MacOS Monterey Sound Bug
The macOS Monterey Sound Bug issue has been resolved by Apple in version 12.4 released on Monday, May 16th 2022 - This issue is now closed and we recommend updating your system to this version or higher if you experienced this issue.
The support article is intended for macOS users that are on macOS Monterey. We learned that macOS Monterey has a bug that is impacting all OS level mute functionality. The bug predominantly appears when the microphone connected to the computer also comprises of an earpiece. This means that most wireless headsets including AirPods, and other bluetooth wireless headsets are impacted.
The MuteMe-Client software interfaces with the operating system to control different microphones that are connected. The operating system classifies devices as either a input (microphone) or output (speaker), and then gives granular control to various applications to interface with those devices. In the latest build of macOS Monterey there was a change made to how devices are classified (it is clearly a bug), that change on the backend of the operating system is causing all types of issues for any device that exercised control over headsets or microphones. We know this is a bug in macOS because default tools within the operating system are broken as well.
Steps to reproduce on macOS Monterey without MuteMe software:
- Connect any bluetooth headset to the computer.
- Open default "audio MIDI setup" application which is a default macOS application.
- Find the headset you connected via bluetooth and find the input pane it might show up as two seperate devices.
- Play any audio source including playing a clip from youtube.
- Go back to the the "audio MIDI setup" application and click the mute checkbox next to the slider on the input pane.
- At this point the output will be muted; what should happen (desired behavior) is the input should be muted but it should not impact the output. What is happening is it is not impacting the input but muting the output.
Since we are a new company we know that might be a little harder to accept that the issue was caused by Apple. That is why we outlined the steps above so anyone can reproduce this bug. We are exploring options to see if we can fix on our end but this is a complicated issue and Apple does not give control over the OS to anyone.
There is no real resolution for this issue at this time. We recommend not upgrading to macOS Monterey for the time being as this issue and many others are being addressed.
We have contacted Apple to let them know of the issue and are trying to find a way to elevate this issue to the macOS dev team.
Feel free to contact them as well:
Sample Script to use when filing report with Apple:
Monterey has a bug that is impacting global mute functionality in the OS when using any audio bluetooth devices such as AirPods. When global OS mute is used it is muting both the input and the output when the desired outcome would be to only mute the input. This problem did not exist on Big Sur. It appears that in macOS Monterey there was a change made to how devices are classified (it is clearly a bug), that change on the backend of the operating system is causing all types of issues for any device that exercised control over headsets or microphones.
Here are some steps to reproduce on macOS Monterey:
If you use one of the conferencing applications for which we have level two or level three sync, you could disable our ability to control your microphone by unchecking the box next to "control this microphone with MuteMe" and then relying on the application layer to sync and use MuteMe with your favorite conferencing applications.
You could use a different microphone including the built in microphone and have MuteMe control that microphone but not control the bluetooth headset. You would also want to change your input device in your conferencing application to that other microphone.
Some users have resulted to utilizing third-party applications to pipe audio from one microphone to a virtual microphone and then used to MuteMe to control that virtual microphone. Although we cannot make recommendations to any particular set of software, users have reported success with "sound flower" which is a free open source utility.
Last Updated: 3:49 PM - PST - May 16th, 2022
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