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Dell Latitude E6400 - "tinny" sound in Windows XP

Posted on 2008-09-29
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I recently purchased a Dell Latitude E6400 and am experiencing "tinny" sound from the builtin sound card under Windows XP.  The current system information on the sound card is as follows:

Name      IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
Manufacturer      IDT
Status      OK
PNP Device ID      HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76B2&SUBSYS_10280233&REV_1003\4&380800DF&0&0001
Driver      c:\windows\system32\drivers\sthda.sys (5.10.6017.1, 1.32 MB (1,381,914 bytes), 9/20/2008 10:56 PM)


The driver that is installed is the latest driver available for download directly from Dell.  The date on the driver is 8/22/2008.  Regardless of whether or not I am listening to the builtin laptop speakers or hooking up external speakers the sound level seems to be very low and the output is clear but with very high treble and almost no bass at all.

While investigating possible causes for the problem I have already done the following:

(1)  Attempted to install drivers for IDT 92xx compatible hardware.  All drivers that appeared to be for my device but were packaged by other vendors such as Intel would error out even before the install was complete.

(2)  Reformatted the system and only installed Windows XP SP2 and the audio driver to test.

(3)  Hooked up external speakers with subwoofer to the system.  System sound/volume level appears to be very low even when it is turned up nearly all the way.  Sound is very high in treble with little to no bass output.

(4)  Checked all settings for sound devices under control panel.  Bass and treble control for IDT Audio devices are grayed out with both set default to the lowest level.  The only available settings for the device are volume level and right/left balance.  

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Question by:jlape1
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PUNKY earned 500 total points
ID: 22621326
Call Dell and complain. I had some D version which has same issue, return them and got replacement.
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by:jlape1
ID: 22671358
The problem is that I have already called Dell and complained.  The problem does not appear to be hardware but rather a driver issue as you can't adjust any of the equalizer settings.  I previously had a D630 and the sound was just fine with it (at least as good as you can expect from a set of laptop speakers.  The problem with the E6400 is that not only is the sound tinny but it is also weak from the volume standpoint.  For example, just to hear a video on youtube I have to turn the speakers all the way up and then it is only about as loud as the 25% volume setting was on my D630.  Basically, the issue has been escalated with Dell but I have not received a response back yet in regards to a fix or driver upgrade.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22672094
Wait for their answer, though.
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Expert Comment

by:emsp
ID: 24077253
I'm having the same issue. It worked when I got the laptop but I screwed up the disksetup (or Acronis did) so I had to do a re-install and then there were only high frequences out of the jack-plug.

However, I've also tested with a USB headset and that works fine, so I dont think this is related to the driver. It seems to be related to the jack-plug.. Strange though.
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