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My right speaker is louder than the left


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#1 Miek

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:41 PM

Ideas as to what's going on?


Also there is no 2.1 channel option in my Realtek HD audio manager. I can only choose my setup as "front left and right."


I'm running Windows 7 x64. Speakers are plugged straight into my motherboard.


EDIT: OK, what's going on? >.< Now the left one is louder. Something isn't right.


My system specs are in my sig and my speakers are the Creative T3130's.

Edited by Miek, 27 August 2010 - 09:57 PM.


#2 Miek

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:53 PM

Can someone please help? Now just randomly all the sound output will go to one speaker, usually the one on the right and continually uninstalling and reinstalling the (most recent) driver is getting REALLY old REALLY fast.

It's like one speaker will cut in and out continually.

Edited by Miek, 27 August 2010 - 09:54 PM.


#3 CowKing

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:14 PM

is there an option for balance in the driver menu?
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#4 Miek

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:20 PM

Yes, it's set to 0. It's random which speaker will go louder. There's no way to predict when it'll happen or which speaker it will affect. I called the topic what I did because at the time it was the right speaker and I realized afterward that it's affecting both.

EDIT: I can't find a more recent driver on the Realtek site. In fact, I can't find a driver on the Realtek site for my audio chipset at all. The only way, it seems, that I can get an audio driver is from the MSI site.

The sound will all go to one speaker at a random times and sometimes it will go back. Other times it will take a reboot or a reboot + driver reinstall.

I think tomorrow I'm going to test everything. I have another (REALLY lousy) pair of 2.0 channel speakers that I can use. I'll set them up on my desktop and hook the Creatives to my laptop. I'll use my desktop normally to see if it does the same thing.

I will also use my laptop to play audio to see if the Creatives ever do the same thing there, too.

After both of those tests I think I'll be able to isolate the problem. However if it turns out to be the driver for my new desktop's audio chipset (which I have a suspicion it is) there won't really be much I can do about it other than wait and hope that MSI releases a new driver (which doesn't seem to happen often. Some of the drivers on their download page are from 2007).

Edited by Miek, 27 August 2010 - 10:32 PM.


#5 Miek

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 07:26 PM

EDIT: I am cleaning up this post. It's "rambly" and incoherent. Now it's shorter and easier to understand. I hope. :P

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? :P) 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.


#6 Miek

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 02:00 PM

OK. I have some updates:

I uninstalled the Realtek HD Audio/Sound stuff and then used Driver Sweeper in Safe Mode to erase any trace of their existance on my PC. I downloaded the generic Realtek HD Audio software from the Realtek site and installed it, then rebooted when asked to. The site specifically said that I would NOT get any of the extra features as if I were to download from my MOBO manufacturer's site. However, there is still an MSI logo on the Realtek HD Audio manager window and my problems with my 2.1 channel speakers still persist.


I determined that the speakers are absolutely fine, which leads me to believe that it's a driver problem. However, a friend of mine has the exact same audio chipset, is using the exact same driver, and even has an MSI board (though he has an X58 board). He does not have any problems at all with his sound. He said that his sound has been working perfectly since the day he got his PC (whereas mine has been giving me headaches since I got my PC).


Other than getting a soundcard and disabling onboard audio through the BIOS, what else can I do?


EDIT: I forgot to mention that my onboard audio chip is a Realtek ALC889 and I'm using the 6.0.1.6167 drivers.
I also just thought I'd mention that in the Realtek HD Audio Manager, I only see speaker options for "Front Left and Right," nothing for a subwoofer/low frequency speaker.

Wikipeida says that the standard speakers for a 2.1 channel setup are:
SPEAKER_FRONT_LEFT
SPEAKER_FRONT_RIGHT
and SPEAKER_LOW_FREQUENCY.

In the Realtek HD Audio manager I only see a checkbox for the Front L and R speakers. There is another checkbox for "Surround Speakers," but it's greyed out.

Edited by Miek, 01 September 2010 - 02:14 PM.


#7 Waco

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:05 PM

It sounds like the volume control on the speakers is dirty. Run it up and down a bunch of times an see if it gets better (do this with nothing playing - you should hear some scratchiness at first).

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#8 Miek

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:14 PM

OK. How long should I volume wheel on the speakers up and down? Until the scratchiness (if there is some) stops?

#9 Waco

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:16 PM

When my old set would get dirty/scratchy/uneven I'd just ratchet it up and down for a minute or two pretty vigorously - it usually cleared it up nicely.

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#10 Miek

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:28 PM

OK, I just reconnected them and I want to make sure I have all the settings right.

"Which device did you plug in?
Line in
Mic in
Headphone
Front speaker out
Rear speaker out
Center/subwoofer speaker out
Side speaker out"

Which should I choose? Front Speaker Out is checked by default. The 2.1 Creatives are plugged into the L-Out jack (the lime green one).

EDIT: I just went with front speaker out.

Also, is it true that 2.1 channel speakers are just 2.0 channel speakers with a sub to amplify the lows before the sound goes to the speakers.

I'm thinking I might just buy (or borrow for testing purposes before I buy) a set of 5.1 channel speakers. Then I could watch movies with surround sound too.

Edited by Miek, 01 September 2010 - 05:08 PM.


#11 Waco

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 05:42 PM

Also, is it true that 2.1 channel speakers are just 2.0 channel speakers with a sub to amplify the lows before the sound goes to the speakers.

That's exactly what they are. They send the summed bass from both channels to a single sub and filter that bass out of the satellites signal path to reduce distortion.

Did messing with the volume knob help at all?

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#12 Miek

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:29 PM

No, not really. It didn't crackle at all. The audio is flawless except that sometimes it messes up.

I actually set the speakers to "Headphone" because I read on Google (I can't remember the specific site) that it can help issues like this somehow. I'll update if it acts up again.

Thank you for your help so far, it's greatly appreciated. :)


EDIT: So far, the speakers have not acted up.

Edited by Miek, 02 September 2010 - 12:08 PM.