How do I force audio to play through headphone jack?

by Cameron346   Last Updated February 11, 2018 08:01 AM

My laptop has a slightly damage headphone jack preventing automatic detection of headphones. Other than that, the jack is fine. In Ubuntu, it is possible to force audio to play through the jack (Shows up as Headphones(Unplugged) on PulseAudio.). Using that I've not had a single problem. I was hoping there would be a similar way in Windows.

Answers 1

  1. Plug in your headphones, and adjust any inline volume or power controls so that you should be able to hear any sound that is sent to them.
  2. Right-click the volume control icon in the system tray.
  3. Select "Playback Devices".
  4. Click on the volume control icon again, and adjust the volume so that it triggers a sound event.
    • This serves a couple purposes. First, it lets you make sure the audio isn't already going to the headphones. Secondly, it should show you which Playback Device is currently active in the window we opened earlier by way of the output level indicators. (The same device should also have a green check next to it.)
  5. If you followed step 1, and you did not hear any sound through the headphones in step 4, use the Playback Devices dialog to change the default device to something other than the current one.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until success is achieved, or all Playback Device options have failed.

Depending on your system's configuration and drivers, it may not be clear which of the Playback Devices will send audio to the headphones. Some may actually be labeled as headphones, some may be labeled as line-out, or the headphone output may be non-obviously bundled with another device. For example, my system uses the same Playback Device to address both the headphones and the laptop speakers - it automatically switches when something's plugged into the headphone jack.

Also be aware that, if there are problems with the headphone jack on your computer, it is possible that these settings may not persist if the jack is disturbed or experiences a malfunction. If this is the case, your only solution is to get the jack fixed, or get some headphones that take input from USB.

August 28, 2014 05:52 AM

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