Laptop sound reduces suddenly

Experts:

Sometimes the audio becomes soft and very less loud.
Laptop: HP Elitebook 8470p
OS: Windows 8.1Enterprise
Audio: IDT High Definition Audio
Complete driver installs "SRS Premium Sound Pro"

Checked for updated driver and utility: None available yet.

I suspect a program is causing it. Any suggestions?
LVL 5
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations ManagerAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Get the current Audio Driver (there must be the current one) and download it. It should be the complete package.

Uninstall Audio (probably from Programs and Features). Check Device Manager if anything else needs to be uninstalled.

Close out and shut down the computer.

Start up and install the Audio package.

Now restart and test.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Skype and Skype 4 business when in a conference will reduce the audio of other processes.
nobusCommented:
>>  Sometimes the audio becomes soft and very less loud  <<  when?   playing sound cd's, movies? or just mp3 files, or all ?
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Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations ManagerAuthor Commented:
@John: the audio driver and SRS utility is already installed. This driver is from HP not Generic. Are you recommending a complete reinstall?

@David: I have configured Skype not to automatically change audio levels.

@Nobus:  For everything.

More Info:
It happens sometimes when laptop is turned on, waking up from hibernation or sleep. It does not suddenly happen during normal use.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes - I recommend you uninstall the audio driver, restart and install it again.
nobusCommented:
if it worked ok before, and is recent, you can try a system restore to such date
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations ManagerAuthor Commented:
@John: I followed the steps you mentioned and re-installed. Unfortunately it didn't help.

@Nobus: It often works fine and sometimes this strange behavior. System restore didn't help.

The problem is like if "Loudness Equalization" is turned off or on automatically. But Equalization option is available only using Microsoft Generic Audio Driver and not with IDT driver. Hope it explains it a little bit more.

Thanks!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I don't know for sure. Thoughts:

1. Some legacy software on the machine. Happens lots.
2. Driver is buggy and needs an update not yet out.
3. Windows 8 itself is buggy and will never be fixed.
4. So now consider upgrading to Windows 10 Enterprise or install Windows 10 Pro fresh. Not free anymore.
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the suggestions John. I'll keep these in mind.

Following up to the issue:

I noticed the issue happens only on headphones / earphones. Laptop speakers are fine. Tested other headphones, same results.

I remember last time I launched Skype using this command (c:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\skype.exe /secondary) to login into second account, hibernated without headphones connected, resumed and played a track on Youtube. The sound is considerably low since then and unlike previous times it is not getting back to normal.
nobusCommented:
you could install another OS on a spare drive, and test then if the issue exists
it can be bad hardware also - contacts? plugs?

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Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations ManagerAuthor Commented:
Going to do that. Will update
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@Obaid ur Rehman - Can you update us as promised?
Obaid ur RehmanTechnical and Operations ManagerAuthor Commented:
Yes, I tested on Ubuntu Gnome Live USB, same results.
Purchased new earphones, problem solved.

Nobus's suggestion to recheck hardware helped!
nobusCommented:
tx for feedback
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