Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Lowering sound volume and detecting headphone problems!

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1

    Lowering sound volume and detecting headphone problems!


    Hello everyone,

    First of all, this is my first post on the Windows 8 forums, I've had this laptop for 3 weeks now and for the most part, I'm starting to get used to 8.1. However, there are still a few problems that make me feel terribly powerless.

    For one, whenever I plug in my headphones, the sound neatly comes out of them. However, I want to be able to put some of the sound on the headphones and some on the speakers. This is not possible, for the simple reason that the system does not recognize my headphones. It still tells me I am using speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio), while I have headphones plugged in and sound coming through them. Is there anything I can do about this? (I tried updating some drivers, they were apparently all up to date...)

    An even worse problem is the following. Whenever my computer detects a communications device, it cuts the volume of all other applications to 20%. Now, before someone comes with the obvious 'Control Panel -> Sound -> Communications -> 'Do nothing' -> apply -> fixed', I already did this and still it happens. It happens with Skype, but it also happens with games I play and it even happens when I just go to 'Recording Devices'. Anytime the computer realises my microphone is being used, it lowers my sound, and I do not know what to do about it. Is there anyone who can help me with this?

    Thanks in advance for either problem,
    Mithra

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    First, to have both the headphones and speaker at the same time. Many RealTek HD Audio Manager panels (found in Control Panel/Hardware and Sound) have an option to either mute the speakers or not mute them when a headset is plugged in. This is found in the "Device Advanced Settings", if your PC Vendor included this. If you do not have this option, you may be out of luck as some PC vendors have customized sound configurations.

    Click image for larger version Click image for larger version

    Not showing the headphones, is not an issue since it is working properly.

    Third, reducing volume may be a function of some running software application, such as Skype, or games and not a "problem" with the PC. However, one issue in the Recording section, normally the "Stereo Mix" is set as the default recording device, rather than an individual device, such as a microphone. In addition, you need Stereo Mix if you ever want to record audio from the internet. If the Stereo Mix is not set as default recording device, and it is shown enable it and make it the default. If it is not shown (and many PC vendors initially have it hid), RIGHT click in a blank area in the Recording Panel and then click to show "disabled" and "disconnected" devices. Stereo Mix should now show and you can enable it. This may or may not resolve the low volume.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Thank you very much, changing the recording device didn't help earlier but I hadn't looked too much into it - it was disabled indeed, and when I enabled and used it, it didn't work. However, after increasing its volume to 100%, it worked perfectly and my sound doesn't seem to drop anymore when communications are detected! The only thing left is that when I ended a skype call, my computer volume jumped up - weird, it must've been lowering gradually without me noticing it... Anyway, thanks a lot, this was my main concern.

    I indeed cannot find the advanced settings for the RealTek HD Audio Manager, but this is of lesser importance - I can live with plugging my headphones in and out of my laptop during weekdays, in the weekends I'll have my own, trusted computer anyway. Thank you for your help, I still wonder why this was a problem but I'm glad it's worked out!

    EDIT - ok, it's even worse now. The sound lowers randomly from time to time, and when I call someone via skype they hear my computer sound instead of my voice. I don't know how this happens, but I would like to find out.
    Last edited by Mithra; 25 Feb 2014 at 12:00.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Further research shows that the Stereo Mix only uses the sound from my computer. As long as I have my microphone as my default device, my computer sound will be lower whenever I enter any communications settings, including games (even when 'push to talk' is activated), the Skype Audio Options tab or the 'Recording devices' menu found when right-clicking the sound button in the bottom right. When, however, I have my Stereo Mix as my default device, the volume from my computer does not lower, however, this device only recognizes my computer sound and will use this as output as well, hence when I 'listen' to this device, I will hear my sound twice. Is there any option so I can both keep the volume equal, but also be able to speak in the microphone? Should I just buy an external microphone?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    The function of Stereo Mix, when set as default recording device, is to allow whatever recording device to be heard (used in a program). e.g. if you only have the mic set as the default recording device and you want to use a different mic or the Line In, for example, they will not work. However, with the Stereo Mix set any recording device should work without having to change the default device setting.

    However, with separate applications, such as Skype which has its own audio volume controls, it may not be possible to have all programs have the same volume settings. This has been a complaint of users for years.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    I understand what you mean and what the Stereo Mix should be doing, but it does not do that. Whenever I have it as my default device, it only records my computer sound, not the sound from my computer microphone. Whenever I have my microphone as default device, the sound drops. My question is, how can I get Stereo Mix to recognize that it should record my microphone sound instead of my computer sound? Do I need an external microphone, since it does not seem to recognize my built-in microphone?Click image for larger version
    It does not seem to list any options that could change its input, and I really don't know how I can get it to use my microphone...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Look at the recording device properties in the Sound Panel/Recording section. If there possibly could be options it will be there. Whether its a built in mic or external mic, they should both operate the same.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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