Left speaker not working

I couldn’t really find the proper forum heading for this topic, so I chose this one. It’s also not really audacity related. Anyway my left desktop speaker is not working. If you put your ear to it you can hear the faintest sound. What I’ve troubleshooted is 1)Plugging these powered speakers into my mp3 player and had true stereo. 2)Plugging headphones in the back of the hard drive where the speaker 1/8" plug goes and had only left side in the phones. 3)Checked all the settings under the stock realtek AC97 menus and any windows related menus with panning and what not, only to find everything centered and turned up. Truly baffling :confused: :open_mouth:

What kind of computer and who made the speakers?


Emachines T2958 running XP. Model SP-30A, QC Passed, Made In China, is all it says on the back of the speakers. Stock speakers with the unit I suppose. The two work fine with the mp3 player, so it’s an internal issue right?

You’ve tried running the RealTek speaker test and that just gives sound from one speaker? If so, check that the speakers are plugged in correctly - if that’s not the problem then it is probably a faulty sound card.

Yeah, I’ve tested many different ways. RealTek test? Is that where it shows the guy in the chair and the music loops around. Well, that’s one of many menus I’ve been thru anyway. Like I said in the original post…I plugged headphones into the back of the harddrive tower and got only left side too, so ruling out the speakers as the problem, it’s definitely internal. Just was wondering what tests I could do. Maybe open it up and look at the input jack directly for soldered R/L/Ground connections?

As far as the sound card on another note, I get stereo left and right out of the headphone jack in the front of the tower. It runs off the same sound card, so I don’t know if that would make it not sound card related or not.

That’s the one.

Certainly worth looking assuming that you are confident about doing so. I’d be very cautious about taking a soldering iron to it if the sound card is on the main board. These are usually multi-layer boards and soldering/de-soldering can be a bit tricky. It will of course invalidate any warranty that you may have.

My guess is a faulty socket on the back - may well just be a bad solder connection.


Typically, the front connection comes from gold pins on the sound card separate from the Headphone-Out of the card. It’s certainly possible to get one without the other.


This is a Left-Right test I recorded so I didn’t have to guess which channel I was listening to.

“Left” is an odd one to lose. That’s the tip of the connector and it’s the only common sound connection between all the connectors. Even if you fail to plug all the way in to the sound card, it’s right that stops working, not left.

If the two plugs, headphone and speaker, are very slightly different because of manufacturing problems, then you could get one connecting and one not. Make sure the plugs are firmly pushed into the sound card.

You could try cleaning the plug. Alcohol or vodka (not kidding) and paper towels. Dry the plug before you push it back in.

If you consistently get the headphones and not the speakers, try to “play” with the connection gently and see if the speaker connection is erratic. Bend the wire slightly or wiggle the plug in the socket while the music is playing.


I’ve already tried wiggling the connection, and not even a crackle. Straight right only. I did your phase test too. I had also already wiped the cord clean to try that. I guess I’m going in one of these days and at least looking at it. I’ll let you guys know what I see or do. Thanks Steve and Koz.

<<<I guess I’m going in one of these days and at least looking at it.>>>

And just so we’re crystal clear, you can plug your earbuds into this exact same connection on the sound card and get both channels, right? Can you do it with a second set of earbuds or headphones? Use the left-right test so you’re not fooled by one channel showing up on both sides.

If yes, take the two plugs, one earbud and the speaker plug under really strong light or bright sunshine and try to find the difference. There has to be one. Particularly if you got two different headphones to work in full stereo, it’s not the sound card.


No, I don’t get stereo out of anything (speakers or phones) from the green line out on the back. And I do get stereo from the front jack which is labeled headphones whether I have phones plugged in it or the speakers.

Oh. So yes, the sound card is fried. Nobody will be shocked that the tiny delicate sockets back there are damaged and yes, you might be able to take the card under strong light and see what’s wrong. My sound cards have a block of plastic with the connections inside, but you may luck out and be able to see the electrical contacts.