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Strange problem with audio output from pc

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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July 26, 2011 3:24:51 PM

Recently a friend of mine asked me to come to his place and troubleshoot an audio problem with his pc. He has altec lansing 2.1 speakers and a 2.2 ghz dual core pc with inbuilt sound in motherboard. Now he says he had kept his pc off for 2 months and when he turned it on and tried to play an mp3 song, there was the music, but the voice in the song was all garbled and of very low volume (the music was full room shaking). I tried almost everything i know to rectify the problem :-

1) Tried to see if power connection was loose..it wasn't.
2) Changed various settings in his windows media player, realplayer, kmplayer, cyberlink powerdvd players..no gain.
3) Copied the mp3 in my pc and played it.. the song was ok. So the problem is definitely in his speakers or the audio codecs installed in his pc.

Any tips or suggestions what i should do next to help my friend ?

July 26, 2011 4:11:31 PM

Did you check to make sure his audio driver software doesn't have the equalizer all fubar? This would affect any and all programs using audio. Perhaps he also has A sound effect active which might muffled voices.

Doubt it is speakers or board. You could swap speakers to double check for either though.
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July 27, 2011 4:49:34 AM

I took my headphones and my mobile with the same song that was problematic to my friend`s place. His speakers work fine from my mobile and my headphone works fine from his pc (both rear and front jacks). Just that his speakers won't work with his pc.
The equalizer settings are set at default.
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July 27, 2011 11:22:45 AM

you said the equalizer setting are set at default. in which program?

there is an equalizer within wmp, other players
there is often an equalizer within soundcard software
there are often sound effects within soundcard software

you'd have to default all of them to rule out software issues.

so far we have ruled out the speakers as a possible culprit.

it seems that the issue might still be software related at this point but could also be some sort of hardware problem as well (though you say everything but voices come in clear which makes me doubt this).

what else can you do? well besides making sure everything is defaulted you can try another sound card in his pc (if you have a spare around) to rule out hardware failure (but like i said im sort of doubting its hardware at this point).

if all else fails since you said he hasnt used the pc for 2 months he has no new relevant data saved on it. he could restore-pc to a time when he was absolutely sure sound worked perfectly. best to do this after you rule out settings and hardware as culprits though. this normally fixes strange issues like this but its not 100% guaranteed. perhaps he installed something he shouldnt have, some file got corrupt, etc.. i've mentioned all the obvious fixes and tests i personally know of so this is my last resort.
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July 31, 2011 9:50:11 AM

Tried both vlc and klite..no gain. I checked every possible hook and nook for loose connections..there are none !! That's what is so confusing..another thing i noticed that there is no stereo effect in his 2.1 stereo speakers. If tested for left and right, both speakers sound together at the same time although in control panel i had set the configuration to desktop stereo speakers. Is there a possiblility that when connected to the pc, these speakers are getting shorted somehow ?
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