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Windows 7: Headphones cause the sound to lower


18 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Headphones cause the sound to lower

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.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Hi rabbit,

Since you are experiencing 'audio issues' while using the 'headphone jack' & the 'USB headphone', a 'hardware malfunction' is very unlikely.

Would like to know if you've tried re-installing the 'audio drivers'. If not, please try re-installing the 'audio' to see if that helps. (Updating the drivers may not be good enough)

To re-install the drivers, please follow these steps:
- Click 'Start icon' > Type 'devmgmt.msc' (without quotations) in 'Search Programs and Files' > Click 'Search Result' to open the 'Device Manager' page > Expand 'Sound, Video & Game Controllers' > Right click and uninstall the 'Audio device' > Also remove the driver software, if prompted > Follow through with the uninstall process to finish the removal and allow the system to restart.
- Click How to Use the Drivers and Downloads Website and follow the steps listed (number 4) to download and install fresh 'audio drivers' for the unit.

Hope this helps. Do reply with the findings.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hello, thank you for the response. As suggested, I've installed new audio drivers from the source provided. I ran into some problems at first (mostly due to my laptop automatically reinstalling the old driver after restarting itself following the uninstalling), but eventually I was able to successfully install the new driver and that is currently what I am using.

Sadly, it has not fixed my problem. The volume is still low overall, it still drops even lower when I plug headphones in, and it still has the odd stuff going on in Manage Audio Devices (the volume still being registered as coming out of the speakers and not the headphones, etc.). The new driver doesn't seem to have changed anything.

Edit: I've also found something else interesting. If I "Test" the headphones in Manage Audio Devices, the two little pings that it plays actually are registering to be coming from the headphones rather than the speakers, and they are at a good loud volume. Not sure if this means the problem with the audio showing as coming out of the speakers is the source of the problem or not, but I figured I'd mention it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


20 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Hi rabbit,

Please try the following steps:

1. Open 'Volume Mixer'
To open the mixer, right-click the 'Volume icon' in the notification area and choose 'Open Volume Mixer' (Refer to the images below)



The 'Volume Mixer' lets you adjust the master volume (system volume at the left side); and also the volume of individual programs that appear in the Applications section (at right).



2. Select 'Headphone profile' (As shown in the image below)



3. Increase the 'volume' of the 'application' in use (to be listened on headphone); also the 'headphone volume' to the maximum. Recheck results.

Hope this helps. Do reply with the findings.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Headphones cause the sound to lower




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