EDIT: I am cleaning up this post. It's "rambly" and incoherent. Now it's shorter and easier to understand. I hope.
The speakers in question are my set of Creative T3130 2.1 channel speakers.
What happens: At times, one speaker will go quiet and the other loud OR the subwoofer will act as a speaker and a speaker will act as the subwoofer.
It will happen randomly, though it seemed to happen more often when I was adjusting the bass level on the back of the subwoofer.
I uninstalled the Realtek HD Audio driver from my system and rebooted. I ran the speakers using the Microsoft "generic-runs-everything-you-plug-in" driver that installs by default.
For a while, the problem stopped and I thought the driver was the issue. However, even with the driver uninstalled, the speakers acted up again, doing what they did while the driver was installed.
Leaving the driver uninstalled, I removed the Creative speakers and connected a pair of 2.0 channel speakers (which sound really bad, by the way). The sound balance remained perfect all day.
I reinstalled the Realtek HD Audio driver, but this time I downloaded it from the Realtek site and not MSI (there was a newer version on the Realtek site). The sound balance with the 2.0 channel speakers remained perfect. I reconnected the 2.1 Creatives again, and the issues came back.
Right now, I am using the 2.0 channel speakers (did I mention that they sound really bad?
) and they have not acted up. The HD Audio driver is installed.
From the above testing, I think that I've isolated the problem to being one (or maybe a combination) of the following:
1. My Creative T3130 2.1 channel speakers are bad.
2. There is a bug in the audio driver that causes problems when using 2.1 channel speakers (unfortunately I don't have another set of 2.1 channel speakers to test with).
Tomorrow, I am going to hook up the Creatives to a couple of different computers in the house and see if they act up.
Edited by Miek, 01 September 2010 - 01:53 PM.