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Brand new computer, only 2 of 4 speakers work


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Brand new computer, only 2 of 4 speakers work

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I have a brand new Dell XPS 9000 desktop with Windows Vista Home Premium. 

I have Realtek High Definition Audio.

I have Boston Acoustics BA 7800 Analog Speaker System (4 satellite speakers and a subwoofer)

I have chatted online with Dell support for hours, switching connections, adding splitters, uninstalling, reinstalling, and updating drivers.

Nothing to date has worked. I still only have 2 of the 4 speakers working (the sub works)

Dell finally told me that I had to go to PAY BASED support...FOR MY BRAND NEW COMPUTER!!! I find that pathetic.

I've also been to Boston Acoustics support and they went through extensive support and found that the speakers themselves are fine. In fact they were awesome before I got my Dell.

1) Is anyone else having the same problem?

2) Is there anyone out there with better help than Dell support as far as sound goes?

I apologize for my anger but this has been far too much to go through with a brand new computer.

Thank you.

All Replies
  • Have you changed sound to 5.1 in the control panel?  Go to control panel>sound, highlite your speakers in the list (probably at the top) and click configure at the bottom.

    XPS 8700 

    XPS 14

  • Hi FuzzyZ.

    I know you have tried everything. Sometimes the simple thing is the solution. Did you go to Control panel > Sound devices > Speaker Properties > Advance Properties and check speakers with sourround sound 5.1 or so? I am not sure since I am using XP and in Spanish.  But I think is a valid question.


    Edit: Slow, slow. Well I was doing the media.


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  • Along with the proper speaker selection, as noted by two other users, do you have the old Gateway BA speakers connected correctly to the new PC?  I couldn't get access to the manual so I don't know what color the speaker connections on the BA speakers are, but on the new Dell, BLACK is L/R Surround, ORANGE (TAN) is Center/Subwoofer and GREEN is Front Left/Right. 

    (The BA speakers do work great.  I have some old BA 745 2.1 analog speakers from an old 2002 Gateway PC that are still working).

    As you have "user supplied" speakers, rather than ones bought from Dell with the PC, is probably the reason Dell wants to charge for support to get the speaker working.  That is not uncommon with many vendors, not just Dell.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Sonar Platinum Recordng Software.


    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • To add onto what fireberd mentioned...

    My speakers actually require two cables to be connected to my computer - one for the front pair and one for the rears.

  • Yes, I have done that. Thanks for the attempt. Sometimes it is one of the more obvious reasons that we overlook.

  • It is so true that we sometimes overlook the obvious. I have tried Stereo, 5.1, and 7.1...none have had any effect on my speaker problem. Thanks for trying. You never know.

  • I don't know how to put a picture on this post but here is a link to my BA 7800 speakers.

    I can tell you that there is a 3 prong wire for the back of the subwoofer (as well as red and white wires for left, right, rear left, and rear right speakers)

    The end going into the computer are black, green and pink.

    I have the black going into black, the green going into green and the pink going into  orange.

    I have tried many combinations but don't have a problem re-trying them.

    As mentioned in a previous reply I have tested them using stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 settings...none have had any effect.

    Thanks for this and any future attempts to help. I am keeping the faith that someone will be able to help so I can listen to these great speakers they they were meant to be listened to.

  • Here is what the Gateway site lists for the speakers:

    A Connects to the subwoofer.
    B Connects to the Line Out 2 (black) port on the sound card.
    C Connects to the Line Out 1 (green) port on the sound card.
    D Connects to the Mic In (red) port on the sound card.

    Thus you need two "line outs" for the speakers - they are only "stereo" speakers not "surround" speakers.  The Pink is for a microphone connection and goes to the Pink jack on the PC - it is an input, not an output.   On older PC's there were two Speaker/Line Out ports, which is what these speakers were designed for. 

    You MAY have to use a "Y" cable with a 1/8" stereo plug that you plug into the GREEN speaker jack and two 1/8" stereo jacks that you can plug the two speaker plugs into.  

    If you want surround sound speakers, such as 5.1 speakers, you will have to buy new surround speakers that are designed for current PC sound output ports.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Sonar Platinum Recordng Software.


    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • I had same prob on my gateway desktop (ba speakers and subwoofer), seemed to work as soon as i set my speaker setup to 'quadraphonic speakers'.

    sounds like u already may have tried this,though.

  • We get problem posts from users that have old Gateway supplied speakers from time to time.  Gateway used some older audio interface standard systems and some of them will not work or work correctly on current technology audio systems.  One prime example is the Gateway Boston Accoustics BA 735 "digital" speakers; they use the obsolete digital audio interface and are not compatible with current technlogy S/PDIF digital.   Even some of the older analog interface speaker systems are not 100% compatible - e.g. the subject speakers require two analog outputs "Speaker" and "line out" or in some systems "Speaker 1" and "Speaker 2" but many current production systems only have ONE combination Speaker/Line Out connection.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Sonar Platinum Recordng Software.


    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • To all who answered my post...Thank you very much. I have fortunately found a solution to my speaker problem. As it turns out, it was once again a simple solution.

    I had spent all of my time trying to set or change speaker and/or sound card settings or changing the wires going from the speakers to the sound card into any number of combinations. (green into green, black into black, pink into orange and every other combo).

    Then I thought, let's try changing the wires from the 4 satellited speakers in back of the subwoofer ( from white in white and red in red) to see if anything happens...

    I took all four wires out and used only ONE wire at a time, trying each of the four holes. Eventually one of the speakers that DID NOT work...worked. I continued this until ALL 4 SPEAKERS WORKED!

    As it turns out...the red wires are plugged into the white and the white wires are plugged into the red. Go figure. I don't know why that's the case but they work and they sound GREAT again so thanks again to everyone for leading me in the right direction.

    PS My brother had the same problem with different speakers and I helped get his working. As mentioned in previous posts...You may only need a splitter ( which will allow you to "split" one wire into two connections or a Y-connector ( which will allow you to connect two wire to one outlet) whcih is what he needed. I got a set of about 5 different types of connectors at Walmart for about $20.