Normally when you plug in a headset to the (green) audio jack on a PC or laptop, the speakers go silent and your audio is routed through the audio jack to the headset. The same happens when you plug in external speakers to a laptop audio output jack.

There are cases that this auto-sensing of plugged devices does not work and the speakers keep playing the music, while the headset remains silent. Although this problem can happen for a number of reasons, including hardware failure, in the case of the Realtek High Definition audio device, there might be a solution.

In this example I’ll be using the Vista screenshots, but the solution will apply to any Windows version that supports the Realtek HD audio chipset.

First of all, make sure you have the right audio driver installed. If you are not sure, you can use DriverFinder to scan your computer for all devices and install the latest drivers for each device.

Realtek HD audio managerOnce you have the correct Realtek audio driver installed, open the Control Panel and locate the Realtek HD Audio Manager. If you can’t see it, switch to the Classic View of the Control Panel. Double-click the Realtek HD Audio Manager to open the Realtek window.

Depending on what you have plugged, you can select the colored audio jack symbols and configure the speaker or microphone options. In general the 2/2.1 Speaker configuration would be required for a headset, but that is also the default.

Realtek High Definition Audio Manager

The setting affecting the automatic switch from speakers to headset is not located here. For that we need to click the Device advanced settings link in the top-right hand corner of the window.

This will bring up the advanced settings windows for the Realtek HD audio device.

Audio device settings

In this window it is important that the first option is selected: Mute the rear output device, when front headphone plugged in. This setting will ensure that the auto-sensing technology will detect that a headset is being plugged and automatically mute the rear output and route the audio to the headset. For a laptop this means that the internal speakers are muted when the headset is plugged.

If the second option is selected, you can have two different audio streams to the two audio outputs. So what happens is that the audio simply remains playing on the rear output (internal speakers on a laptop), even if you plug a headset in the front audio jack. It appears as if the headset was not detected and the audio on the speakers is not muted, but the Realtek HD audio device simply allows two different audio streams. In a second media player you could select the front audio output for a different, second audio stream.

5 Responses to “No Sound from Headset with Realtek HD Audio”

  1. Dave says:

    Cheers man, sorted my problem out straight away. If only i’d come across your website an hour ago!

  2. Geoff says:

    @Dave – Glad it worked! And next time you at least know where to look 😉

  3. lil hal says:

    i dont have the device advanced settibgs help

  4. Geoff says:

    @lil hal – Could be that you have an older Realtek driver and control panel, or maybe your audio device does not support that function. I suggest you first try updating the audio driver.

  5. Issac says:

    I truly tend to go along with every little thing that has been
    composed in “No Sound from Headset with Realtek HD Audio”.
    Thanks for pretty much all the tips.Thanks-Sommer

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