Adam Sharif
6 Indium

XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Opening a new thread since the other is marked as resolved.

Since receiving the laptop on Friday I noticed that audio was not working - to begin with the speaker volume was very quiet, even when on max, and then the audio device would 'disappear' from Windows periodically and audio ceased to function entirely. I had assumed that this was a one off and so rebooted and all seemed well - however the issue has returned and seems to be worse.

Audio tests fail, and there is no sound from any applications - seems to be hardware issue; I removed the Intel SST & Realtek drivers and then reinstalled the driver package from Dell, no change.

Then I rebooted, went into the BIOS, turned off audio, rebooted, turned audio back on from BIOS, booted to Windows and audio was working again. However, following a reboot, the issues returned. And subsequently audio functionality comes back and goes away as it pleases.

I'm quite disappointed to be honest, I had waited a couple of weeks for the laptop and now it's looking like I'm going to need to send it back for repair. Also I've just managed to get everything set up the way I want it and now I'm pretty sure I'm going to be forced to do a factory reset, which I'm adamant is not going to resolve the issue!

Can anyone help me out here?

Have contacted Dell support and am waiting to hear back, just interested to know if there's anything I can try in the meantime.

57 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Opening a new thread since the other is marked as resolved.

Hello Adam. I have removed the "verified" from my answer to Zof (he is the person who marked it as the answer, probably because I answered his audio driver question). 

Both you and Zof mentioned the BIOS. You could try updating to the latest revision, which was released yesterday. The revision before that was released just a week ago, so it looks like there are a lot of bugs in that model that are being caught. However, under the "Fixes and Enhancements" notes, I don't see any mention of fixing audio in any of the revisions. However it could be fixed but not noted.

Other than that, I repeat my advice to Zof:

"...you should perform a system recovery and return the laptop to the exact state it was in when you took it out the box. Then test the audio immediately before you allow any updates (turn off Microsoft automatic updates before you go online).

If the audio does not work at that point, consider returning the laptop, because the problem is caused either by faulty hardware or a problem created at the factory."

The reason for performing a system recovery is because Dell no longer provides a self contained audio test. The tests available piggy-back on Windows and its drivers, so since they are not removed from the equation the tests are inadequate. A system recovery is the next best test because it fixes Windows and the audio driver, so any problems leftover are due to hardware failure, except in your case where the audio failed almost immediately, which suggests that the model left the factory with the issue already created. (I have listed the good tests in this article, but your model does not have the most useful, the Dell 32-bit Diagnostics.)

The advice to return the laptop if you are still within the return period is because under the terms of the warranty Dell may use used parts if you let tech support repair the laptop.

PS I saw your question about if anyone from Dell is following. I read all of the posts on the Laptop Audio Board but I don't know if anyone from Dell does. However you can contact someone directly by sending him or her a private message. Look through the forum until you find a named with the word DELL_ in it, in blue letters, then click on it to go to that person's profile page, where there will be a link to send a pm.

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

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Adam Sharif
6 Indium

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Wow, thanks for your help Jimco, you have been a great help!

I've updated the BIOS, situation was the same - then uninstalled audio drivers, rebooted, reinstalled audio drivers and then rebooted once more, and audio is working now. However, I'm not convinced that it will continue to do so.

I'll see how I get on over the next couple of days and if the situation persists I'll consider a return.

I'm now starting to think that this is a driver issue, however nothing shows up in the Windows event logs.

Quite baffled with this one, I've resolved a lot of IT issues in my time but this problem has got me stumped!

Thanks again, I'll let you know how I get on

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pavelbaranov
1 Nickel

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Hello all,

I just started having the same issue on my XPS 13 (9343), it's very annoying; disabling / enabling the audio in bios fixes the problem for a little while (sometimes does not even work) but seriously ... 

"System Restore" - is this a joke? Brand new laptop started having issues 2 weeks in and you are suggesting system restore? How about making a driver / product that works and then selling it and not the other way around - very disappointed in Dell.

No wonder people buy Apple products ... 

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Adam Sharif
6 Indium

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Morning Pavel,


Sorry to hear you're having the same issue, however in a way this indicates it's more likely to be a driver issue I reckon; can you try something for me please and report back?

Essentially when I am having this issue, I find that if i put the laptop into standby, and then resume from standby, audio seems to start working again! I almost feel that this is some kind of driver / power state / resume issue.

I think the BIOS / driver re-installation is a bit of a red herring, doesn't always seem to fix the problem. Good thing is though that this is starting to seem like a driver issue, and I'm with you that a System Restore is NOT the answer! It didn't work properly from the day I received mine, so I'm not sure how taking it back to that state is going to do any good...

8 Krypton

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

in a way this indicates it's more likely to be a driver issue

When there is a driver issue with audio, usually the driver having the issue would be the audio driver. the way to test for audio driver issues is to switch between the vendor's driver and the Windows native driver. If the same problem manifests no matter which driver is installed, then it is not an audio driver issue. Usually that means that it is either a Windows issue or a hardware issue. There was a line of Alienware models that had symptoms <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed / replaced from this post by Dell> similar to yours. Their motherboards had to be replaced with a revised motherboard. I'm not saying that it is necessarily hardware, just that it might be.

I'm with you that a System Restore is NOT the answer! It didn't work properly from the day I received mine, so I'm not sure how taking it back to that state is going to do any good...

If you guys are talking about performing a system recovery, I don't know who said it was "the answer". I very clearly said it was a test, and that failing the test means that the problem was created at the factory (hardware or software), in which case the laptop should be returned as defective if still in the return period. If not in the return period, a system recovery that does not fix an issue (before any updates are allowed -- "updates" can be the cause of problems) means that Dell has to fix it. 

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

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Adam Sharif
6 Indium

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Hi Jim,


I agree - unfortunately it seems that neither Intel nor Realtek have their own drivers available for the sound card within the XPS 13, well, at least as far as I could see.

Sorry, that wasn't directed at you RE: system restore, more Dell support because they want me to do that as a first point of call. Certainly no criticism against you, you have been very helpful with your suggestions.

I'm having a call with Dell about it this afternoon so will update you guys, hopefully we can get this sorted soon.

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8 Krypton

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Dell support because they want me to do that as a first point of call.

They are right, not because it is "the answer", but because the warranty does not cover software failure so they have to narrow it down to hardware or software. Even if the issue is being caused by defective software that was installed at the factory, if performing a system recovery does not fix the issue Dell will think it is defective hardware and take responsibility.

it seems that neither Intel nor Realtek have their own drivers available for the sound card within the XPS 13,

If there is no audio codec listed in Device Manager, either Realtek High Definition Audio Device (vendor) or "High Definition Audio Device" (the native driver), that was one of the symptoms of the Alienware models.

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

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pavelbaranov
1 Nickel

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Interesting, Adam, thank you for your insight 🙂

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Highlighted
director87
6 Indium

RE: XPS 13 - 2015 (9343), sound card issues

Having this same issue as well. Oddly enough, it only started happening a month or so ago. I have a feeling it might have been a bug in the A03 BIOS but I have absolutely nothing to substantiate those facts on.

Anyways, not sure this is hardware related or not, but I definitely would like to fix this problem without having to have the laptop sent in for repair. 

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