The sound is distorted and scratchy / Audio jack not working - Audio - Laptop - Dell Community

The sound is distorted and scratchy / Audio jack not working


Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

The sound is distorted and scratchy / Audio jack not working

  • I don’t know what happens, my Inspiron 5150 sounds are distorted and scratchy. That includes the windows sounds, mp3, videos, everything. I also tried to plug my headphones, and no sound is coming out. Nothing has been changed or tweaked on my system. I already reinstalled drivers, and played with the sounds settings with no success.

  • Your sound card could be bad, or it might be your motherboard
  • The headphone jack is often the culprit. Here is a thread about it.



    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • Hmm.  I have the same problem, started yesterday.


    I am still covered by extended and complete care.  I hope it covers this.  I'm not exactly a soddering wunderkid.

  • then PLEASE don't try to repair any hardware (which may and will void your warranty) and call tech support ...  work with them and they will arrange to have the unit send it for whatever it needs (probably a new MB)
  • if you do send it in, comp-usa has a 160GB external HD on sale for $60 that might be worth backing up your data on -- or, if the tech agrees, you'll probably be able to leave your hard-drive out of the return
  • Even if a person with a bad jack was out of warranty they should forget the soldering iron approach unless they were a serious tech hobbyist.

    The ordinary out-of-warranty solution would be an external audio interface.


    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • Thx guys, yes I think is an harware problem since I did allthe tests. this is the last time I shop with Dell, it suxx hard.
  • I think there is a problem with Dell;'s speaker jack which affects sound card.    I had trouble with sound thru external speakers one night and then the next day no sound. Badd soundcard  If sound card is bad entire motherboard has to be replaced

    Call tech support   they will walk you thru process to determine if it is the computer or you    This is the 3rd Dell this year that I've had hardware problems with

    I'm returning my computer
  • I've got another solution...

    I have an Inspiron 8600 and a friend has an 8500.  Both of us have experienced this problem.  It has occurred to both of us when we inserted the plug from our headphones into the speaker-out jack on the computer.  In the headphones you hear a "static zap" and zappo, the sound is dead.  I tried it once with the sound playing though the laptop's speakers, inserted the headphones, the sound became low & distorted in the headphones, pulled out the headphone plug, and the sound was still low & distorted.

    I fixed the problem by updating the BIOS (the first time it happened, I updated the BIOS to the latest version, then the next time it happened, I just re-ran the same version update...  I think there is an ESD problem with a static zap to the speaker-out jack somehow zapping the system's BIOS NVRAM.  Since others have fixed the problem by running the Dell diagnostics program this seems to confirm this.  I wouldn't doubt this program examines errors in the BIOS and resets it.

    Any other thoughts out there?