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Solved Surface Book Built-in Speakers Good, But Headphone Problems

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Surface Book has very good built-in speakers. Impressive for such a lightweight, small device.

Because I play music all day long, I surround myself with options - various headphones, regular and noise-cancelling, Bluetooth speakers, Apple rigs, etc. I have never been happy with the Surface Pro 3 speakers, but these devices made up for the shortcomings. As a a musician, I am very aware of audio quality.

The Surface Book has nicely placed speakers within the clipboard (screen) so that the thin layer of cooling vents also conduct the sound. Maximum volume is about half-again louder than the Surface Pro 3. Stereo separation is excellent, making it seem that some physical barrier exists walling off one speaker from the other. Frequencies are not too tinny, and bass is as good as could be expected on such a lightweight and small device. There is no need for clip-on plastic "Mickey Mouse" ears or cupping of the hands to hear the sound from the Surface Book.

Volume controls on the keyboard are also most welcome. The Clipboard unit (screen) has volume buttons, also.

When in clipboard mode (screen detached) the speakers are also good. Even if I try to clasp my hands over the edges where the sound seems to comes out loudest, the sound seems to move to another place.

As a side note, I prefer to use iTunes with Windows 10 and with my Surface Book, though I have way too many alternatives, which also are good. The option to show iTunes on the notification area of the Taskbar is very handy, and the built-in iTunes Mini Player finally shows album art. To launch the mini-player, touch the small-version of the album art at the upper-center of the screen. The Mini Player has two sizes from which to toggle between.

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OP
sharpuser

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
Follow-up to the above post:

When I connect my headphones, the speakers keep playing, and the headphones do not get sound. Tried video, iTunes, Edge Browser, and all apps with the same result.

Something to figure out.
 

Niterider4

Active Member
My friend had this problem on his SP3, with his external speakers. He had to select them from the audio control panel every time he plugged them in. It was very annoying, and I'm surprised it wasn't fixed this time around.
 

Wayne Orwig

Active Member
When I plugged in my favorite headphones.....no sound.
I plugged in another pair, that I don't like, and they work fine.
In my case, it appears that the physical size of the plugs/jack, have something to do with it. I can wiggle the non-working plug around and get it to work sometimes.
 

bluegrass

Well-Known Member
I solved some audio problems with laptops, which all come with audio out and mic in built into one jack. I now always carry a the splitter cable adapter that fixes problems with the multi-purpose headphone/mic jack.
 

mistryman

New Member
Plug in your headphones.. right click on speaker icon and select playback devices. Headphone should be enabled. Right click and make it your default device. Now when you plug in your headphones, it will switch back and forth properly. At least that worked for me. Good luck!
 
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sharpuser

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
Plug in your headphones.. right click on speaker icon and select playback devices. Headphone should be enabled. Right click and make it your default device. Now when you plug in your headphones, it will switch back and forth properly. At least that worked for me. Good luck!
Tried that. Headphones are detected, and "Test" works, but I never get the meter to show sound, except for the "Test". Maybe it is my headphones (4-conductor plug on Bose noise-cancelling).
 

mistryman

New Member
Tried that. Headphones are detected, and "Test" works, but I never get the meter to show sound. Maybe it is my headphones (4-conductor plug on Bose noise-cancelling).
Interesting. I've got a pair of Shure E3's and seem to work fine. Perhaps you can try with another pair to make sure it's not the headphones?
 

GoodBytes

Well-Known Member
Plug headphones, and restart the app, does it work?
If so, the problem is a bug with iTunes which doesn't support dynamic audio switching. Flash also doesn't support it.
 
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sharpuser

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
All apps have the same problem: Web video, NetFlix, Internet radio, system sounds, iTunes,
 

GoodBytes

Well-Known Member
That is interesting. If you open the Sound panel, do you see the audio output source change as you plug in/out your headphones.
If not, and you need to manually change it, then that would indicate to me, that there is a bug in the sound chip drivers.
 
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