No sound on external speaker

I have an Acer Aspire One notebook computer running Windows 7, and all the sound output facilities (built-in speaker, external speaker and headphones) work OK with Windows sounds and with Windows Media Player music. However, when recording a short test file (with microphone) using Audacity 2.0, it plays back fine on the built-in speaker and on the headphones, but not on the external speaker. (Possibly very faint sound, but I’m not sure.)
I also tried exporting the test sample as a .wav file, and playing that back through Windows Mediaplayer. It worked on internal speaker and headphones, but not on external speaker.
Can you help to resolve this problem, please?

Ensure that the external speakers are connected and working before you open Audacity.
Try changing the Output (Playback) device in the Device Toolbar.

Thanks for listening. I have tried both your recommendations (since receiving your reply), but the situation is unchanged.

Have you by any chance accidentally pressed Fn+Mute Speakers?

No. Double-checked. Anyway, why do external and internal speakers both work OK with MediaPlayer and with Windows warning tones, but only internal speaker works with Audacity? Muting should affect both.

I have also tried Transport>Rescan Audio Devices, and all combinations of Audio Host and Output Device on the Devices toolbar, but to no avail.

Does anything play on the external speaker?
What sort of external speaker is it and how is connected to the Acer Aspire One notebook computer ?

To amplify the comments in my original question, the external speaker and headphones both cope properly with every type of output I have tried from the computer (through Windows Media Player): .wav files (e.g. Windows alert sounds and also .wav files exported from Audacity), .mp3 files (e.g. recorded music) and .wmv files (videos). However, it is silent when trying to play back anything produced by Audacity, in both direct playback and also exported .wav files playing through Windows Media Player.
The external speaker is labelled Vivanco, an NXT speaker, with an EDP no. of 23794. (The label says that NXT is the trademark of New Transducers Ltd.) It is self-powered with 3 AAA batteries, and connects to the computer via the Headphones phono socket.
I do hope you can help. I purchased the speaker specifically so that I could use the notebook computer as a portable “tape recorder”, but at the moment that hope is dashed, as the internal speaker is too small to give adequate playback.
Fingers crossed, and looking forward to receiving a positive reply. Thanks in advance.

Am I missing something or is that a direct contradiction?

  1. .WAV files exported from Audacity do play correctly through the speakers when played in WMP
  2. .WAV files exported from Audacity do not play correctly through the speakers when played in WMP

I have the same problem - no sound with play back thru the speakers or headphones. Yet, I can see from the output meter that the file is playing back. I read all the comments, And I checked all those things.

Are you using an Acer Aspire One notebook computer running Windows 7?

.WAV files exported from Audacity do not play correctly through the speakers when played in WMP

If I have understood correctly, you are saying that all sound files play correctly through the internal speakers. Yes? When you plug some headphones into the headphone jack socket, these same sound files also play correctly through the headphones. Right? In this situation the internal speakers will have been automatically muted. Right?

If you now, whilst that sound file continues playing, unplug the headphones and plug in the external speakers, what happens? Exactly, precisely. Remember we can neither see nor hear what happens at your end.

What should happen is that sound reverts to the internal speakers whilst the headphone socket is empty and then these internal speakers will be muted again and the sound should come out of the external speakers. Does it? If not, then I am confused because the signal will still be getting presented to the headphone jack socket. If no sound is coming out of the speakers there is something screwy going on. Stupid questions: the batteries are new and fully charged, aren’t they? They are inserted the correct way round, aren’t they. You have pushed the jack plug all the way in, haven’t you? The volume control on the external speaker is turned up, isn’t it? The mute switch on the external speaker isn’t set on, is it?

Thanks, Steve, and sorry for getting my knickers in a twist! The answer to your question is:
.WAV files exported from Audacity do not play correctly through the speakers when played in WMP.
I thought I’d sent this reply a couple of days ago, but it has not been logged so I must have slipped up again! If you have received it twice, I apologise. Chris

Seen your latest. Thanks. Got to dash. Will reply in about 3 hours. Chris

Everything you say here is as you have asked:
Para 1: Yes; yes; yes.
Para 2: I’ve carried out this test, using a long Auidacity sample (to give time to make changes) direct from Audacity playback. Headphones work OK. When pulling out the jack plug, output through internal speaker comes on OK. When pushing in the external speaker jack plug (already switched on - power light showing), all goes silent. Internal speaker muted, but no sound from external speaker.
Straight away after that, whilst external speaker was connected and powered on, I went to WMP and played a piece of music: perfect sound through the external speaker!
Your "stupid questions " (not so stupid) in your final paragraph are all answered in a positive sense: Batteries are new and OK, power is on and indicator lit, batteries removed and polarity double-checked, (it was correct), jack plug properly inserted, no volume control on external speaker, no mute switch on external speaker. The evidence for all these checks being OK is that performance is perfect from WMP.

:smiley: SOLVED IT! Doing a final check before submitting the above, I tried your first test again. Same result, but I thought I heard a brief sound from the external speaker when pushing in the jack plug. Pulling it in and out, I found I could get sound from the external speaker when the plug was partly withdrawn, but all went silent when fully inserted. The other end of the cable carries an identical (or so it appears) jack plug, which plugs into the speaker. so as an experiment I swapped the two ends around: total success! Full proper sound output from the external speaker.

Why it worked OK before with WMP, with the cable connected the other way round I have no idea. I emphasise that there is no difference whatsoever in appearance between the two plugs on the lead. But I will now mark one of them with Snopake!

Sorry to have been a pain. Mystery unsolved, but at least I have found a fully satisfactory work-around, thanks to your careful inquisition.

Many thanks. Chris

I’m glad we got there in the end! Perhaps a piece of electricians tape wrapped around the end of the cable might be more permanent than Snopake!

A possible explanation could be that there is a connection fault with either the lead, the plug or the socket and that by fiddling with it you have now got it into a position where it is making contact. I’d suggest that try to avoid touching or moving the lead/connection, but if the problem occurs again, check and if necessary replace the lead (and hope that it’s not the socket that’s faulty).