Highlighted

Dell XPS 15 (9550) External sound card issues

I recently purchased a Dell XPS 15 9550 and I love it. The speakers work well, I set defaults proper;y, etc. etc. 

However, I have a 5.1 Logitech surround system. plugged into a usb soundcard (vantec 7.1) and while there is sound coming from my speakers, it is only from the front two speakers, essentially stereo sound. In the soundcard software, I can test each speaker individually, and they are all working and outputting sound when tested through its own software (each speaker will say its name and position within the 5.1 setup). When I play other audio, such as YouTube, or any other website, or audio file, it only plays from two (out of 6) speakers.

The Dell audio manager is no help, I mute the realtek speakers and microphone and it still plays from two speakers of my system. I try to change the "speaker setup" in the Dell audio manager to anything but stereo, and the drop down menu refuses to open, so there is nothing for me to really click on. I tried reinstalling the drivers to no avail.

Does anyone know of a fix?

0 Kudos
3 Replies
Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Dell XPS 15 (9550) External sound card issues

The Dell audio manager is no help,

That app is mainly meant for the internal Realtek audio chip. Go the Windows Sounds properties and make sure that usb audio device (or however the device is listed) is selected as the default device on the Playback tab (and on the Recording tab too if you want to use it for recording).

I don't have a good screen shot -- here is one from my laptop with IDT audio. The 1st device in the list is a SoundBlaster usb sound card.

I tried reinstalling the drivers to no avail.

Did you get the driver from the Vantec website? I notice that the device for sale on Amazon only officially supports thru Windows 7, so it is probably necessary to get the latest driver from the website, particularly if you have Win10.

I am not familiar with that device, but some surround devices do not have the capability of simulating surround sound, so when those devices are fed a stereo signal the audio only comes out of the front speakers. Those devices require a surround audio signal, like one would get from a dvd movie, to produce audio from the other speakers. Don't know if your device works like that or not.

Finally, if you use the newest driver from the company and still have a problem when using a surround signal, go to the Amazon site and read the reviews. The review by Jose_49 has a hack for supposedly getting the Vartec to produce "true" surround sound in Win10. The review by Amazon Customer details some problems he/she initially had with setting up the software.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

0 Kudos
PapaGMan
1 Nickel

RE: Dell XPS 15 (9550) External sound card issues

It's not a software problem it's most likely the daughter board with the jack and sound card. The Dell XPS 9550 is having many issues with this board. I've done all the Bios updates and it never resolved the problem. I had a technician come to my place with a new motherboard and that too didn't solve my issues then I opt to send it in and they are replacing the input jack and the daughter board. This will fix my problem for sure because everyone that had this issue once the board was replaced had no more problems. Good Luck

0 Kudos
Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Dell XPS 15 (9550) External sound card issues

It's not a software problem it's most likely the daughter board with the jack and sound card.

Hello Papagman. Thanks for joining this discussion.

This case is a little different from the other XPS 9550 threads. His speakers are not plugged into the Realtek audio jack. He has a Vantek usb sound card.  A usb audio device like that is separate from the Realtek system and its jacks.

everyone that had this issue once the board was replaced had no more problems.

I made a new audio FAQ a few days ago and included that as a "confirmed" solution..

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

0 Kudos