I've been using (and enjoy using) Windows 7 through bootcamp on my mac for some time now.

The only problem I've been having is with the audio, I seem to get a low hissing noise which is more prevalent when wearing headphones. Whilst it's not stopping me from using Windows 7 it's something I'd like fixed.

I've tried downloading the latest drivers from Realteks website, but to no avail.

Any suggestions?


This appears to be one possible solution: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2178334

Essentially you need to install the drivers in 'Windows XP compatibility mode'. Hope it helps!

After installing Windows7 + Bootcamp drivers, you need to do a "special compatibility" installation of the sound drivers. So, after bootcamp has been installed, so the following

  1. Insert your original Mac OS install CD (the one that came with your MAC)
  2. Open the folder Bootcamp/Drivers
  3. Find the audio driver (Realtek or other) and RIGHT click on it -do not run it yet
  4. Select "Troubleshoot Compatibility"
  5. Let the wizard run. Choose the option "Troubleshoot program"
  6. Select "program ran well in previous version of windows"
  7. Click "test program" when prompted
  8. If asked to restart, do not restart yet -remember, at this point, Windows is just testing the program, so it hasn't installed yet. If you get a "restart" request at this stage it just means the program is actually ok for compatibility
  9. Back in the wizard, click "next"
  10. Wait for the drivers to install, and restart

Did you install Apple's drivers for Windows 7? They're on your Mac OS installation disk (simply insert the disk while under Windows and run setup.exe).

You probably did that already, but just making sure (since you don't mention it in your question). I used to have a few sound problems too, and they were solved by installing the Apple drivers... (I didn't remember to install them right away... completely forgot actually)


Rather than try newer drivers from Realtek, I would try using Microsoft's HDAudio class driver. This is a totally different driver than the Realtek driver and so is unlikely to have the same issues. It's written by Microsoft so the quality is quite high.

To install this:

  1. Go to Device Manager
  2. Expand Sound, Video, and Game Controllers
  3. Right-click on your audio device and choose Update Driver Software...
  4. Choose Browse My Computer
  5. Choose Let Me Pick
  6. Select High Definition Audio Device

To be honest though, this sounds more like a hardware issue than a driver issue. If that doesn't fix the issue, try you Mac OS again with the same headphones. Are you sure you can't here it?


HDMI should not be the default. Make Speakers the ONLY default.

Right click the speaker icon on the bottom right, click playback devices and again make SPEAKERS the main playback device, Yes it works with the latest driver by cirus logic. Should already be installed or just run your driver cd not dvd you should have.

Same works with Windows 8.

  • Run the driver cd in Windows – pmcartney Oct 31 '12 at 4:32

If you only notice it on windows and not on Mac OS I would suspect the drivers as well.

Since you mention that it's worse with headphones I'd suggest trying a set of headphones with higher impedance. I had issues with hissing and clicking on my mac as well until I switched to a pair of high-impedance phones.

  • I've never had this problem listening to audio through Mac OS X. – cust0s Dec 22 '09 at 20:38

This appears to be a problem with Bootcamp and unfortunately has changed with the new BootCamp update. Just for the record audio playing through Snow Leopard and these headphones is perfect.


set headphones as default in the audio control panel. It should work fine. And when you unplug the headphones it will still play out of the computer speakers.


Go to Windows 7 search bar

Type audio

Select "Find and fix audio playback problems

Click Next and and select Speakers

Click Next and this should solve your problem

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.