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Some MacBook Pro with Touch Bar owners report pinging, popping case noise during heavy use

A small proportion of users with the 2016 MacBook Pro are reporting hearing a pinging, or popping noise, described as similar to that of crushing a plastic bottle, seemingly related to thermal conditions in the laptop.

According to several threads in the Apple Community Support Forums, and reiterated on social media, users who put the new MacBook Pro under load are reporting the noise. Apple service seemingly has no organized policy on the matter — but some have seen the problem.

Users are reporting that they can reproduce the noise at varying spots along the display bezel just above the upper case assembly containing the keyboard. At first glance, the problem seems primarily associated with the 15-inch model, but scattered reports claim that it is happening in the 13-inch as well.

Out of 10 Apple retail store service departments that we polled on Thursday morning, five have seen the problem at least once, with two Apple specialists out of five we asked saying the same. One Apple Genius noted that she believed it was related to thermal expansion, and seemed to be harmless, albeit annoying.

Reported responses to the issue by Apple service include blaming the noise on a fan impinging on a dent in the case, resulting in a $150 service bill for cosmetic damage. Others are replacing casing assemblies under warranty.

Long-term data collated by AppleInsider about service trends do not at this time suggest a major problem on the scale of 2011-era MacBook Pro GPU issues, or Retina display de-lamination, inherent to the entire line. Informal polling of 15 MacBook Pro users in the Washington D.C. metro area conducted this morning found none experiencing the problem — but 15 users asked is hardly exhaustive.