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How to MUTE laptop speaker, but NOT headphones


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Zach Sawyer's Avatar
Zach Sawyer Zach Sawyer is offline
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09-Feb-2008, 09:02 AM #1
Lightbulb How to MUTE laptop speaker, but NOT headphones
THE QUESTION:
- How do I mute the laptop speakers while still getting sound out of my headphones? So even if I pull my headphones out, still no sound comes out of the speakers.

FOLLOW UP:
- As a laptop user, you know that most of the time we work in quite areas such as libraries or night flights. When you accidently pull the headphones jack out, your music blasts causing a lot of unnecessary disturbance.

TECHNICAL DETAILS:
Dell Inspiron 5150, Windows XP, SigmaTel Audio C-Major.

IS IT POSSIBLE:
- YES. It was for the past 3 years until a few days a go. I say this because I used to achieve this by checking the 1 PC spk Mute checkbox under ADVANCED in the Volume Control panel. I recently had to reinstall the SigmaTel driver and now when I check the 1 PC spk Mute checkbox, It mutes EVERYTHING including the headphones.

WHAT I'VE TRIED:
- Rolling back SigmaTel driver: not possible since the original was uninstalled.
- Installing the SigmaTel driver from the dell website
- Installing the SigmaTel driver from the drivers CD
- Searching the net. Most results suggested checking the PC spk Mute checkbox, but as mentioned earlier, now it mutes my headphones as well.


Any suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated. Thank you.

Zach
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NeoBix NeoBix is offline
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09-Feb-2008, 11:48 AM #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Sawyer View Post
THE QUESTION:
- How do I mute the laptop speakers while still getting sound out of my headphones? So even if I pull my headphones out, still no sound comes out of the speakers.

FOLLOW UP:
- As a laptop user, you know that most of the time we work in quite areas such as libraries or night flights. When you accidently pull the headphones jack out, your music blasts causing a lot of unnecessary disturbance.

TECHNICAL DETAILS:
Dell Inspiron 5150, Windows XP, SigmaTel Audio C-Major.

IS IT POSSIBLE:
- YES. It was for the past 3 years until a few days a go. I say this because I used to achieve this by checking the 1 PC spk Mute checkbox under ADVANCED in the Volume Control panel. I recently had to reinstall the SigmaTel driver and now when I check the 1 PC spk Mute checkbox, It mutes EVERYTHING including the headphones.

WHAT I'VE TRIED:
- Rolling back SigmaTel driver: not possible since the original was uninstalled.
- Installing the SigmaTel driver from the dell website
- Installing the SigmaTel driver from the drivers CD
- Searching the net. Most results suggested checking the PC spk Mute checkbox, but as mentioned earlier, now it mutes my headphones as well.


Any suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated. Thank you.

Zach
Hey Zach, welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Hrmmm... the only thing I can think of for you to try is this:

Go to Start, then go to Control Panel, then go to Sounds and Audio Devices, go to the Audio tab and then under Sound Playback set your Default device to your headphones instead of your laptop speakers.

The only reason that I can think of why this wouldn't work for you is if your notebook doesn't recognize your headphones as an actual device. XP recognizes my headphones in the dropdown list under Default device so it allows me to choose to have the sound come only out of the headphones and never out of the speakers. So all I have to do if I want to change it back to my speakers is just select my sound card device from the list and I'm good to go.

Let me know if this helps.
Zach Sawyer's Avatar
Zach Sawyer Zach Sawyer is offline
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09-Feb-2008, 01:53 PM #3
Hi Neo, and thank you for the response.

In the Audio Tap, under Sound Playback I only have one item: SigmaTel Audio Which is my sound card if I am not mistaken. So you are right. It does not recognize the headphones as a separate device (I actually find it mind boggling that yours does! You have 2 sound cards?)

I bit the bullet and called DELL support but like anyone who has dealt with them knows, they read from a list of potential problems and then they give up! He told me "It is just not possible. You must have had a glitch or something for the past three years!"
NeoBix's Avatar
NeoBix NeoBix is offline
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09-Feb-2008, 02:47 PM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Sawyer View Post
Hi Neo, and thank you for the response.

In the Audio Tap, under Sound Playback I only have one item: SigmaTel Audio Which is my sound card if I am not mistaken. So you are right. It does not recognize the headphones as a separate device (I actually find it mind boggling that yours does! You have 2 sound cards?)

I bit the bullet and called DELL support but like anyone who has dealt with them knows, they read from a list of potential problems and then they give up! He told me "It is just not possible. You must have had a glitch or something for the past three years!"
I'm sorry, I'm retarded. It is times like these that I remember why my siggy says what it says.

I don't know what the heck I was thinking, lol. My headphones don't show up as a device either... sorry for the confusion.

Ok, this might not work for you either but you can at least try it if you haven't tried it already.

Go to Start, go to Control Panel, go to Sounds and Audio Devices, go to the Audio tab and then click the Advanced button under Sound playback and then you should see both a Speakers tab and a Performance tab. Click on the Speakers tab if it isn't already open and then select the dropdown list under Speaker setup. If you want to set it up so the sound will only come through your headphones then select whatever type of headphones you're using (usually Stereo headphones I think). What this will do is lock the audio on your computer to just your headphones and then when you unplug your headphone jack from your computer the audio shouldn't start coming out of your laptop speakers.

And then whenever you want to change it back from headphones to your speakers just go back through that process and simply select your speakers from the dropdown list instead of your headphones.

Like I said, this might not work. Your problem might lie elsewhere. But let me know what happens!

Last edited by NeoBix; 09-Feb-2008 at 02:55 PM..
Zach Sawyer's Avatar
Zach Sawyer Zach Sawyer is offline
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09-Feb-2008, 05:33 PM #5
lol. No you are not retarded. It is just that Microsoft always manages to throw at us as many confusing useless settings as possible.

As you can imagine I tried every single one of them. Nothing happened. Even when i selected the "No Speaker" option. sound still came out of the speakers as well as the headphones (not at the same time). And the PC Spk Mute check box still muted everything.
NeoBix's Avatar
NeoBix NeoBix is offline
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10-Feb-2008, 01:08 PM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Sawyer View Post
lol. No you are not retarded. It is just that Microsoft always manages to throw at us as many confusing useless settings as possible.

As you can imagine I tried every single one of them. Nothing happened. Even when i selected the "No Speaker" option. sound still came out of the speakers as well as the headphones (not at the same time). And the PC Spk Mute check box still muted everything.
Hmmm... it seems like SigmaTel audio devices give lots of people problems. Especially after XP reinstalls.

It could be helpful if a mod moves this thread to the Multimedia forum. People over in that section are usually a lot more helpful with audio problems. There was another guy in this forum with problems very similar to yours and he was using a SigmaTel audio device as well and I think he went over to Multimedia to get some assistance.

It's up to you man.
Zach Sawyer's Avatar
Zach Sawyer Zach Sawyer is offline
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11-Feb-2008, 08:34 AM #7
Thanks Neo. I probably should have posted this in the multimedia section to start with. If it doesnt get moved, I will repost the question there.
NeoBix's Avatar
NeoBix NeoBix is offline
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11-Feb-2008, 05:47 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Sawyer View Post
Thanks Neo. I probably should have posted this in the multimedia section to start with. If it doesnt get moved, I will repost the question there.
No problem man. Good luck.

EDIT: One more thing though... how long has it been since you've used Microsoft Update?

If it's been a while you may want to visit that site and click on the Express button and download and install everything that it recommends.

Let me know if this does anything for your problem (if you haven't already done this).

Last edited by NeoBix; 11-Feb-2008 at 06:11 PM..
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