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macOS X and balance issues

Sound Menu in MacOS X

Preface

So, there has been an issue that has been getting me to curse at my otherwise lovely MacBook Pro M1. It is the bug where when you use a Bluetooth headset/headphones and the balance slides slowly towards either the left or right. In my case it always slides to the right. At first I thought it might be because I installed BlackHole, which is a virtual audio driver you can use whilst streaming or sharing your screen and sound with others. After I got my M1 machine, I quickly found out that I couldn’t stream with system sounds in OBS.live and that’s how I found out about BlackHole.

But then I first noticed this drift in balance and I wrongly thought that it was BlackHoles doing, which as it turns out, it wasn’t. This is just a macOS bug in the latest two versions of the OS. It seems that if you have Bluetooth headphones connected and you use the volume slider on the touch bar, the balance will be screwed up! But after a small search I found a solution!

Balance Lock

I found a thread on Apple Discussions which led me to this thread on Reddit, where it is pointed out that in the Apple App Store there is a small tool called “Balance Lock” which fixes this. It was clearly made due to this bug in macOS, but I’m not complaining. Installing the tool via the App Store is just a click and a fingerprint away and after installing it you agree to let it start when the computer is started. That way it is just in the background and you don’t need to think about it again.