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Boot Camp, Windows driver issue may be damaging new MacBook Pro speakers

Some reports are circulating that Boot Camp users with heavy audio use in Windows 10 are experiencing random, loud pops, and seeing distorted audio after a period of use that can persist when the computer is rebooted into macOS.

Some users are experiencing a periodic loud pop out of proportion with the volume settings while booted into Windows. The behavior does not manifest in Parallels or other virtual machines. Additionally, users of only macOS on the new MacBook Pro are completely unaffected.

The loud pops appear to be manifested by what appears to be an out-of-date Windows audio driver in Boot Camp. Over time, users report that the pops are physically damaging the speakers.

Users seeing the damage are reporting across the board volume imbalances between speakers, and others report distortion when the volume of the audio in any OS above around 50%.

The problem does not appear to be related to a particular model of the new MacBook Pro family, with scattered reports surfacing from users of all configurations.

AppleInsider has contacted Apple about the situation, and was told to have users manifesting the problem contact Apple Care phone support to document the problem, and to make a Genius Bar appointment for assessment and evaluation.

Amelioration of the problem

AppleInsider suggests that users who must use Windows with Boot Camp plug in a pair of headphones or speakers into the headphone jack on the computer while inside Windows. This completely bypasses Apple's speakers, preventing damage.

Some users experiencing the problem have solved it through installation of the Realtek HD Audio Driver version released on Nov. 15. The updated non-Apple-approved driver appears to rectify the popping issue.