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I have a laptop with Windows 7 and I have headphones for a couple of months, and only recently they started to play only the music, while the voices are there, but just very faint. I tried to connect them to another computer (PC, windows XP) and they worked fine, which made me think the problem isn't with the headphones but with the laptop.

I've searched online and found a few solutions, none of the seemed to work. Such as: plugging in and out my jack until you can hear better, checking the headphones on other computers.

Other relevant info:

  • The headphones come with a mic
  • if I right click the sound icon -> sound devices. Then I dont see any 'headphones', not even if I tell it to show disabled devices. All I see is a 'speakers' icon, yet it's there even if the headphones are disconnected, and is always active.

So if anyone has any idea I'd appreciate it :) Thanks!

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Sounds like the jack has a problem and is only giving you one of the two (left hand or right hand) channels. You said you tried the headphones with another device. What happened? Did you try with a device that has stereo output? – terdon Oct 13 '13 at 19:00
I tried them on my PC and they worked fine – TheEmeritus Oct 14 '13 at 6:41
Have you tried different headphones with your laptop? Make sure the balance is set to center, what you describe sounds like one of the two stereo channels being lost, this could be because you've set the balance to be 100% left or right. – terdon Oct 14 '13 at 13:45
I did, but the same thing happens. How do I make sure my balance is to the center? – TheEmeritus Oct 14 '13 at 17:48
So, the same thing happens with different headphones? There is a balance slider somewhere in the sound settings. – terdon Oct 14 '13 at 17:51

I had the same problem as you describe and the solution was to set one of the Balance values to 0 (see other answer from terdon about how to access the balance setting), rather than setting them both to the middle.

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  1. Sounds like your trying to push 5.1 out of 2 speakers and only getting the L/R or the rears. YouTube sounds fine I'm guessing but those movies you downloaded have 5.1 sound? Make sure your not set to 5.1 in the speaker config: Sound/Speakers/configure: stereo

  2. Sound card is burnt out.

Get a USB audio adapter.

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I figured it out! On my part the voices weren't working, but the background music played fine. While reading this blog, I played around with the balance volumes on speakers while letting a video play. The Balance Volumes that were centered were the only thing not making the voices work!! Thanks a lot.

This is what I did: 1. Go to sound icon and right click. 2. Click on playback devices. 3. Click on the speakers and then properties. 4.Go to the levels tab and click balance 5. Set the left (L) one on 80 and the right (R) one on 50

That's all I did and now my earphones are working fine on my laptop. Hope that helps. ~ (I have a windows 7 laptop)

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It sounds like you have set the balance be only on one side. Go to the control panel => sound:

enter image description here

Click on "Properties" and then go to the "Levels" tab:

enter image description here

Click on "Balance" and set it to the middle:

enter image description here

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I dont have 'Headphones' in the playback' section, only 'Speakers'. – TheEmeritus Oct 14 '13 at 20:16
@TheEmeritus well, is the balance set correctly there? – terdon Oct 14 '13 at 20:44
Yes, the balance is set correctly. – TheEmeritus Oct 17 '13 at 16:03
I tried to change some settings and stuff, and the result is that now the sound works without headphones as it worked before, i.e. it works bad anyway, with or without headphones. I was already thinking the jack may be damaged, but if without headphones it sounds the same then maybe I need to reinstall some drivers? or is there another possible setting to change that might affect this? – TheEmeritus Oct 17 '13 at 16:09
@TheEmeritus sorry, don't really know. That was the only idea I had (I don't use Windows). – terdon Oct 17 '13 at 16:11

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