Question Windows 10 doesnt recognise jack headphones

Feb 24, 2020
Earlier today, my headphones, which have worked fine for the last 2 years on my PC, have suddenly stopped working on my computer, after some research, I have found that deactivating front jack detection in realtek fixed the problem.
However, after this "fix", I no longer have spatial sound, which i used to have on my computer, and the sound quality seems much lower.
I have spent 4 hours trying to find a solution for this, I have :
  • Rebooted my computer
  • Unplugged and replugged the JAUD1 connector to my MB
  • Uninstalled and reinstalled realtek
  • Checked the screen that shows all peripherals, even hidden and unconnected ones, headphones always show up as unconnected
  • Tried to enable Windows Sonic on my peripherals, which doesnt work as whenever i try to, it immediately goes back to no spatial sound
I have absolutely no idea what to do...
Will buying a sound card help ?
Will buying a DAC to output sound help either ?
I am scared the issue will stay the same even with a DAC or sound card
Dec 24, 2019
It might be worth considering that it could be a hardware-related issue. Judging from your explanation my bet is the front panel jack is broken.

Have you ensured that the jack header is clean and free of debris? You could try cleaning it with a small cotton swap and isopropyl alcohol.

Have you tried different headphones? Could be the headphones them selves that are causing the problem.

Do you have access to another PC case? You could try plugging in the front panel header from that case into your system and see if this resolves the problem. If it does, that would further indicate a broken jack header.

IF the jack itself is broken or worn out, you can purchase a matching piece from China on Ebay for cents. Search Ebay for front panel headers and find a matching shape. I think this is the likely cause, and fortunately also the cheapest one to mitigate.

If you have another computer, you can try plugging the front panel header of your problem computer into that, and see if the problem arises on that machine. If it does, likely a broken jack that is the cause.

If you have a spare disk lying around, you can try disconnecting the existing disks in your system and try with a fresh install of Windows on the spare disk and see if it resolves the problem. If it works on the fresh install, then the problem is software related. A fresh install of Windows will fix the problem.

In all cases, you need to conclude whether the issue is software or hardware related before you can move on. If it is hardware related on the motherboard side, that is, your front panel jack works but there is an issue with the onboard audio itself, THEN you can bypass it with either a dedicated sound card.

You can get an inexpensive sound card like this, which have a front panel header connector, bypassing the onboard audio. It also includes a dedicated headphone amp which should give you a nice boost. xonar&cm_re=asus_xonar--29-132-086--Product&quicklink=true

DACs tend to be expensive because they're aimed at audiophiles. But it will also sit outside of the system in it's own ecosystem. Provided the issue is not with your headphones them selves, an external DAC should solve your problem as well in any case.
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Dec 24, 2019
AC97 is oooooooold. It's a very long time ago since I last saw a BIOS with the option to pick between the two. I'd say another from the last few year would be HD Audio only. It would depend on the age of OP's system.

Some PC cases might still have two front panel headers for either AC97 or HD Audio though.


You're case connector is usually labelled for which type it is.

*img courtesy of

If your motherboard supports both types, you will need to match the bios setting to the type your case has.
If you case has both types and your motherbhoard supports HD, then use HD.