Speakers Won't Play Without Headphones


Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Speakers Won't Play Without Headphones

  • For lack of better terminology, what I am trying to say is I can't hear anything without the aide of headphones. When I first got it, it played just fine with or without the headphones.

    Now it won't work. I tried changing the speakers to Laptop Speakers Mono/Stereo. And it worked for a bit. But now it doesn't seem to play at all without headphones. Any advice?

    BTW, I have an Inspiron 6000 or something along those lines.

    Message Edited by Nagurikorosu on 09-12-2005 04:44 PM

  • I'd say that the headphone connector does not "inform" the soundcard when you remove the headphone plug.
    When you insert the headphones you'll hit a little switch with the tip of the headphone jack, that switch says "send sound to headphones, disable internal speakers".
    If that little switch is broken, most of the times it's switched in the "headphones inserted" position. It means the computer will never play sound through the internal speakers and when you insert headphones, it works fine.
    I've had this problem a few times before on my own systems because I'm just not gentle enough with the equipment. In the I6000 the soundcard is onboard, it means, if my theory is true, you'll need a new motherboard. The other way is to fix the headphones input but you better bring a little experience.

    Message Edited by Pixal on 09-14-2005 11:30 AM

  • I'll just assume your theory is wrong and hope for another way / more appeasing replies.
    I have the same problem with my Inspiron 9300, 6000's younger brother.

    Harmless nudges prove that our problem is the same
  • I hope you're right. A way to check if it is software or hardware related is to run the dell diagnostics on the sound card.

    Start the computer, directly press F12 a couple of times, choose "Diagnostics". Wait while some tests are performed. Run the Dell 32 bits test. Finally run the custom test on the sound card. Run this test with and without the headphones. If there is sound without the headphones, you are lucky. But if they are still needed to play sounds, this is definately a hardware problem.

    If the above test results are negative I would replace the motherboard, I work at the Dell technical support in the Netherlands and above test is the easiest and fastest way to make sure if the problem is related to the motherboard.

    If there is no damage to the headphones connector and the system, and you are still within warranty, you should call them today.

    So... one way to find out. Run the test.

  • Pixal,

    You are a Dell tech in the Netherlands? Are you serious in saying "When you insert the headphones you'll hit a little switch with the tip of the headphone jack, that switch says "send sound to headphones, disable internal speakers""?

    In normal cicuitry the audio passes through a headphone jack on its way to the speakers. The jack itself is a simple leaf spring contact mechanism. when the headphone plug is inserted it pushes apart the leaves, thereby breaking the signal's pathway to the speakers. When the plug is removed the leaves should spring back into contact and restore the signal path, but sometimes this fails to happen.

    No one has ever mentioned seeing a switch in there, other than the usual jack. Are you sure about the switch that "informs" the speakers, or possibly you are using that as a metaphor? You make it sound like a message is being sent to the speakers telling them to be silent.

    Just curious, because I want to have my facts straight if I am mistaken, and, on the hand hand, the theory that there is a little switch, if incorrect, could be the source of much confusion.


    Jim Coates -- 12 year forum member

  • What you say is exactly how it works. I couldn't describe it better, I live in the Netherlands and I'm expected to speak English perfectly but hey, I don't. How I describe the switch is a simplified way to tell how the mechanism works.
    So with switch I mean the two leaves (working as a switch),
    and the tip of the jack plug should be another part of the plug, I believe somewhere in the middle?
    I'm pretty sure that this mechanism is now jammed or on another way not working correctly, I'm not sure how but I've seen a similar problem occur on my Shuttle computer (with back and front audio connector).
    Still assuming that this problem occurs in the diagnostics, what do you think is wrong?

    Message Edited by Pixal on 09-15-2005 03:51 PM

  • "Still assuming that this problem occurs in the diagnostics, what do you think is wrong?"

    I agree it is usually a defective headphone jack that causes the symptoms as reported.


    Jim Coates -- 12 year forum member