Notebook Microphone not working w/ Headphones, + vise versa.


To start, the notebook is an Acer Aspire 5560. It's not mine, but I helped a friend reformat his harddrive and I've noticed that many of its drivers did not begin to automatically detect/install. I've managed to manually find many of the drivers, with most of them being accessible off of Acer's support site.

With most things running fine, the last big problem that remains is an interesting problem with the laptop's built-in microphone, and the headphones my friend uses with it.

When the headphones are plugged in, the microphone ceases to work. Looking at the controlpanel>sound, the microphone looks almost inactive because the bars are not rising as he raises his voice.

I assumed that the problem could have some link with his Realtek HD Audio, as that's what his mic showed up as. I googled the problem, and came up with an almost exact problem on the microsoft support site (Difference being that this user has a plugged-in microphone)

My friend and I went through every potential solution provided, and none of them worked. We tried reinstalling Realtek, Tinkered with the "configure sound" settings in the controlpanel>sound options, tried to see what'd happen disabling Realtek on cmd>msconfig>startup, and of course nothing happened. In addition I looked at various sites which offered drivers for this laptop, and aside from Acer's own support-downloads section, which was lacking any kind of microphone or audio driver, there was nothing save for one of those bullshit sites where every single driver listed down for download sends you to a link to download some "Driver download manager" which asks for a pretty penny.

We attempted flat out uninstalling the Realtek audio drivers, and the result was a juxtaposition where the microphone worked with the headphones in and out, but the headphones themselves did not work (The speakers worked).

A big struggle with all of this is that the microphone does not have a name. It's just "Built-in microphone". I checked the specs of the laptop on any site, even looking at the service manual PDF, where most components are detailed except for the mic which remains as "Built-in Microphone".
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  1. In your tinkering, did you go through selecting the 'playback' and 'recording' devices popup that appears when you right click the speaker icon in bottom right corner/notification task bar?
  2. dwatterworth said:
    In your tinkering, did you go through selecting the 'playback' and 'recording' devices popup that appears when you right click the speaker icon in bottom right corner/notification task bar?

    Yes. What you're talking about leads to the Sound controls I previous mentioned. This is what my friend and I went through looking at multiple times. Everything there seemed normal, although it was all Realtek. The only information we could really get from there was evidence of the mic simply not picking anything up with the headphones plugged in.

    Aside from that, we went to recording, to the microphone, went to configure and played around with "Set up microphone", which yielded no results.
  3. The drivers you picked up for the realtek audio, were they from the realtek site? I've had to find their version for previous integrated audio when the drivers included on the driver disc from the manufacturer exhibited a very similar problem.

    You tried the 'do nothing' option under the 'communications' tab on those sound controls?
    Any options for the audio ports under the system bios?
  4. Two solutions, actually... If you uninstall the Realtek drivers, Windows will install the Microsoft ones, which will detect both the jack and internal mic as a separate microphone in the Audio control panel. However, this is also true for the headphones and internal speakers, so the volume control will stop working for your headphones. If you have that nifty little subwoofer like I have with my N550JK, however, that will stop working as well...

    After weeks of trying and fiddling, I FINALLY found the way to go... Install the latest Realtek drivers for HD Audio (R2.76 as of today) from here:

    After installing (And possibly rebooting) open up your Realtek HD Audio configuration panel from the Windows control panel and click the little folder icon on the top right. Make sure the checkbox is enabled before you plug in your headphones.

    Plug in your headphones. Now is the fun part. It will ask you what you have connected: Either "Headphones" or "Speaker". Select "Speaker".

    Headphones will give perfect sound while the internal microphone is still being active... Someone at Realtek seems to think "Headphones" and "Headset" mean the same thing.
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