For those of you not on the mailing list for OpenAL Garin Hiebert had a very exciting announcement in regards to the Mac version of OpenAL.
Here is what he had to say:
1) Apple is now officially backing OpenAL. A new, faster, implementation
has been checked into the source repository (openal/macosx), and will
become the preferred implementation very soon and make it into the
installer. The existing codebase (openal/mac) will become the OS 8/9
... Do we need to rebuild JOAL bindings to use this new implementation?