Radiollo
1 Copper

XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

The first half-second or so of any sound is missing from the audio on the USB-C/HDMI output.
New XPS 13 9360. I can demo the problem easily by opening Windows Control Panel and going to the Sound applet, then to the Sounds tab. Play any sound by selecting it and clicking the 'Test' button. The first bit of each sound is "upcut" or missing. It's as if some device in the path sleeps (maybe to save power) and then takes a fraction of a second to wake up.
I updated or have the latest audio and Intel video drivers. I forced it to load the Intel video driver from the Intel website. I have tried two brands of USB-C to HDMI cables. I tried two different HDMI monitors with built-in speakers. The problem is present during all this troubleshooting activity.
The problem is not present on the analog output (speakers or headphone jack).
I opened a support ticket with Dell, but it's been 22 days and its status is still "open/unassigned.'
Can anyone replicate this problem on their Dell XPS?
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7 Replies
Radiollo
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

So, no one is using audio from the USB-C output and can tell me if they hear this problem? No one has a TV connected via HDMI and is using it as a monitor? No one has an HDMI computer monitor with built-in speakers connected?

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

Hello. Frustrating to get no response from Dell and no reply here. I suggest you send this Dell guy a private message and ask if he can check on the status of your ticket.

About the Laptop Audio board, I think it is just the nature of the board. People come here to post their own issue, not to look around and discuss other folks issues. And as far as the regulars, I am the only "full time" regular on the board, So basically, just not enough eyes here.

There is another fellow who has  been dropping by to help recently, who has a similar model, an XPS 9365. You could contact him and ask about his experience with it.

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

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Saltgrass
4 Ruthenium

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

On initial tests, it does not appear I am seeing the delay on my 9365. 

I do not have a USB-c to HDMI cable so I am going through a TB16 dock, which should not make a difference regarding this situation.  I am using the Power/Thunderbolt port on my system where you have a separate Thunderbolt port.

So the only thing I might think you have control over is the drivers.  As far as Thunderbolt, I notice there are two versions of the Firmware update and the files are different sizes.  Maybe Dell could clear that up for you are you could start a thread for that situation.  If you have installed the Firmware update/s and the driver, you can't do much more.

Have you tried other output devices?  Since you mention both a TV and monitor I assume you have, just wanted to make sure.  If you repeat the test using the sound panel, does every sound miss the first part or just the first one out of several in a row?

I will tell you my system has the type of delay you describe when using the touchpad.  If it has been more that about 20 seconds, when I try to swipe to scroll a web page, it will not move.  If I do it again and continue to use the mouse, it will not delay until I give it another 20-30 second break.  I feel this is due to the system doing something in the background and switching away from primary focus.  I have been looking but have not yet found the culprit..

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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Highlighted
Radiollo
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

Thanks for your response Jim. I'll PM Brad-L. Thanks for the pointer to him. (I'm just like everyone else; I came here only to post my own issue. These types of boards work better if there's an active company presence.)

Thanks also Saltgrass for your response. I'm not sure what you mean by Firmware; I have no external Thunderbolt device or other hardware, so the only firmware I can think of is the 9360's BIOS, which I did update to the latest. And regarding drivers, at first I updated the audio driver but it made no difference. But after a while I came to think that it's really the Intel video hardware and driver that's responsible for audio over HDMI. So I updated to the latest from the Dell website, then I forced it to install the driver from the Intel website. (I had to uninstall the Dell/Intel driver to get it to allow me to install the pure Intel driver, not from Dell.) Anyway, no improvement.

Yes, not only have I seen the problem on two output devices, but one of them is normally connected to another PC and gets its audio via HDMI. It does not have the issue when connected to this other PC.

And the beginning of every sound is missed, not just the first of a group. For example, I can click the Test button on the Sounds tab as quick as I can after each short Windows sound plays, and the beginning is upcut every time. If it's some device going into a power save mode and needing a few hundred milliseconds to wake up, it goes to sleep instantly whenever a sound stream stops.

(Your touchpad problem sounds very annoying. I hope you can get it resolved.)

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Saltgrass
4 Ruthenium

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

Thanks also Saltgrass for your response. I'm not sure what you mean by Firmware; I have no external Thunderbolt device or other hardware, so the only firmware I can think of is the 9360's BIOS, which I did update to the latest.

I got involved with this when I was setting up the TB 16 and realized the Thunderbolt firmware and driver is installed on your system, since that is where the Thunderbolt device is located.  You are not using a Dock, but I would think the Thunderbolt system needs to be completely installed.

Again, I don't know for sure why there are two Thunderbolt firmware downloads unless they need to be installed in sequence but Dell should be able to explain.. 

The Thunderbolt driver is also installed on your system.  But since you use the Intel Display audio for HDMI, the only things you have control of is that sound driver, which is installed with the video driver, and the Thunderbolt device...

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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A-Church
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

Same problem. I connected my xps 13 9360 with thunderbolt 3 - hdmi to my asus vx279h, Sound disappears randomly for half-second not only in first time. No problem with the same cable and Loewe TV. Pretty strange.

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Radiollo
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 9360 - first half-second of any sound is missing from USB-C/HDMI

I'm the OP and this is my update with a final resolution at the end.

To help me narrow down this problem I bought another laptop - an HP ENVY x360 with Intel i7-7500U CPU and Intel 620 Graphics. (Dell 9360 has Intel i7-7560U and Intel 640 Graphics.) The HP has an HDMI port in addition to USB-C, so I connected to the monitor with a regular HDMI cable to rule out any USB-C-to-HDMI conversion issues. The HP laptop has the same problem as the Dell. I put myself through a couple of long sessions with HP support; they offered the same things as Dell: update to latest everything, including BIOS. Try latest not-yet-approved-by-laptop-vendor driver direct from Intel. Reset to original factory software load. These steps did not help with the HP laptop either. At this point the HP support guy just gave up. "I don't know what to tell you," he said.

To review, the problem is present on both the Dell and HP laptops. I have two other computers, a Macbook Pro running Windows 10 in a virtual machine and a Windows 10 desktop, that I can connect to either of two HDMI monitors and the problem is not present.

This narrows down the problem to Intel Graphics. The same driver is used for Graphics 620 (HP) and 640 (Dell). If the problem can be solved at the driver level, it will be fixed if or when Intel chooses to.

In the meantime, I am thankful that I bought both these laptops from Costco. (Actually, I make that choice deliberately whenever possible because of their return policies.) I returned both laptops, and got a full refund. I am out "only" about $60 for all the cables I bought, and some hours of my time.

Final resolution? I have gone back to using my old Macbook Pro laptop running Windows 10 in a virtual machine, which does not have this audio problem.

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