[SOLVED] Stereo audio reversed upon game launch

spazbandicoot

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Jan 24, 2018
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Hi there,

Recently I decided to use my headphones (Philips Fidelio X2HR) on a Syba USB Audio Adapter that I purchased about a year ago for use with my Microphone (ModMic 5). Both the headphones and Microphone are currently plugged into the Adapter.

No Windows audio 'enhancements' are enabled on any device and all audio devices are set to 2-channel 16bit 48khz, excluding the microphone which is set to 1-channel 16bit 44.1khz, as a repeating two-tone beep occurs in recordings when I set the headphones and Microphone to the same sample rate.

I have zero issues with audio until I launch a game, where the left and right channels are then reversed: left coming from the right, right coming from the left.
It occurs 100% of the time when I launch a game but also changes at seemingly random times that I cannot pinpoint during general use.
It doesn't seem to be game-specific, as it has occurred upon launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) and Minecraft.

If I disable or enable the 'disabled all enhancements' checkbox in the audio device's properties after a game has already been launched, the issue is temporarily fixed until it occurs again under the same initial criteria.

This issue does not occur when using the Motherboard's built in 3.5mm Audio jack, but I would prefer to avoid using it for sound quality and volume reasons.

I have tried some, but not all, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on my system to no avail. I will update this post after further testing.

I have removed all my drive partitions and re-installed Windows 10 entirely via USB, so I am on as fresh a copy as possible, but this issue persists.

I've seen various posts on the web about people having similar problems, but none resulted in a fix.

This post is my last resort - I can't think of anything that would cause this. Any help at all is greatly appreciated - I'd love to be able to stop complaining about it in my friend's ears over Discord calls. 😅

Cheers.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
As I understand your post you have a mixed audio environment.

TR, TRS, TRRS.

FYI:

https://www.cablechick.com.au/blog/understanding-trrs-and-audio-jacks/

Likely a physical mismatch somewhere: plug or port.

However: "It occurs 100% of the time when I launch a game but also changes at seemingly random times that I cannot pinpoint during general use." is puzzling.

Do you have any audio software utilities/tools used to identify speakers, test microphones, etc.?

Look in Task Manager > Startup for some app that is launched when the system boots and running in the background.

Any gaming macros or other custom keyboard combinations in use?
 

spazbandicoot

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Jan 24, 2018
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As I understand your post you have a mixed audio environment.

TR, TRS, TRRS.

FYI:

https://www.cablechick.com.au/blog/understanding-trrs-and-audio-jacks/

Likely a physical mismatch somewhere: plug or port.

However: "It occurs 100% of the time when I launch a game but also changes at seemingly random times that I cannot pinpoint during general use." is puzzling.

Do you have any audio software utilities/tools used to identify speakers, test microphones, etc.?

Look in Task Manager > Startup for some app that is launched when the system boots and running in the background.

Any gaming macros or other custom keyboard combinations in use?
Thanks for the reply.

Appreciate the link. Both my headphone and microphone cable is TRS. Here's a photo of the USB Adapter's ports also.

Audio isn't really my strong point, so could you elaborate for me what you mean by a 'mixed audio environment'?

As for audio programs, I use VB-Audio's Voicemeeter Potato in x64 mode, along with their Virtual Audio cable. However, I can't recall whether the issue happened or not before their installation.
I've tried to avoid any link between the headphones and the program - I only use it to equalize my Microphone. But, with them both physically plugged into the same adapter, it does make me wonder.

The only programs enabled in the startup page are Voicemeeter and the Windows Defender.

I don't use any Macros for any of my peripherals.

I tried even more USB ports, 2.0 and 3.0, as I said I would but the issue occurred regardless.

Cheers.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Mixed audio environment - fair question.

I just that meant that you have multiple audio devices from different manufactures.

Hopefully the manufacturer's abide by the standards but some manufacturers (Apple for example) do not. However there are still other proprietary plugs, ports, adapters, and so forth still in existence. Mostly for the sole purpose of locking customers into the product line as a means to generate more revenue from the hardware.

In any case you need a multi-meter to test audio cables and plugs in order to truly work out what is connected to what. Certainly trickier with USB connections involved as well.

= = = =

And adding in software that enhances audio in some manner adds another layer of complexity without any standards per se. So buggy or corrupted software may cause problems just on its' own or simply by not playing well with other applications.

Stereo randomly swapping Right and Left is not likely the result of some physical mis-connection. Loss of a physical connection generally results in an on/off result. Not a speaker side flip-flop as you describe.

A virtual audio cable and/or Voicemeeter would be a more likely suspect. If this then that logic gone astray.... Go Right - Go Left depending on some "if" condition(s).

Again some game play key combination may appear to the running software as just that - a command to swap the speakers. Surround sound: Left right front back... If no front back speakers then the game sound switches left and right instead. Just speculating and I have no way to test.

The only thing I can suggest at this time is to try to be aware of what has happened, what you have done, etc. when the speakers switch.

Play a game or two when winning does not matter and determine if you can create or cause the speaker switch. Being able to replicate the problem at will go a long ways towards finding a solution.
 

spazbandicoot

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Jan 24, 2018
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Mixed audio environment - fair question.

I just that meant that you have multiple audio devices from different manufactures.

Hopefully the manufacturer's abide by the standards but some manufacturers (Apple for example) do not. However there are still other proprietary plugs, ports, adapters, and so forth still in existence. Mostly for the sole purpose of locking customers into the product line as a means to generate more revenue from the hardware.

In any case you need a multi-meter to test audio cables and plugs in order to truly work out what is connected to what. Certainly trickier with USB connections involved as well.

= = = =

And adding in software that enhances audio in some manner adds another layer of complexity without any standards per se. So buggy or corrupted software may cause problems just on its' own or simply by not playing well with other applications.

Stereo randomly swapping Right and Left is not likely the result of some physical mis-connection. Loss of a physical connection generally results in an on/off result. Not a speaker side flip-flop as you describe.

A virtual audio cable and/or Voicemeeter would be a more likely suspect. If this then that logic gone astray.... Go Right - Go Left depending on some "if" condition(s).

Again some game play key combination may appear to the running software as just that - a command to swap the speakers. Surround sound: Left right front back... If no front back speakers then the game sound switches left and right instead. Just speculating and I have no way to test.

The only thing I can suggest at this time is to try to be aware of what has happened, what you have done, etc. when the speakers switch.

Play a game or two when winning does not matter and determine if you can create or cause the speaker switch. Being able to replicate the problem at will go a long ways towards finding a solution.
I reset Voicemeeter and opened Call of Duty once again, the audio this time did not invert. Only when I closed the game did it happen. So I suppose my '100%' replication rate wasn't quite.

I've noticed that when this problem occurs, there is a brief static noise in varying volume seemingly depending on the volume of what I'm listening to.. almost like some sort of transition.

I realised that I have a spare Antlion Audio USB Adapter originally for use with my ModMic 5, it also has a 3.5mm headphone jack. I've started using it alongside the Syba Adapter for my Microphone and have tried to replicate the reversed stereo issue but it seems to work as intended.

I will continue to use this adapter and see if any issues occur. If it works as intended, I will assume the fault lies with the Syba adapter. I will update this with my findings.

Cheers.
 

spazbandicoot

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Jan 24, 2018
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Update: I have concluded that the fault does indeed lie with the Syba USB Adapter.

After several hours of use with the different afforementioned USB adapter, the reversed stereo issue never occurred.

I still have no clue why this happens in the first place, but at least it's something I'm able to work around.

Thanks for the replies.

Cheers.
 

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