NJFishRGuy
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Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

Hi,

I have an Inspiron 17 5748 that I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 some time ago.  I have never used a headset with it, before or after the upgrade, until recently.  My issue is that the system does not seem to recognize the external microphone of the headset at all.

Some background... the integrated microphone and speakers work fine.  If I plug headphones into the audio jack (it is a single combination jack), they automatically cut out the speakers and also work fine.  If I plug in a headset, the headphone portion works fine but the microphone is ignored.  The integrated microphone continues to pick up sound.  I made sure that neither the headset hardware nor the speaker selection was muted.

In an effort to localize the problem, I tried the headset (a Logitech h151 with a 3.5 mm plug and four contacts) in my iPad, and the microphone works fine there.  I checked the laptop documentation, and it says you can plug in just a headset, just a microphone, or a combination, so I tried an older headset I had that contained two plugs, one for the headphones and one for the microphones.  The headphones work fine, but the microphone is ignored.  (Of course, it was necessary to try the plugs one at a time.)  I also tried a Logitech h540 USB headset, with the same results.  The Logitech tech support person told me that they do not recommend the H540 for use with Windows 10, but then relented when I pointed out it was listed as compatible on their website.  She then concluded the h540 was defective, but recommended the h151 anyway.

If I go to Sound, Recording Devices, the only microphone listed is Realtek High Definition Audio, regardless of whether or not I plug in the headset.  I have uninstalled and reinstalled the Realtek driver with no change in the outcome.

I have found some internet comments for similar problems indicating that an "IDT High Definition Audio Codec" should appear on the above list, but I don't know if that is for a specific, alternative audio board and whether it would apply in my case.

Any help or advice regarding resolving this issue would be greatly appreciated.  Many thanks!

Charlie

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8 Replies
NJFishRGuy
1 Nickel

RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

Hi,

Since posting the above, I have tried installing the Windows native audio drivers as suggested in another post, deleting the Realtek drivers as I went.  After three iterations, I finally had the Windows native drivers installed, but had the same issue with the headset microphone.  A few hours later, I discovered that the system had updated itself to Realtek drivers again.  I tried the mic again, but had the same problem.

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.  Growing problems with my hands make it painful to type any period of time, and I am trying to implement speech recognition so I can dictate longer documents and emails.

Many thanks,

Charlie

Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

it is a single combination jack)

I checked the laptop documentation, and it says you can plug in just a headset, just a microphone, or a combination, so I tried an older headset I had that contained two plugs, one for the headphones and one for the microphones.  The headphones work fine, but the microphone is ignored.

Hello Charlie. The traditional headset with a separate plug for the headphones and a different plug for the mic will not work in a combo jack, because the mic plug is a TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) and the jack has to have the TRRS (tip/ring/ring/sleeve) type found on smart phone headsets. The headphone's TRS plug is fine to use in a combo jack.

I wonder which document said that you can use "just a microphone" with an Inspiron 5748 combo port? It might be difficult to find a stand-alone mic with a TRRS plug.

If I go to Sound, Recording Devices, the only microphone listed is Realtek High Definition Audio, regardless of whether or not I plug in the headset.

That is normal for Realtek. In Realtek, "Microphone" means the internal mic, unless an external mic is detected in the jack, then it means the external mic jack. That is similar to how the Playback devices are listed. Realtek just lists "Speakers", meaning internal speakers, unless external speakers or headphones are detected in the jack.

I have found some internet comments for similar problems indicating that an "IDT High Definition Audio Codec" should appear on the above list, but I don't know if that is for a specific, alternative audio board and whether it would apply in my case.

The names that appear in the list of devices are derived from the audio drivers for the devices. Earlier models of Dell laptops had IDT audio on the motherboard and used IDT audio drivers. Now most Dell laptops have Realtek hardware and use Realtek audio drivers, which is the case with your laptop. It would be inappropriate and probably impossible to install an IDT audio driver into your laptop, so IDT High Definition Audio Codec will never appear in the list of devices.

["Codec" usually means certain software, but in this context it means the audio hardware on the motherboard. When the Realtek driver is installed, it is called "Realtek High Definition Audio", and when the Windows native driver is installed it is called "High Definition Audio", but both names refer to the same hardware.]

In your next post you said "I have tried installing the Windows native audio drivers as suggested in another post."

That suggestion was incorrect, because the Windows native driver doers not support the external mic jack. It has to be a Realtek driver for the mic jack to work.

I tried the headset (a Logitech h151 with a 3.5 mm plug and four contacts)

That is the right type of headset you need to get the mic function of the combo jack to work, although I don't know anything about that specific headset. It could be that the jack is defective. Or it could be a buggy Realtek driver.  It could be that the impedance of the mic is different enough from what the jack sensor is set for by the driver, that it fails to sense the mic. Sorry but it is hard to pin down. You could contact tech support if you want to let them take a stab at it. -- if the laptop is under warranty.

You could get a cheap usb jack like this from Amazon or elsewhere, and use your traditional 2 plug headset with it.

                                              

Here is another thing you could try on the software side of things. Go back to Sound>Recording tab.  Right click on "Microphone". Click on Properties.

Click the Advanced tab and uncheck the "Exclusive Mode" box if it is checked. Test the headset mic. There is a small chance that this will help, but probably not.

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

Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

That suggestion was incorrect, because the Windows native driver doers not support the external mic jack.

Now that I think about it again, the Windows native driver in Windows versions prior to Win10 did not support the jack. Win10 changed the way Windows handles the audio, and might have included that feature in the Win10 native audio driver. I don't have Win10 so cannot test it one way or the other, so it might be a while before I am able to find out.

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

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NJFishRGuy
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RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

Jim,

Many thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed response.

I wonder which document said that you can use "just a microphone" with an Inspiron 5748 combo port? It might be difficult to find a stand-alone mic with a TRRS plug.

I went back and reread the documentation to which I referred.  I had made a mistake, I was reading a general statement about ALL audio input jack options and thought I was reading one related specifically to the headset.  I am not really interested in using the older, two-plug headset as it is low quality with deteriorating ear pads.  (I was trying it only as a test.)  I know I can buy replacement pads, but I would normally consider it easier to just buy a new headset (though this hasn't proven easy at all!)

That is the right type of headset you need to get the mic function of the combo jack to work, although I don't know anything about that specific headset. It could be that the jack is defective. Or it could be a buggy Realtek driver.  It could be that the impedance of the mic is different enough from what the jack sensor is set for by the driver, that it fails to sense the mic.

Yes, it could be that the jack itself is defective in the laptop, which is out of warranty.  Oddly, the laptop had the same problems with the Logitech h540 headset, which is a USB headset.  I've reinstalled the driver several times, and believe I have the newest one. A mic impedance mismatch could certainly be a cause; I hadn't considered that.

Here is another thing you could try on the software side of things. Go back to Sound>Recording tab.  Right click on "Microphone". Click on Properties.  Click the Advanced tab and uncheck the "Exclusive Mode" box if it is checked. Test the headset mic. There is a small chance that this will help, but probably not.

I gave this a try, but as you anticipated, it didn't work.

I think I will try to find a TRRS to USB adapter and see if that works, since I already have the h151 headset.

Again, I greatly appreciate your help and detailed reply.

Best regards,

Charlie

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

Oddly, the laptop had the same problems with the Logitech h540 headset, which is a USB headset.

A usb audio device is a separate audio system from the integrated Realtek audio, because it does not use the Realtek codec. It has its own DAC and ADC, which are controlled by the Windows usb audio driver, which is part of Windows and not a separate download. When you plug in a usb headset, the system might not automatically switch to it. If you still have it, plug it in and go to the Recording devices tab. There should be a new listing for a usb device. Make it the default recording device. If it does not appear in the list of devices then it is probably defective, or something wrong with the usb port. Also make sure that the recording program you are using to test the mics is set to use the usb mic.

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

NJFishRGuy
1 Nickel

RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

If you still have it, plug it in and go to the Recording devices tab. There should be a new listing for a usb device. Make it the default recording device. If it does not appear in the list of devices then it is probably defective, or something wrong with the usb port. Also make sure that the recording program you are using to test the mics is set to use the usb mic.

Hi, Jim,

I no longer have the headset, since Logitech said it was "defective", but I have ordered a Plantronics USB headset with good reviews and will try your recommendations above once I receive it.  I am increasingly convinced that the computer headset jack is faulty or the h151 has too high an impedance to be detected.

Thanks again for all your help...

Best regards,

Charlie

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NJFishRGuy
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RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

I received the Plantronics Audio 478 USB headset that I ordered today.  I plugged it in, and I was up and running in 30 seconds.  The microphone even worked!  So my microphone woes are finally resolved.

Best regards,

Charlie

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Inspiron 17 5748 does not recognize external microphone

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

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