Thunderbolt Docks (2 & 3): Audio Distortion and Pre-amplification

Created on: December 3, 2015
Last updated: April 19, 2022

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Please note that when using the Thunderbolt 3 Dock for playback through the headphone / speaker jack, the signal will be pre-amplified. Many types of computer speakers and headphones may exhibit distortion at higher volume levels because they are not designed to handle amplified signals. This is expected. The solution is to turn down the volume until no distortion is heard.

Speakers connected to the Thunderbolt 2 Dock will generally not exhibit this behavior as its audio chipset is not pre-amplified. Also for this reason, playback at lower volume levels may not sound as loud as expected.