Audio problems, headphones stopped working.

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
To be honest, I'm not sure what I can really add to the title.
Recently, I moved my PC setup from one side of my room to the other, and now that it's moved, my headphones have stopped being recognised by my PC.
Ordinarily, you plug your headphones into the headphone jack and they immediately take over from the speakers you have, muting them and playing the sound through the headphones, but suddenly they're not doing it. I plug the headphones into the jack and nothing happens. The audio continues playing from my speakers.
I've googled this problem and none of the solutions I've seen make any sense!

"Update your drivers"
All fully up to date
"Backdate your drivers"
Doesn't let me
"Uninstall and reinstall your drivers"
Tried, doesn't work.
"Use the jacks at the back of your computer instead of the front"
Why? But, tried it and it doesn't work
"Disable Cortana"
Why? Tried it, and it doesn't work anyway.
"Select your headphones in the sound devices menu"
Well doesn't that sound easy? Guess what, they're not there
"Just enable unplugged and disabled devices"
They're enabled by default, I still can't see my headphones.

So please, for the love of god don't just suggest these things that I've already tried because I've already tried them and they don't work.
Please read.
Thank you in advance, I really need this.
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Your headphones, do they have a standard 3.5mm stereo mini jack?
Have you tried them in another device?
Tried other headphones?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
When you tried the jacks at the back of the computer the auto-switching wouldn't have worked but did you get audio?

If so then it's likely the front panel connections on your case became unplugged when you moved it. Open it up and reconnect it.
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
When you tried the jacks at the back of the computer the auto-switching wouldn't have worked but did you get audio?

If so then it's likely the front panel connections on your case became unplugged when you moved it. Open it up and reconnect it.
No, when I tried it in the back, again nothing happened and audio continued to play from my speakers.
Hardware fault on your PC possibly.
This doesn't make sense. All I've done is move my PC from one place to another. Nothing else has changed that could possibly make my PC break.
In fact, after I moved my PC, my headphones still worked. It was only a short while later when I plugged my headphones in again that they suddenly stopped working.
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Faults/breakdowns don't always make sense.
The act of moving it has maybe shown up a loose connection or a dry joint somewhere.
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
Is there no other explanation that could have caused this?
I'm a student so I have no income, so I can't really afford to get this thing replaced.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Out of interest, is it a separate soundcard? If it is, could it have become dislodged in some or are you using the onboard soundcard like Realtek?

I had a weird thing happened to mine where it lost all the sound even though Windows was happy to say it was working and I actually had to install the original driver that came with it for windows 8.1 and then update it from there to the latest one. Mine wasn't because I'd moved it as it's a laptop, but because of an update which Windows did and went wrong

I'm guessing you've also checked the obvious ones

Muted, Volume, Default Sound Card selected, configured correctly etc... also have you checked the device manager to see if windows is showing issues
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
Out of interest, is it a separate soundcard? If it is, could it have become dislodged in some or are you using the onboard soundcard like Realtek?

I had a weird thing happened to mine where it lost all the sound even though Windows was happy to say it was working and I actually had to install the original driver that came with it for windows 8.1 and then update it from there to the latest one. Mine wasn't because I'd moved it as it's a laptop, but because of an update which Windows did and went wrong

I'm guessing you've also checked the obvious ones

Muted, Volume, Default Sound Card selected, configured correctly etc... also have you checked the device manager to see if windows is showing issues
I don't know. It's a custom made PC but it's been a long time so I can't remember if it has a separate soundcard.
I have checked a lot of things but I didn't realise there was somewhere where you could change which sound card it used.
Also, in device manager, what should I be looking out for to see if it has issues?
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
The easy way to see if you have a soundcard is to look at the rear of the computer. If the inputs are situated near the USB inputs and inline with the bottom of the motherboard, then its onboard and if its vertical and separate, then its a genuine soundcard. If you have both, you could have other issue at play and you may have somehow upset the bios. This would require you entering the bios and switching the onboard soundcard off

If you have an error in the device manager, you will see either something greyed out or it will have a tiny yellow warning triangle next to it. When you look in this area, you should just see the computers name and a long list of items. If you have something else standing out, then it will be either disabled or have a warning mark next to it which needs your attention

Note that if you do not know what you are doing in these areas (Bios, Device Manager or opening it up to add a new soundcard), you could stop your PC from working altogether, so its a last resort or at least ask someone who knows something about them. As you are a student, if you are playing in these areas, please do make sure you have an external backup of everything you use/need because if you do mess it up, you may never get it going again without serious action and from that point, you will need to pull the data from the drive using command prompt which is a little harder than you might think

The saving grace is if the soundcard has failed, you can get going with something like this or even this until you can afford to get a proper new soundcard link this soundblaster (just check have an input for a PCI or PCI express card on the motherboard (which will require you to open the case - again ask a friend if you have one). If you only have a PCI slot, just look on ebay for a soundblaster with PCI and make sure it works with the version of windows you are using and it comes with the driver disc to get you going :)
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
The easy way to see if you have a soundcard is to look at the rear of the computer. If the inputs are situated near the USB inputs and inline with the bottom of the motherboard, then its onboard and if its vertical and separate, then its a genuine soundcard. If you have both, you could have other issue at play and you may have somehow upset the bios. This would require you entering the bios and switching the onboard soundcard off

If you have an error in the device manager, you will see either something greyed out or it will have a tiny yellow warning triangle next to it. When you look in this area, you should just see the computers name and a long list of items. If you have something else standing out, then it will be either disabled or have a warning mark next to it which needs your attention

Note that if you do not know what you are doing in these areas (Bios, Device Manager or opening it up to add a new soundcard), you could stop your PC from working altogether, so its a last resort or at least ask someone who knows something about them. As you are a student, if you are playing in these areas, please do make sure you have an external backup of everything you use/need because if you do mess it up, you may never get it going again without serious action and from that point, you will need to pull the data from the drive using command prompt which is a little harder than you might think

The saving grace is if the soundcard has failed, you can get going with something like this or even this until you can afford to get a proper new soundcard link this soundblaster (just check have an input for a PCI or PCI express card on the motherboard (which will require you to open the case - again ask a friend if you have one). If you only have a PCI slot, just look on ebay for a soundblaster with PCI and make sure it works with the version of windows you are using and it comes with the driver disc to get you going :)
Well, having checked device manager many times, I have not seen any such warning triangles.
As for the whole integrated soundcard thing, I need you to elaborate on the whole "Inputs in line with the bottom of the motherboard" thing because there are a lot of inputs on the back of my computer. I'm assuming you're referring to the 3.5mm jacks, which appear to be somewhat higher than the bottom of the motherboard, although they are not vertical and are horizontal. They are also situated next to SOME of the USB ports, but the USB ports on the back of my PC go all the way up.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
gyxwvpbiilwtobgp_setting_xxx_0_90_end_800.png

This is what an onboard soundcard look like and is quite simple (so I guess you are looking to hard). You have a small block with all the sound feature input/outputs are
withcard.jpg

With soundcard installed, you still retain the box housing all the sound features on the motherboard, you will have a separate vertical solution to which double up on those inputs (in rare occurrences, some onboard soundcards also use a vertical section to, but it will not have the basic inputs as shown below)
fea8_Connector_en.jpg


As you have mentioned there is no errors or greyed out areas and you have tried all areas, I suspect the soundcard has failed as others have commented
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
gyxwvpbiilwtobgp_setting_xxx_0_90_end_800.png

This is what an onboard soundcard look like and is quite simple (so I guess you are looking to hard). You have a small block with all the sound feature input/outputs are
View attachment 1598465
With soundcard installed, you still retain the box housing all the sound features on the motherboard, you will have a separate vertical solution to which double up on those inputs (in rare occurrences, some onboard soundcards also use a vertical section to, but it will not have the basic inputs as shown below)View attachment 1598466

As you have mentioned there is no errors or greyed out areas and you have tried all areas, I suspect the soundcard has failed as others have commented
Ok, I think I figured it out.
It seems I do have an onboard soundcard, but whoever it was that built my PC installed it sideways, so I have that block of 6 3.5mm ports at the bottom and the USBs climbing up above it.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
I would suggest that either you have a developed a faulty jack (possible but unlikely) or the auto sensing function has been turned off (more likely).

Try the following turn on you speakers and play something so you can hear sound as normal, then plug the headphones in. Then click on the sound icon and you should have the speakers selected as the current device. click the little arrow ^ and see if you have another audio device to select (headphones) and select it. if the should in your headphones then works you know everything is working fine and you just need to turn the auto sense back on.

You can also switch devices by going to control panel / playback. So when you have plugged in your headphones, they should show up as 'Ready' (and selectable). In the event the above doesn't work and you don't hear any thing from your headphones, leave them plugged in and they should be listed in here.

If they don't show up or they are listed as 'disabled' you can try right-clicking and enabling them.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Ok, I think I figured it out.
It seems I do have an onboard soundcard, but whoever it was that built my PC installed it sideways, so I have that block of 6 3.5mm ports at the bottom and the USBs climbing up above it.
It sounds like a faulty one, but as you have six inputs, please double check you are plugging the headphone jack into the green input at the rear as the onboard soundcard card is a surround sound card and its so easy to think its right. As for the front one not working, if you have somehow plugged them into the wrong input at the rear and you find it works, then I suspect the small plug on the motherboard has somehow worked its way loose when you moved it and may just need reseating

It could certainly be what @jimscreechy has mentioned to as it sounds like it should be something simple which in turn turns out to be the hardest thing to find hence why there are so many different areas to look. You've got to love Microsoft for making things so easy it can be impossible to find, but again, you cannot rule out it failing. But look at mine where I'd to install 8.1 drivers for windows 10 to get the sound to work due to a corrupt driver. Who would've have thought of doing that, not me until I'd tried everything else and I actually expected a blue screen of death doing it, but I had nothing else to loose as I was in the process of reinstalling windows 8.1 to carry out an upgrade to 10 from that point and thought I'll just give it a try :rolleyes:
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I have checked a lot of things but I didn't realise there was somewhere where you could change which sound card it used.

The way the Windows audio system works is that all devices present their sound inputs and outputs to windows as audio devices. There's a system wide user selectable setting for which output and input is the default but any other choice is done on a per-program basis.

The front panel jacks are often presented by soundcards as the same output as the rear one, with the front taking priority internally if something is plugged in. Some soundcards have the option to change this behaviour in their software so various other configurations are possible (duplicate audio, two separate sound outputs etc.)

So when you plugged the headphones into a separate rear output to the speakers it wouldn't have produced any noise because the default was still set to the output the speakers were using.

Unfortunately 3.5mm audio is an old analogue standard with none of the niceties of a modern standard like providing details of which device has been plugged in. It's not uncommon for the sound devices corresponding to analogue outputs to just have generic names like 'speakers' that don't change.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Strictly speaking 3.5mm audio is just the physical interface not a standard, and the way it is presented (via 3.5mm) has changed little, though now on laptops they now tend to be mic/phone combined.
The chip that presents the audio, collectively called HD audio these days (though chip specifics vary), is what gives the additional capabilities like deteriming what device is plugged in and where, and pretty much all devices have this facility and have done so for some time. Most devices have the ability to disable this fuction. At any rate I'd investigate driver and property settings first.
 
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Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
Strictly speaking 3.5mm audio is just the physical interface not a standard, and the way it is presented (via 3.5mm) has changed little though now on laptops they now tend to be mic/phone combined.
The chip that presents the audio, collectively called HD audio these days (though chip specifics vary), is what gives the additional capabilities like deteriming what device is plugged in and where, and pretty much all devices have this facility had have done so for some time. Most devices have the ability to disable this fuction. At any rate I'd investigate driver and property settings first.
Me and another slightly more tech literate friend investigated my drivers, we realised that the Realtek audio driver was missing, so we tried to reinstall it, that failed.
So we're speculating that my soundboard is just dead.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Hmm if the audio driver was missing or the soundboard was dead, you would not hear any sound from your speakers, so I doubt this is the problem. If you look in device manager it will certainly tell you the status of the device and if it is malfunctioning. what does it say?
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
Hmm if the audio driver was missing or the soundboard was dead, you would not hear any sound from your speakers, so I doubt this is the problem. If you look in device manager it will certainly tell you the status of the device and if it is malfunctioning. what does it say?
Nothing. There is no soundboard device at all, like it's not even there.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Before you get too tangled up with drivers and possible board faults, what happens if you unplug the speakers and plug the headphones in to the same socket?
 

Graf von Scyth

Novice Member
Before you get too tangled up with drivers and possible board faults, what happens if you unplug the speakers and plug the headphones in to the same socket?
That socket is in my monitor.
And yes, the headphones work when plugged into my monitor, but this isn't really an option as the port on the back of my monitor is on the bottom of the back, meaning I have to flip my monitor upside down in order to get access to it.
Possible, but not a long term solution.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Ok, crucial information there. It sounds like HDMI has been set as your default audio device.

Go into settings and with your headphones plugged in, set the headphone output as the default audio and communication device.

This should use the monitor audio output when headphones are not plugged in and headphones as soon as they are present.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Ok, crucial information there. It sounds like HDMI has been set as your default audio device.

Go into settings and with your headphones plugged in, set the headphone output as the default audio and communication device.

This should use the monitor audio output when headphones are not plugged in and headphones as soon as they are present.
er... I have already directed him to do that in my very first post.
 

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