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Windows 7: Computer Detects Headphones That Aren't There

15 May 2014   #1
invisifly2

windows 7 (64 bit)
 
 
Computer Detects Headphones That Aren't There

Hello, I have a Toshiba satellite running windows 7 home premium (64 bit).

For quite a while I've had an issue where my sound would randomly cut out.

I recently discovered (after much trial and error) that the cause of the issue is that my computer is detecting something plugged into the headphone jack when nothing is there. I very rarely use my headphones so this took a while to figure out, but when I plug them in after the speakers cut out, I can still hear everything playing in the headphones. Sometimes when I remove the headphones the sound starts playing the speakers again but not always.

I've checked to see if there is anything blocking the jack, and it's clean. What I would like to know is if there is a way to prevent my computer from automatically switching to headphones if it detects something plugged into the jack, or, if there isn't, a way to play audio out of both simultaneously. I could just keep using my headphones, but they are of rather low quality and my laptop's built in speakers sound much better.

Right clicking "Playback devices" only shows my speakers, and doesn't show my headphones (which are really nothing more than earbuds, but still) even when "show disabled devices" is selected.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2014   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

There would appear to be a problem with the headphone jack. Along with the contacts for your headphones, there are (can be) extra contacts for when there are no headphones plugged in. I would suspect those connections are "dirty" and not making proper contact.

Plug your headset in and out fast several times and see if that helps. If not, the jack may be cleaned with contact cleaner but that would be an internal job and not something you could do from the outside of the case. If it can't be cleaned, many PC's have a small "daughter board" that contains the I/O jacks and that is replaceable.

On SOME audio systems, there is a control panel and SOME of these have options for whether the speakers are muted or not when a headset is plugged in. Newer systems with RealTek audio have the RealTek HD Audio manager that in most cases has this. The Panel, if you have it, would be located in Control Panel/Hardware and Sound. However, you are limited to what the PC vendor allows and there are some with RealTek, for example, that do not have this option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2014   #3
invisifly2

windows 7 (64 bit)
 
 

I've gotten the jacks cleaned and the issue remains, is there a way to get the software to edit the settings if it's not on my machine (because naturally I'd have the one version that doesn't)? 90% of my time online is spent listening/watching music/videos and it's getting to the point where I'm seriously considering smashing the computer with a brick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 May 2014   #4
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

You are stuck with the sound drivers for the hardware chip you have.

Since cleaning the jack (was it really a through cleaning of all contacts? or just spray contact cleaner into the jack?), to the point it was cleaned, did not fix it, the next option would be to have the PC properly repaired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2014   #5
Wandering one

Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)
 
 

Since the switch over from headphone to speaker is a physical circuit make/break in the female side of the jack, there may be one of the contacts is misaligned and a change in temperature and or humidity is enough to switch the output.
Art.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2014   #6
invisifly2

windows 7 (64 bit)
 
 

Today I discovered by accident that switching from the playback tab to the recording tab under the sounds menu (brought up by right clicking the speaker icon) will cause sound to start playing again much like plugging and unplugging headphones will. This only works if the mic is enabled. Disabling the mic wont cut out the sound but will prevent the trick from working when it eventually does.

Messing with the built in mic settings messed with the sound a bit too (sometimes cutting it out). I reset everything to default after playing around because it didn't fix the problem. Could I have a software issue instead? I had my headphone jacks removed and cleaned and they are perfectly fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2014   #7
learner19

Windows 7/8 64-bit dual boot
 
 

did you try uninstalling and reinstalling the audio drivers? If not maybe reinstalling the operating system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2014   #8
invisifly2

windows 7 (64 bit)
 
 

Re-installing the drivers was the first thing I tried (probably should have said that).

I did a factory reset on my computer about a week ago for an unrelated problem and that didn't fix this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2014   #9
debdola2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Im having this same exact issue! I know what you are going through. I was hoping you had a fix for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer Detects Headphones That Aren't There




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