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I just finished my first desktop build and I am experiencing some problems with the front audio jack that I can't seem to be able toresolve.
The audio seems to be there, but it sounds distorted with some cracking in it. Normally people's voices sound from afar. I tested the audio using the Realtek HD Audio Manager selected different option without good results.
I could hear the sound test fine no cracking, though it doesn't seem to recognize stereo there, instead it plays sound mono. Windows sounds seem to work just fine.

Back audio plug plays just fine. Stereo no problem.

I went to the Mobo's website to update the audio driver, I didn't really help.

I connected the Azalia (Intel High Definition Audio) to the Front Panel Audio Header Any suggestions? Would I have to RMA it?

Case: Cooler Master Storm Sniper
Motherboard: AsRock Z77 Extreme4
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64x
BIOS Ver: 04.06.05
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.4GHz
Memory: 16384MB RAM

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I wonder if it is a "case" problem. that the cheap connections put on the case are not configured correctally. or just that it isnt the same PIN type. At first I was thinking you might have the pins crossed or the plug reversed at the board (shifted by one) but the case jacks might be more likely, a grounding somewhere, or incorrect connection. Also you have to analise if something plugged in the back doesnt effect the front. Onboard chips are not exactaly pro mixers :-) –  Psycogeek Apr 4 '13 at 19:10

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