I have a new desktop computer with a motherboard MSI B75A-G41, so I have installed the HD Realtek drivers to get the audio. My problem is I use headset (Philips SHL9560) plugged in the front headphone jack, and although Realtek audio manager is said to be set up with a stereo setting, I can clearly hear the sound in mono. How am I supposed to fix this?

I can manually control the volumes coming from left or right with the balance, but the sound tests are making sounds from both left and right at the same time.

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    What makes you think the sound is mono (i.e., what are you listening to, to test)? Did you try the speaker tests in Windows, which let you play a test tone from a specific side, individually? Perhaps try to push the plug in further; sometimes, a not-fully-inserted plug can short both sides together. – Bob Apr 13 '13 at 7:38
  • Maybe I am mistaken about mono. I am going to look for this Windows test. I have only tested on youtube videos so far. Plus the internal realtek test, but it depends on the balance left/right, which is currently set to equilibrium (0). – Wok Apr 13 '13 at 7:39
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    The Realtek control panel test should work. To access the Windows tests, go to the Sounds control panel (also accessible by launching mmsys.cpl), right click on the speaker/headphone device and select either Configure Speakers (for finer control - you can then click on the speaker icon on the left or right to test) or Tests. – Bob Apr 13 '13 at 7:45
  • Thanks. I can hear both sounds from both ears with the exact same volume. – Wok Apr 13 '13 at 7:47
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    Yea, definite problem there. Are you able to test another set of speakers or headphones on the same port? Are the headphones confirmed working on another device? Once again, are you sure the plug is all the way in? Can you try another port, e.g. one of the rear ones? – Bob Apr 13 '13 at 7:48

So the concept of stereo is VERY well supported now, but here are all the places this can go wrong:

Input Source --> Software playback --> Sound drivers --> OS or driver settings --> Sound card on Motherboard --> Headphone Jack --> Headphone Speakers --> Ears

I know glancing at this list, you probably have an idea where it's going wrong... "It's the drivers!" you might say, but you can't assume that any one of these is the culprit until you check them.

GUESS WHAT. I had this problem too. I literally just opened my computer with a screwdriver and realized that my motherboard cable internally had gotten loose to the headphone jack. That's right, the internal cable. It was hard to tell by looking at it, but I pushed that in tighter and it fixed the problem for me. (be sure you are grounded when doing this!!!)

Two months ago I saw the cables go bad inside the headphones themselves, and I literally cut the cable in half and replaced the cable by splicing once to fix it. No joke. I think the cable had gotten a car door slammed on it, and the wires got crimped.

But yeah, if you think about it physically there is just two streams that need to go through this pipeline to your ears, and it can break at any point, just check each one and you'll fix it eventually.

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