Tech Tips

Laptop Audio

So, my laptop is a Dell Precision M6400. For a while now, I’ve been experiencing some weird issues with the sound card (IDT HD Audio)

Some examples:
– Random audio hiccups
– Every time I open Adobe Soundbooth, open a file in soundbooth, or change my microphone settings, I get a brief, but loud piano slamming noise. Also any music or sounds I was playing in the background kept switching between stereo and mono output

Seems like the issue was that the default formats for the speakers and the microphone didn’t match up. In Windows 7 (and Vista), there’s an “Advanced” tab when you open up the sound properties and double click a device. This allows you to set the default format. Make sure the microphone inputs (particularly the “Microphone Array”) and the “Speakers / Headphones” have matching formats.
is set to the lowest quality format (something like 44000Hz, 16bit CD Quality).

For the audio hiccups fix, you need to disable the power management option in the IDT’s control panel applet. (Preferences “tab”)

Also as a note about an earlier issue: Sound won’t play back through the built in speakers…
– You need to disable the “Independent (R.T.C.) Headphones” device or the sound driver will get confused.
– You also need to make sure the “Speakers / Headphones” device, “Custom” tab has the “PC Spk Mute” unchecked. What this option really means is to mute the built-in speakers, not to get rid of the annoying PC beep that occurs once in a blue moon. Redundant of course since plugging in external speakers or headphones already accomplishes this.

Now that the sound card works like it should, audio entertainment has been much more enjoyable 🙂

Driver Version as of writing: (Dell A12, they’re from the M6500 download page)
Default Format I’m using: “24 bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality)”

2 replies on “Laptop Audio”

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