Front audio jack is broken?

danielt789

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I have just built my new computer about a month ago, and there was never any sound coming out of the machine itself. This didn't bother me as I just stuck my apple earphones into the front audio jack and the sound was just fine.

However, I recently opened up my computer again to test some things and as my computer booted up again, the earphones started to emit loud crackling noises. The noises get louder and softer randomly, but are there right when the computer boots up and until it shuts down. Everything inside the computer seems just fine, and the rear panel line out jack works just fine, but the quality of it is horrible.

I am able to slightly hear my computer sounds with the front audio jack through the noises, but only with the volume turned all the way up.

Does anybody know what I should do to fix this problem? Or do I need to buy some speakers or something.

The case is Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower and the MOBO is ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150.

Thanks!
 

bucknutty

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The problem started after you opened the case... I would check the audio wire from the case make sure it is plugged in correctly.

In the bios there are two options for the HD audio. One will be called AC97 which is the older non HD standard and the other will be called either HDaudio or Azlia. AC97 is used for older cases while HD is used for newer cases. Make sure it is set to HD.

Only other thought I have is that the sound driver got messed up some how. You can try to install the realtek HD audio codec directly from the realtek site rather than use the driver that windows auto installs.
http://www.realtek.com/downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=24&PFid=24&Level=4&Conn=3&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false
just select the correct file for you version of windows.
 

photonboy

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I agree it sounds like a GROUNDING issue with the front audio wires. Try examining them thoroughly.

I'm not sure why the above guy would mention the BIOS or drivers. He knew the problem started after you opened your case and suggested the likely problem.
 

danielt789

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Which wire would correspond to the front audio jack? The only wire that has to do with sound is the HD audio one and that one seems just fine. Do you think buying Speakers will fix this problem?
 

photonboy

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That sounds like a MICROPHONE output, not headphones so I don't think it would be an issue.
All I can tell you from here is that if your rear output works, the problem is along the path of motherboard FRONT output to the case front audio jack.

You need to unplug, replug and examine the cable from motherboard to case.

If you can't find the problem you could get another cable, perhaps find a spare case.

SPEAKERS:
Getting speakers won't solve the problem of the front output not working, but if your rear jack works you'll have sound. It's the SAME audio chip sending sound out the rear as it is out the front.

Another option is to find an audio extension cable for your headphones if you need the length and just leave them plugged into the rear output if you don't use speakers (or use a splitter if you do and unplug the headphones when you use the speakers).

 

danielt789

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The only problem with the rear jack is that the audio quality is a lot worse, and it is also a lot lower. I need to turn it to 100 to barely hear any sound. So i am wondering if by getting speakers this problem will be fixed?
 

photonboy

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That's odd.
Your onboard sound chip creates the same audio for both the rear and front. I suppose it could be a software issue but it may also be a hardware issue.

If reinstalling the proper software (I assume Realtek) makes no difference I would suspect a hardware issue.

*UNPLUG the front audio connector from the MOTHERBOARD, then test the rear connection again.

If you can't find the cause, perhaps get a SOUND CARD instead. There are some inexpensive Asus PCIe or PCI cards (get PCIe ideally) for about $40 that would be better than your onboard sound anyway.

Onboard cards don't support the FRONT PANEL output.

As for speakers, I think you'd be happier with speakers but you need to sort out the hardware first. If you decide on a sound card AND speakers I'd be happy to help if you had a budget ($150 roughly recommended for both).

FINALLY, you can still use headphones with speakers. Many have a jack in the front, but the speakers still need to be on (they are muted though). Alternatively, you could get a 3.5mm splitter and may need another wire as well then have BOTH connected. You need to be careful not to WRECK your headphones though so the speaker plugin method might be best.

Sound card setup:
1. Uninstall audio software
2. Shut down PC, and turn OFF power supply (leave plugged in)
3. Install audio card
4. Boot into the BIOS (F2 or DEL)
5. Disable onboard sound in the BIOS
6. Boot to Windows, download and install the sound card drivers/software.
 

bucknutty

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When you plug headphones into the rear audio jack windows thinks its speakers so the driver is using the unamplified profile. Set it to headphones in the audio options in control panel and it should be as loud as the front port was.

The front ports are temperamental with bad pins and bad grounds. The port has a sense circuit that tells the audio driver to turn off the rear ports. Ideally when you plug your head phones into the front the computer should detect it and turn off the speakers on the fly.
If that part of the port is worn or defective, or you messed up the front audio cable then you can get all kinds of weird things.

 
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