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Windows 7: One audio channel is fuzzy/distorted, other is fine

12 Jan 2015   #1
DieselBudgie

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 
One audio channel is fuzzy/distorted, other is fine

One of my audio channels - the left one, I think - is fuzzy and barely recognizable, while the other channel is fine. I determined that it's a software problem by unplugging my amp and plugging earphones directly into the audio jack, and seeing that the problem persisted.

I've had this issue before, but after fiddling with a bunch of settings, I finally stumbled upon an option the Realktek HD audio driver gives you: when you plug something into the audio jack, a little dialog appears asking whether you just plugged in speakers, or headphones. If I selected headphones instead of speakers (regardless of what was actually plugged in) the fuzzy channel would pop back, good as new. But if I selected speakers, one channel would be fuzzy again.

The problem is: I want to play a video game that (for some unfathomably silly reason) doesn't work right if Realtek drivers are being used. So I uninstalled Realtek, and ordered Windows to install the default drivers, which it did. But now one channel is fuzzy again, and I can't find a Windows option similar to what Realtek gave me that fixes it. Or any option that fixes it.

So my question is: is there a fix, a workaround, or a different, reliable sound driver which allows you to switch between "speakers mode" and "headphones mode"?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2015   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

There is no Control Panel like the RealTek HD Audio Manager. The Windows installed HD Audio Driver is a generic basic function only driver.

What does the game tell you if the RealTek is installed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #3
DieselBudgie

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
There is no Control Panel like the RealTek HD Audio Manager. The Windows installed HD Audio Driver is a generic basic function only driver.

What does the game tell you if the RealTek is installed?
The game gives no error message. If you start a new game, the screen blacks out and the game stops responding. I searched for a fix online and more than two people reported that Realtek causes it. They said using headphones that override Realtek with their own driver could be an easy fix but I don't have such a thing.

But surely one channel isn't supposed to be fuzzy by default? Surely there's a more fundamental fix for this than finding a flexible audio driver?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Jan 2015   #4
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

The game maybe crashing because the sampling rate is set too high. Open your sound properties within the Control Panel choose your Realtek sound driver and click properties. On the Advanced tab you can choose the Default Format. Try the lowest 16bit 44100hz.

As for the distortion Ė perhaps your speakers has a loose connection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #5
DieselBudgie

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
The game maybe crashing because the sampling rate is set too high. Open your sound properties within the Control Panel choose your Realtek sound driver and click properties. On the Advanced tab you can choose the Default Format. Try the lowest 16bit 44100hz.

As for the distortion Ė perhaps your speakers has a loose connection.
Thanks, I'll try adjusting the sample rate.

The distortion is a software problem, as I said - the moment I changed the output mode from "speakers" to "headphones" in Realtek my sound was flawless.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #6
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

According to your specs this is a desktop. Do you have both the front panel headphone jack and the rear panel audio jacks? Have you tried both, with the RealTek installed?

This is an old board (Intel lists it as a 2008 and only XP compatible). It may be better to go with an added sound card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #7
DieselBudgie

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
According to your specs this is a desktop. Do you have both the front panel headphone jack and the rear panel audio jacks? Have you tried both, with the RealTek installed?

This is an old board (Intel lists it as a 2008 and only XP compatible). It may be better to go with an added sound card.
Only the rear jacks are connected. I've wanted to connect the front panel since I got the thing, but I never got round to finding out how. I think a sound card is a good idea in any case. And yes, I'm looong overdue for a total system upgrade.

But even when I had XP on this same rig, one of the channels was fuzzy. Which makes me think it ISN'T a software problem: surely XP and 7 use different drivers, yet I had this issue on both OS's with unchanging hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #8
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

May not be a software problem. The Realtek audio chip will use different amplification with headphones due to the different impedances when compared to line level (your speakers). Itís possible the line level portion of your audio chip is pooched. If you canít solve your gaming problem by adjusting the sampling rates, then I would have to agree with fireberd and look into a separate sound card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #9
DieselBudgie

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
May not be a software problem. The Realtek audio chip will use different amplification with headphones due to the different impedances when compared to line level (your speakers). Itís possible the line level portion of your audio chip is pooched. If you canít solve your gaming problem by adjusting the sampling rates, then I would have to agree with fireberd and look into a separate sound card.
I just tested it on the Windows default driver with the lowest sample rate, and the game still blacks out - something else is wrong. I think I'll pick up a proper sound card ASAP, and further my searches into getting the game to work.

Thanks for everyone's input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2015   #10
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

If you do use a sound card, disable the integrated (on the board) audio in the BIOS so there are no conflicts. Windows will only allow one default audio playback device anyway (some XP's could have more than one).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 One audio channel is fuzzy/distorted, other is fine




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