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Alienware m17x R3 - Built in Speakers work great, headphones have low volume

Tags:
  • Headphones
  • Motherboards
  • Audio
  • Alienware
Last response: in Motherboards
July 1, 2014 5:33:02 PM

Although I spend my life behind my computer, and work in IT. I'm still stumped by an audio issue I'm having with a laptop. I've tried many different solutions and can't seem to come upon one that works. If any of you kind souls could help me that would be wonderful.

System Specs:
Alienware m17x R3, running Windows 7 Home Premium
Pre-installed on this computer were the following audio-related software:
-Realtek HD Audio Drivers
-"Alienware Audio" Supposed to be a hub for controlling playback and microphones
-"Dolby Home Theater v4"

Issue: Sound works perfectly, volume level and quality, when using the laptops built in speakers. But when I plug in headphones, even at max volume, the max they will output is about 5% volume. In short, when I plug in my headphones, there is very very little volume.

So what I've tried so far has been the following:
-Ensuring that windows audio controller (in task bar) is turned up to 100%, -Ensuring that "Alienware Audio" has it's settings correct and volume to 100%.
-Setting the port that is being used by my headphones as headphones, and not speakers, although the other settings have the same issue.
-Control Panel -> Sound -> Speakers (the port I'm using) -> Properties -> Communications -> Do nothing when communication software detected (Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble etc)
-Messing around with Dolby Home Theater v4 settings, and ultimately turning it off as it just distorts and blurs the sound.
-Reinstalling the audio drivers provided by Dell on their tech support site.
-Installing other audio drivers that were recommended by people who had similar problems.
-Opening up the computer and ensuring the connection to the headphone ports was secure, and as built by the manufacturer.

In conclusion, I believe it to be a software problem, not a hardware problem.The only work around I have found is to plug in external speakers, and turn their volume up (amplify the sound externally) to make it audible. But this is not a workable solution for headphones.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I want to be able to use headphones with my computer but I just can't get it to work.
As a last resort I can do a fresh install of Windows, but I'd rather avoid that if I have the chance.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I even reinstalled Windows 7 and all the drivers and the issue still exists!

More about : alienware m17x built speakers work great headphones low volume

a c 407 V Motherboard
July 1, 2014 5:56:59 PM

IIRC you need to disable or remove the Dolby...Its been a while since I've seen that.
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July 1, 2014 6:02:38 PM

Do you know how I would go about doing that? I couldn't figure it out when I tried...

Edit: I attempted to install clean drivers from Realtek, bet they all come with Dolby Home Theater. When I tried the "Power" button on the Dolby Theater v4 screen in Control Panel->Sound nothing happens as well.

It also doesn't show up as as program that I can remove from Add/Remove Programs.
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