Messed up sound quality from laptop headphone jack after doing a clean install of 8.1


Sep 13, 2013
I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to 10 but I was having a lot of issues with 10 so I did a clean install of 8.1 from a bootable USB (I deleted Windows.old without thinking so I was not able to use the "Revert to 8.1" option in Windows 10). After updating drivers and all the housekeeping of installing a clean OS, I noticed the sound quality from my headphone jack was atrocious.

I don't know how to describe it exactly but it's like there's no bass? Or when I listen to music, there's an entire layer of sound missing. If I twist my earphones in the jack I'll get glimpses of the "full" sound but there's no consistent position where you always get it.

I'm using the same earphones as before this issue started and there hasn't been any damage done to the laptop either. Please help.


Somewhat related, a problem I've had with this laptop since I've gotten it (I bought it used) is that the sound still plays through the speakers even when I have earphones plugged in. I don't suppose this is something anyone can help me with as well?

Have you tried uninstalling/reinstalling the latest driver for your sound card? Uninstall the sound card driver from Device Manager from Control Panel then download and install the latest driver that can be found from the manufacturers support site. Reboot your laptop once the driver has been installed and try it again.