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Subwoofer on P150HM not working?

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by belegdol, May 10, 2011.

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  1. belegdol

    belegdol Notebook Guru

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    Hi,

    I have recently received my shiny new P150HM from MySN. The problem is that it seems that the subwoofer is not being detected at all (Windows nor Linux), and sound tests for subwoofer do not play any sound at all. Is it possible that it is disconected, and if so, how easy would be to fix it? I would rather not ship it all the way back to Germany (I am in Switzerland) if this is something trivial. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. TheGreatAnonymous

    TheGreatAnonymous Notebook Consultant

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    Try hitting the Fn+5 key to enable it. Someone here posted about this not too long ago, and apparently it's in the manual as well. Imagine my surprise when I found out about it, because it makes a huge difference in sound.
     
  3. Eivind

    Eivind Notebook Evangelist

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    Fn+5 only works with the P170HM. Not the 150/151.

    About the subwoofer. I dont know if it is working or not. It sure doesnt sound like it.
     
  4. belegdol

    belegdol Notebook Guru

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    As Elvind expected, it didn't help. According to the manual that key combo is only for p170hm anyway.
     
  5. TheGreatAnonymous

    TheGreatAnonymous Notebook Consultant

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    Oh wow, didn't know that. Sucks to have to send it back for something so minor.
     
  6. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    Do you not feel the vibrations when you place your palm on the grill under the chassis??

    What do you mean when you say that windows is not detecting the subwoofer?
     
  7. Harleyquin07

    Harleyquin07 エミヤ

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    Congratulations for not reading the original post, when the OP says sound tests using the inbuilt windows software or the like don't have any sound emitting from the subwoofer when it's supposed to, I would think vibrations are out of the question.

    Back on topic: I assume volume controls and equalization haven't accidentally cancelled out the subwoofer output? If not, it may be a hardware problem unless it was working fine before.
     
  8. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    I did read the OPost. Yes, I was unfortunately asking the obvious. But your sarcasm didn't help him either, Joker's Assistant! :D

    Back on topic: In device manager, the speaker and the sub-woofer are never listed, right?. Just the sound driver or some such thing.

    (I don't have the laptop with me now so I don't know exactly what is listed under audio in device manager)

    So, when the OP says he cant detect it, I wonder what he means.
     
  9. Harleyquin07

    Harleyquin07 エミヤ

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    Unlike someone posting above me, I did try and help by asking whether or not volume controls and equalization settings were muting the subwoofer by accident, unlikely as it is. Even in Windows Vista, there's a simple sound test function where you can get sound to come out from specific speakers using the test function.

    No, you don't see if speakers are connected to the Windows Operating System via Device Manager. It only lists which SOUND CARD is connected to the system.

    Regardless of my "sarcasm" above, I recommend the OP crank up bass settings and volume as much as possible before testing the individual speakers again. If nothing is heard from the subwoofer using these test conditions, then it's likely a hardware problem. I'm no expert but internal wiring isn't as easy as to fix like a RAM upgrade or the like.
     
  10. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    In the Realtek Audio manager, you can test only the left and right speakers. Not the subwoofer; though i dont have the laptop with me now, I remember this much.

    So, again, I think the important issue is: what does he mean when he says it cant be detected?? (As you said, only the Audio Driver/Card is listed in Device Manager; so, he is not talking about that.)
    Is there some software he is using to detect and test the speaker/sub-woofer? If so, what is it? We could download and do the test on our machines to compare. Lets just wait for his reply.
     
  11. belegdol

    belegdol Notebook Guru

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    Sorry for not being clearer. By not being detected I meant that if you switch to 5.1 or 7.1 in the Realtek Audio Manager, no sound is heard at all when you click the sub. On the other hand, if you click other speakers (which are greyed out), their output is emulated by two main speakers. I hope it is clearer now.
    When it comes to wiring, I got hold of a service manual and it seems that the sub is connected to the mobo under the graphics card. So it should be doable to at least look if the cable is plugged.
    Harleyquin07: where should I look for the equaliser settings? Windows 7 is still kinda new to me *ashamed*.
     
  12. Harleyquin07

    Harleyquin07 エミヤ

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    If I remember correctly XP, Vista and Windows 7 all have a "Sounds and Audio Devices" tab under the control panel. There should be volume control and speaker volume selection settings for the laptop, I should imagine the subwoofer should be included since in general left and right speakers can have their volume levels adjusted separately.

    Edit: Looking at OP's original post, does that mean your subwoofer works on the 5.1 setting?
     
  13. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    Oh, so there is a way to test the sub-woofer from Realtek Audio Manager?
    But we are still 2.1. Will setting to 5.1 and testing for the woofer work? idk.

    I can check my results and get back to you. Or someone else can do that also.

    i don't know that win7 has a separate equalizer settings panel other than what is in Windows Media Player.
     
  14. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    There are no equalizer settings under "Sounds and Audio Devices" tab in the control panel.
     
  15. Harleyquin07

    Harleyquin07 エミヤ

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    They're not equalizer settings strictly speaking, but master volume control allows you to change the balance and volume levels for the speakers. I'm confusing myself slightly with the Creative volume control panel I use which does have equalizer settings, however the point I want to make is that if Master volume is disabled and Windows doesn't have the correct speaker settings selected, subwoofer may not output sound at all.
     
  16. belegdol

    belegdol Notebook Guru

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    It means setting to 5.1/7.1 is the only way I found to attempt to make the subwoofer produce the sound on its own. And it is still not working.
     
  17. Electric Shock

    Electric Shock Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm not sure if mine is working either or if it's just the low frequency driver being so weak that it doesn't really do anything. I can goto 5.1 setup in the Realtek audio manager and click on the picture of the subwoofer and it will emit sound but I can't tell if it is coming from the low freq driver speaker on the bottom of the laptop or not as its so quiet it might as well not be audible at all.
     
  18. belegdol

    belegdol Notebook Guru

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    Well, I'll double-check that then.
     
  19. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    Have you just set it at the default (not 5.1/7.1) and cranked up the volume?? (I'm sure you have done this already, but just asking since you didn't provide information about this!)

    I could feel the desk vibrating with the subwoofer's vibrations when i rested my palms on the desk. Of course the vibrations were less when the THX software was turned off. Perhaps you have it off or haven't installed it??

    Ill test out setting 5.1/7.1 within the hour and get back on here; but i am expecting the same result as Electric Shock.

    Question: why is there no 2.1 setting?
     
  20. mountainlifter_k

    mountainlifter_k Notebook Consultant

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    Just as expected:

    TEST Procedure: Turn off the right speaker (by moving the speaker balance bar to the left in REALTEK settings) and thus make sure the vibrations you feel on the grill under the chassis are coming from the sub-woofer and not travelling down from the right speaker. Then do tests 1 and 2 and report what you got.

    1. REALTEK TEST:
    a. nothing was felt or heard when THX was off + 5.1/7.1 setting
    b. I could feel some vibrations with THX on + 5.1/7.1 setting for sure. You can't hear it but just feel the vibrations on the grill.
    Note: With 1b, THX mixes up the channels in some way so that even when REALTEK setting has the right speaker off, the right speaker does sound off. Perhaps it is these sounds that we are feeling with 1b, coming down the chassis, and not the actual sub-woofer. This made me think my sub-woofer was not wired too. But test 2 is more conclusive.

    2. THX VID TEST: YouTube - THX Subwoofer Test use this to test you sub-woofer.
    a.THX off + youtube vid = barely anything. Almost like I imagined some vibrations because i was expecting them.
    b.THX on + youtube vid = strong vibrations. You should feel the vibrations if you are touching the grill. Still, you can't hear it and what you do hear is from the left speaker, I think. You can also repeat the test with your finger on the right speaker and you will find that though THX sends some audio to it, it is not as strong as the vibrations from the woofer.

    EDIT: 3.Return the speaker balance to center and repeat the video. For some reason, you can feel a whole lot more vibrations than when the balance was to the left or the right alone.

    Earlier I had said that I could feel vibrations on the desk when the laptop's volume was cranked up. I has assumed it was just the sub-woofer working. This is both a combination of the sub-woofer and the general loudness of the speakers themselves, as I understand it now.

    The THX software itself is some kind of equalizer and there is no universal Win7 equalizer. With THX off, we can feel nothing. The verdict is that
    (a) the sub-woofer is kinda low grade because it needs software enhancement to produce any kind of useful bass.
    or (b) the sound card/driver is low-grade.
    I really don't know which it is.

    Whatever it is, I sorely wish for the JBL speakers on the Dell XPS line. SIGH! Esp. since ppl like me don't have separate home speaker systems.
     
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