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Author Topic: Weird 5.1 Speaker problem  (Read 153 times)


  • Bay Watcher
  • An Ill-made Knight
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Weird 5.1 Speaker problem
« on: July 16, 2017, 08:36:17 pm »

I've had the same Creative 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker system for almost 20 years now. The hardware has never really given me a problem.

Today I noticed though that my front left speaker is playing way, way lower volume than the other 4.

I know it's not an issue with the speaker itself; if I switch the current front left to, say, front right, it plays at the correct volume and the one now in the front left spot is quieter.

So I figure it's an issue on my sub-unit. Not sure how something would get in the port as the speakers rarely if ever get unplugged from it. I shot some compressed air in there, no change. There's no visible corrosion on the connectors when I pull them out and look at them, they seem pristine.

I've got the Realtek 5.1 HD Audio program managing all my stuff. So I went and looked at all my sound settings.

-In the Realtek Audio panel, the speakers are balanced correctly.

-In the Windows Sound manager panels, the speakers are balanced correctly.

What's weird is when I started pulling out speaker cables and testing with less than 4 speakers....weird stuff started happening. For one I got some, but not all, volume back out of the speaker. Secondly when I was testing with less than all 5 speakers hooked up, I'd get two speaker sounds playing when I'd say, test the bass unit. I'd hear the bass but I'd also hear the very, very faint sound of the normal speaker test sound playing super quietly in the background of it.

I also notice sometimes that on opening the Realtek HD Audio panel, I get a Windows spinny circle for about 30 seconds while the Realtek HD Audio Manager tries to figure something out.

Lastly, when switching between my speakers and my headphones, I've occasionally noticed that I don't get sound out of the left side of the headphones. The problem is inconsistent and seems to go away between restarts of my computer.

So I'm thinking it could be one of two things:

-Either my port for that speaker on the sub unit has become fouled and isn't getting a full connection.


-Realtek HD Audio Manager has gotten screwed up.

I've tried a couple combinations of removing the audio leads into my computer from the sub unit. After unplugging my sound system from my computer while it was on and plugging it back in, now the left speaker has gone from half quiet to completely silent. Then I rearranged AGAIN and now the left speaker is good as normal and my bass unit won't play anything.

At this point I'm leaning toward Realtek Audio HD being the culprit. The problem is it ships with Windows so I don't know much about trying to reinstall it. Anyone has any tips of fucking with or repairing the Realtek Audio HD manager?


And now, seconds after posting this and trying all my speakers again, all 5 are playing sound at the correct levels. So it's almost certainly a software issue.
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