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Strange, quiet sound quality

Last response: in Components
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September 10, 2011 1:09:53 PM

For some reason whenever I use my headphones on my computer the sound quality is VERY poor. It's all quiet, flat and droned out. The best way I could but it is when I listen to music the sound quality is so poor that every song sounds like it's been recorded live a mile away. It's not the compatibility of the headphones to the computer itself because they always used to work with it. It's also not the headphones themselves because they work and sound fine on my ipod. Lastly, the speakers on my laptop (when 'm not using headphones) it sounds just fine. I've tried using Find an Fix Audio Playback Problems in control panel. It says Problems Found: Low audio device volume. So what is going on here? Even if I turn the volume up the sound quality is still really bad.

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September 10, 2011 3:22:02 PM

I completely understand you. I have a pair of JVC headphones, which are very inexpensive...and let me tell you something. If I plug into the computer (3.5mm), the sound quality if horrific. Same goes for phones. I have an Iphone4 and the sound quality on it is atrocious when plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack.

That is why I use my Denon Receiver for my headphones. I get an adapter to the larger headphone jack and use the receivers headphone Amplifier for a sound quality that is leagues better.

If you want better quality, buy a cheap dedicated headphone amplifier. It makes a huge difference.
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September 10, 2011 3:49:10 PM

These headphones used to have great sound quality with my laptop. But overnight, BAM! They sound like absolute crap. I've tried other headphones with my computer and they also suddenly sound bad too. I have crank the volume to like 60% to get even remotely similar results to what I used to get on 8%! The thing I can't fix is the sound quality itself. If I listen to a song it sounds like garbage and the vocals just barely are audible. Is it the jack itself? I have been spending all morning and all of last night to find an answer to this.
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September 10, 2011 4:39:52 PM

One of the drivers in your headphones could have blew or tore. Perhaps you are listening to a lower quality music recording? It could be your laptop issues also.

There are many variables that could be involved. If the change was sudden, I'd be leaning to an assumption that something is wrong with the headphones themselves.

Do you listen to bass heavy songs, because that could cause problems.
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September 10, 2011 5:11:19 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
One of the drivers in your headphones could have blew or tore. Perhaps you are listening to a lower quality music recording? It could be your laptop issues also.

There are many variables that could be involved. If the change was sudden, I'd be leaning to an assumption that something is wrong with the headphones themselves.

Do you listen to bass heavy songs, because that could cause problems.


It can't be the headphones because when I use them for my ipod or anything else they sound great!
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September 10, 2011 10:25:41 PM

Open the mixer and check the volume for all the other volume controls like Wave & SW Synth, . The one in the taskbar only adjusts the master volume and if the other volume is low and the master high then you still will get low volume fwiw.

edit: after you open the mixer you may have to open the properties to actually see all of the various other volume controls. Not sure what Win7 shows ya as I'm at work and we run XP here.
For XP its right click onthe speaker icon in the taskbar> Open Volume Control and the Options>Properties (select the oputput device which should be the default) and then check off any of the items you want to be visible on the mixer panel, uncheck any you don't want to see obviously.
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September 10, 2011 10:35:36 PM

popatim said:
Open the mixer and check the volume for all the other volume controls like Wave & SW Synth, . The one in the taskbar only adjusts the master volume and if the other volume is low and the master high then you still will get low volume fwiw.

edit: after you open the mixer you may have to open the properties to actually see all of the various other volume controls. Not sure what Win7 shows ya as I'm at work and we run XP here.
For XP its right click onthe speaker icon in the taskbar> Open Volume Control and the Options>Properties (select the oputput device which should be the default) and then check off any of the items you want to be visible on the mixer panel, uncheck any you don't want to see obviously.


I have windows 7 so I don't have that option. I strongly believe now that the problem is caused by the headphone port (or jack) itself. When could be wrong with it? Is there anyway to replace it?
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September 11, 2011 3:52:59 PM

Anybody? It's really annoying me. I know it's the headphone jack. Does anybody have any suggestions for a broken headphone jack? I've heard there are usb sound cards with headphone jacks on them. Should I get one of those or would it be cheaper to replace the jack itself? Please.
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September 11, 2011 4:13:19 PM

exciter said:
Anybody? It's really annoying me. I know it's the headphone jack. Does anybody have any suggestions for a broken headphone jack? I've heard there are usb sound cards with headphone jacks on them. Should I get one of those or would it be cheaper to replace the jack itself? Please.


Are you saying you think the jack is physically broken? That would be a very strange cause for your problem, and Windows would not be able to see that, either. So I doubt that it's broken. You need to poke around in Control Panel/Sound or whatever the equivalent is in Win 7. You have the wrong source selected or something, I'll bet.
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September 11, 2011 6:34:32 PM

Petrofsky said:
Are you saying you think the jack is physically broken? That would be a very strange cause for your problem, and Windows would not be able to see that, either. So I doubt that it's broken. You need to poke around in Control Panel/Sound or whatever the equivalent is in Win 7. You have the wrong source selected or something, I'll bet.


The only thing in control panel referencing audio is Sound. There are three sub options they are Adjust system volume, Change system sounds and lastly, Manage audio devices. Not one of them helps the sound. under Change system volume I can turn the volume up but it really doesn't help the sound quality because voices sound miles away and everything else sounds just plain weird.
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September 13, 2011 3:24:45 AM

I could be the internal headphones amp has died then. I wonder if you booted a live linux cd would help you test that. perhaps boot and then play a music cd and see if the problem still exists; then you would know for sure its a hardware issue.
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September 13, 2011 10:06:17 PM

popatim said:
I could be the internal headphones amp has died then. I wonder if you booted a live linux cd would help you test that. perhaps boot and then play a music cd and see if the problem still exists; then you would know for sure its a hardware issue.


Cds wont work because its a netbook so it doesn't have a cd drive. If I listen to music without headphones it sounds fine if that's what you mean.
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September 16, 2011 9:39:26 PM

Okay, I bought a Usb 3d Sound 5.1 sound card. It has a headphone jack so headphones work again. But now there is another issue. The sound is too loud. I have to put the volume at 1/100 just to prevent my eardrums from exploding. Is there any solution to this?
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