right speaker (perfectly working) and just a thin twitter sound coming from the left speaker. So I decided to understand how I should do the job. I got a pair of speakers and reading this fantastic forum I got to the conclusion that I have to gently warm up the front of my speaker with a dryer and then pull the speaker off. My speaker is almost dead: the twitter sounds so tiny.. but nor the less is not noisy and overall not disturbing. I’m not sure if just ripping it off of being more gentle and trying to save it (have you ever seen the video of Mike Tyson unpacking a brand new Barbie doll?).

Let’s talk about the tape/glue/d-tape and so on. it’s the key to success as I read in multiple threads here on ifixit.. anyone can help me understand how to correctly apply it and what I have to buy on amazon? can you give me a product name that worked for you and I can rely on?

PS: I have seen various disassembling videos on YT and there are no holes in the metal body of the mac corresponding to the speakers area. I haven’t opened my machine yet but they seem just cosmetic.

really many thanks to anyone here. all you helped me more than the rest of the worldwide. KUDOS

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@nisayatsu this was the fix! Thank you! I just added 2 pieces of electrical tape across these points on each side (you’ll see little pads there on the cover, which was probably to prevent this distortion issue). The tape fixed the distortion right up.

I purchased these replacement speakers for 28$ to fix my blow left speaker that I’ve been dealing with for years. Used a small/sharp flat head screw driver to gently pry the speakers, and removed the old adhesive. I then inserted the new speaker which already had 3M adhesive on it. It fit very snug and attached strongly. After putting it back together the first time, I noticed the distortion and was pretty bummed. After finding @nisayatsu ’s post, I took the cover off again and laid the tape across the little pads on each side, and the sound was perfect after putting it back together. Hope this helps!!

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sten roeffel será eternamente grato(a).
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