Question Audio through headphones completely broken since installing new components.

May 7, 2020
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A while ago, I installed a new GPU and PSU into my PC. Shortly after, I found out that my headphones and microphone were no longer working.

I've spent a while debugging this already, and I think I've nailed down the issue pretty well.

Front panel is connected. I assumed that I pulled something loose while installing the new parts, so I plugged everything in again. The front panel is definitely connected and when I plug in headphones or a mic, Windows 10 picks it up immediately and seems to treat it like normal.

Headphones and mic worked on this system before I added the new parts.

I've tried multiple different pairs of headphones. They work on any other system but not on my PC.

I've gone through numerous (A <Mod Edit> TON) of software solutions. This was over a month ago, so I don't remember them all, but the list is as follows:

- Reinstalled drivers

- Swapped to default Windows sound drivers (my headphones were using Realtek by default)

- Disabled audio enhancements

- Played with audio formats and frequencies

- Ran some console commands (I forget which)

- Restarted windows sound service

- Reinstalled Windows (the whole thing, completely fresh)

- Probably a few other solutions that I forget trying

After all of this, I guess it's a hardware issue. The most telling sign of this is that when I plug in the headphones, they seem to receive audio just fine. Mixers show audio in sync with music and system sounds trying to play through the headphones. When I listen on the headphones, there is (and this is the most telling part) a small bit of feedback coming through them. If I turn my volume up, the feedback gets noticeably choppier and louder, which seems to suggest that the headphones are trying to play something.

I know that the headphones themselves still work. Software-wise, there's not much that reinstalling the entire OS wouldn't fix. I'm really leaning towards the idea that I screwed something on the motherboard while putting in this GPU (especially since it didn't slot in easily).

This could easily be something else. I think I'm good at the software side of things but I don't know much about hardware, so I'm not sure what could be screwed on this motherboard. For reference, I'm using an ASUS B150m-a mobo, a RX 570 GPU and a Corsair CX650M PSU. Motherboard layout here and the manual itself is here. I also took a picture of the actual PC for some reason.

View: https://i.imgur.com/WZLF9ht.png

View: https://i.imgur.com/yhrLiLr.jpg

https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1151/B150M-A/E10799_B150M-A_UM_web_only.pdf

I'm open to very extended discussion on this. I will note that the little Realtek chip on the motherboard (marked ALC887) is right next to the GPU, so it's entirely possible that I scuffed it somehow while putting in the GPU. It doesn't seem to show any signs of damage though.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
May 7, 2020
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Make sure windows isn’t set to use the GPU audio
I never knew GPUs could handle audio for me. In hindsight it explains the "AMD High Definition Audio" device that I keep seeing in the device manager. I've read up on this a bit and I think it's an issue with Realtek and AMD conflicting with each other, but I'm not sure how to disable AMD Audio entirely. When I disable Realtek, the headphones aren't recognized at all. I disabled Realtek through the BIOS, btw

edit: One other bit of anomalous behaviour. my sound menu shows a bunch of unused AMD devices. They're called "Digital Output" and there are five of them, all disabled because they're "not plugged in". Not sure why these devices are in the sound menu.
 

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