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Headphone Jack quits working: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

September 15, 2016 Leave a comment

I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. The current date is 9-15-2016 and I still love it, even after lusting after the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. I just can’t convince myself to get either one of those beautiful machines because the Surface Pro 3 (SP3) still works so well!

While I sing praises for the SP3, it is not without its issues. In a previous post, discussed fixing the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (MWDA) and this post will be about fixing some audio issues. I’m not really sure why I ran into this, but I noticed that since I updated PlayOn to the new version, it installed itself a virtual audio device (right-click the speaker in the bottom right hand corner of your computer, then go to Playback Devices and it’ll show you all the playback devices).

Problem 1

Headphone jack quit playing audio automatically when headphones are plugged in, the audio continues to play through the speakers.

Solution 1

I’m not really sure because I was immediately compounded by problem #2. See below.

Problem 2

Audio volume rocker on the left side of the SP3 shows that I am changing audio volume, but its not actually doing it!!! No volume control!

Solution 2

This solution solved both problems. Go to Device Manager (in the search box at the bottom left of your screen next to the Windows button, type in Device Manager and it should be your first hit).devicemanager

Step 2, you will expand the menu for Human Interface Devices and uninstall the following items:

  • HID-compliant consumer control device
  • HID-compliant consumer control device

Yes, I said the same thing twice because there are two. Uninstall them both and don’t worry, they will reinstall themselves when you reboot. BUT DON’T REBOOT YET!

Step 3, expand the menu for Sound, video and game controllers (that ironically does not use the Oxford comma… sigh….). Uninstall the Realtek High Definition Audio. There may be more than one Realtek High Definition Audio listing, uninstall them both. Again, don’t worry because it will reinstall itself upon reboot.

After uninstalling them, the SP3 will inform you that you need to reboot, go ahead and do this. Once the SP3 has rebooted you will notice it reinstalling some drivers. Once it is finished installing, play an audio file of your choosing. Use the volume rocker on the left side and it should work! Plug in some headphones and you will notice they probably don’t work. Reboot your computer again. Once the computer has rebooted for the second time, choose an audio file of your choice, start playing it, and plug in some headphones. It will reinstall the headphones drivers and it should switch the audio to the headphones AND the volume rocker will now control these as well.

Conclusion

It was annoying that these steps had to be completed at all because it shouldn’t have to happen, but computers are complex machines and sometimes they just get things crossed weirdly. I scoured the internet for these solutions and I obtained the HID-consumer control device bit from a Microsoft Community thread. Enjoy your working-again Microsoft Surface Pro 3!

Happy Listening!

Categories: Computers, Technology