I've noticed an odd issue with using headphones with my laptop. The laptop is a Dell Inspiron and is about 4-5 years old. I can't say for sure when this problem started, but I feel like it's been slowly getting worse. The volume overall seems kind of low, to the point where it must always be at maximum volume to really be heard properly. The problem, however, is that when I plug in headphones the volume actually decreases.
I've tried this with two different pairs of headphones. One is a regular pair being plugged in through the headphone jack, the other is a USB headset. Both pairs have significantly lower sound than if there were no headphones plugged in at all. I feel like maybe the USB Headset has even lower volume than the regular headphones, but I may just be imaging that. Both of these headphones are fairly new.
Here are pictures for example. I've opened up a video file, here is the volume of that video with no headphones plugged in:
Here is the sound for that same exact video, but with my headphones plugged in:
Some additional information I discovered while trying to fix the problem myself is that adjusting the volume of the headphones themselves does nothing. When I go to "Manage Audio Devices" in my control panel, I see both my speakers and headphones as active, and the sound seems to be coming out of the speakers, as the green bar next the speakers increases with sound as opposed to the headphones the sound is actually coming out of. Lowering the volume of the headphones themselves doesn't even lower the volume at all, the sound will continue to come out of the headphones at the same low volume. Next I disabled my speakers to see if it would switch over to the headphones, but it just stopped the sound altogether, so I enabled them again and had to restart my laptop before I could get my sound back.
I tried googling this issue and got the suggestion to change the balance, making one of them 99 with the other staying at 100. Oddly enough on my USB Headset's volume there is no option to change the Balance, however on my regular headphones there is. Sadly, changing the balance does not help me like it seems to help others. So whatever this issue is, it's not the one that can be solved by changing the balance.
I'm not sure how much of this is relevant to the issue and how much is normal, but I figured I'd provide everything I've come across. So, does anyone here have any idea what my problem is and if there is a way to fix it? Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you.