headphones in laptop - everything sounds echoed!

  theDarkness 12:31 17 Mar 2011

The laptop works fine audio wise, but when I connect any headphones to it (standard socket on the front) all players/windows in general, everything in windows sounds faint or echoed. As a test with wmp, I can only hear certain certain parts of any song - eg I cant hear certain instruments or the vocal is either gone completely or very faint - is my headphone socket broken?

The only change I made yesterday was to connect my laptop to the tv downstairs (vga to vga on the tv for video, standard stereo jack for audio). It worked fine, but my headphone socket is seeminly now broken because of it? I have checked vistaargh, and there are no audio effects enabled for just my headphones.. any ideas?

  theDarkness 14:18 17 Mar 2011

I have tried 3 budget headphones, they are all the same on the laptop, pushed in as far as they can go. All 3 sound fine in my age old ghetto-blaster, full stereo. Its a problem with windows or the hardware, Im not sure which. I have never had problems with the audio on the laptop before using headphones. It could be a coincidence that everything is now playing up after I hooked up the laptop to the tv, but I cant work out why that would be. I have always plugged in the audio cable from the tv to the correct socket on the laptop! (headphone)

  rickf 15:13 17 Mar 2011

could it be that your sound card has got settings. Check it out and select just room or concert hall etc.,

  theDarkness 15:45 17 Mar 2011

It has, but they are all set to default (none), and there are no specific settings just for headphones. If I take the headphones out of the laptop, everything sounds fine, when I put them in, I hear most of the music, but usually no vocal-odd. I tried reinstalling the audio drivers, but that made no difference, so Im thinking that something else in windows linked to headphone jack input might be corrupt/altering things, but I dont know what. I tried a system restore, and I get "unexpected error in system restore", so I cant go back. Im updated and have done a full scan with adaware, malwarebytes and avira, and they found nothing on the system.

  theDarkness 16:10 17 Mar 2011

I googled up "audio sounds strange headphones" and there are many vista results, one sounding identical to my own, with the music sounding ok as if the band is playing in a hallway, but with the singer at the very back of the room, when plugging in headphones into a vista system - so it could be a vista only issue :(

  theDarkness 16:40 17 Mar 2011

tried it on the tv again today, it works and sounds ok on the tv speakers, using the same headphone socket, so its a headphone issue. vista must be able to identify when I use headphones instead, to ruin/give unwanted effects to the sound whenever they are plugged in

  woodchip 17:28 17 Mar 2011

As it as settings for sound, change them then click apply then change them back to Normal sound

  mooly 18:08 17 Mar 2011

It sounds like the effect you get when the ground connection is missing. It could be a bad connection or broken print on the circuit board.
The L and R earphones are then effectively in series and only the difference between L and R in a stereo signal is heard. Mono or the same signal on both channels cancels out.

Try a tiny amount of WD40 on the plug of one of the h/phones and insert into the socket and rotate it.

  theDarkness 18:51 17 Mar 2011

tried both, thanks, but still no change

  theDarkness 22:52 18 Mar 2011

I thought Id update this-I tried a handheld device with some of my headphones (nds from relative) and they all produce the same problem, so its seemingly now not a laptop issue at all. So now Im really confused, perhaps I need more WD40? I have tried even more headphones now, and while the sound still isnt 100% in wmp, Im now hearing the vocal finally (eg Ill hear the rythm/drum with the vocals for the chorus fully, but still not hear the verse vocal). I still dont get it as to how all headphones that Ive tried could all start acting up at once. The very same time that I try a new stereo jack to send the signal to the tv (for viewing the laptop on its screen with audio)

  robin_x 23:17 18 Mar 2011

Why not pop-in to your local Richer Sounds or other helpful/knowledgable store with all 3 sets and see what the staff say?

Does sound very weird.

Are you sure it's not your ears? ;-)

Try the GP too.

Good luck.

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