Bass keeps disappearing/dropping out on Dell Inspiron 3521 (Windows 10 64-bit, latest audio drivers from Dell download page)
I am constantly having this problem with my laptop. As I plug in and unplug my headphones throughout the day, I've noticed that after a couple times the bass gets really quiet and almost completely drops out. Since I have some pretty decent audiophile headphones with really great bass, it is super annoying and noticeable.
One workaround I have discovered is to go to the audio settings (either in Windows or the Dell Audio app), and switch the Default Format (the thing with 24-bit, 48000Hz in it) to something else, play some audio, then switch it back.
A little word on my setup: I have the latest drivers from the Dell download page installed. I am running Windows 10 64-bit with all the updates. I have Waves Maxx audio "enhancements" disabled. My Default Format is usually set to 24-bit 48000Hz, but the problem eventually happens no matter what I set it to. The "headphone size" option is set to "Medium", but as far as I can tell this option does nothing if I do not have Waves Maxx enabled. Switching it also does not fix the problem.
If I play audio using WASAPI (this basically means that the music player takes over the sound card completely, and bypasses whatever audio processing Windows and the driver has) the problem does not happen.
How do I fix this problem? It's incredibly annoying, and most likely has something to do with the audio driver, since this does not happen in Linux, and it did not happen when I was running Windows 8.1 either.
I have tried installing the generic Realtek HD Audio driver (both the auto-installing one from Windows Update and the one from the Realtek site), but that driver is unusable because it has no way to turn off Waves Maxx and it constantly keeps turning my volume up all the way.