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HP Notebook PCs - No Sound Through Headphones When Connected to S/PDIF Jack

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

Understanding headphone problems

On some models of notebook, there may be no sound through headphones when connected to the S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) jack. The S/PDIF output is an optical output located in one of the headphone jacks. S/PDIF format allows for two different types of digital output:
  • Optical - using a TOSLINK cable.
  • Digital - using a coax cable (using RCA style connectors).
If this occurs, your headphone may not be compatible with this specific type of jack, and will require an adapter to work correctly. HP Notebook PCs use the optical method. Using converters such as a headphone jack to RCA connector will not work.

Use a mini-TOSLINK adapter to connect your headphones

To connect to the headphone jack using an optical cable, a mini-TOSLINK adapter is required. TOSLINK adapters can be purchased at most local electronics stores.
  1. Connect the TOSLINK connector into the S/PDIF jack on the notebook PC.
  2. Click Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Manager audio devices.
  4. Select the Digital Output device and then click Set Default.
  5. Right click the digital output device, select Properties.
  6. Select the Advanced tab and then click Test.
You should now hear audio through your headphones.

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