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MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (8555)

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This issue appeared in the last version (6.0.1.8432 I believe) but it's still present in the newest release (6.0.1.8555) of the Realtek HD Audio drivers. I have to keep reinstalling an older driver (8216 is the most recent one I could find) to have MaxxAudio working

The problem is MaxxAudio does nothing in the new drivers. The control panel software is still there (and it's updated too, because there are a few changes like having an Earbuds option instead of Headphones Small), but the audio isn't being affected. It's not active because the speakers sound weak and tinny (which is why I need it - it makes them sound ok) and none of the controls change this. Turning it on and off, turning knobs or moving sliders, nothing. Multiple reboots haven't changed this

If I reinstall the 8216 driver, after a warning about how it's an older version, everything works fine. These newer drivers don't. I'd like to update - especially since there's been an urgent update - but as far as I'm concerned having MaxxAudio working is a requirement. Plus it automatically updated again in the background last night, not sure how, but if that keeps happening it's going to be a problem

Is this where you report bugs, or can someone pass it on to the team? I can give you more information if you need it, but I don't really know where to start troubleshooting this

(This is on an XPS 9560, Windows 10 1803)

 

17 Replies
telemetry
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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It reinstalled itself again - I thought last time it was from opening Command | Update to see if I could block it, but nope it's installing on its own. I told Windows to remove all the drivers from the machine last time I uninstalled it, so it must be downloading them again?

Something I noticed though - I put headphones in, and the "what did you insert" dialog popped up where Earbuds is an option (that's part of MaxxAudio, right?) The MaxxAudio control panel did not reflect that, it stayed showing Internal speakers even though sound was coming from the headphones. Disconnecting and reconnecting them produces the sound from the correct outputs, but the "Select Output Device" label still says Internal speakers the whole time. The dropdown has nothing else in it as well, even with headphones plugged in. But occasionally it changes to Headphones as it should - it's rare, mostly it doesn't

And the EQ is active to some degree for headphones at least, probably set to the default MaxxAudio profile settings, because the bass is way too loud and boomy (I always set it flat for my headphones). But the control panel does nothing, switches and knobs have no effect, so I can't change it. When the display does update to say Headphones the controls still do nothing, so that doesn't make any difference

So it's like MaxxAudio is sort of working, somewhere, but I can't control it - as though the control panel isn't connected to it at all. The only things that do seem reliably connected are

  1. the volume slider adjusts to show the correct speaker/headphone volume as I connect and disconnect the headphones (and it adjusts it too - I'm assuming this hooks straight into the Windows volume control though), and
  2. I can check the "show pop-up dialog when device is connected" box, and that popup will appear next time I plug the headphones in. Checking "don't show this again" will stop it popping up, but that checkbox in the control panel won't update - and it needs to be unchecked and checked again to retrigger the popup

any ideas? It seems like it's there, just not connected to the control panel app (and I'm using the one that's installed with the driver, not the one from the Windows store)

nickcg5
1 Copper

Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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Same problem here, but on a new XPS 9370. Dell - fix your software.

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Pumpernikiell
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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I have same issue on Dell XPS 15 9560 - MaxxAudio is not working after last update (on Realtek driver 6.0.1.8555)

It's second time when after software update MaxxAudio not working properly Smiley Sad 

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telemetry
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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I knows these are long posts but I'm trying to provide as much detail as I can - I really need to resolve this, especially if I can't stay on an older working version anymore without getting forced updates an hour or two later

Not sure if this makes a difference, but the driver update leaves a MaxxAudio installer file on the drive, which seems to install a different version of the control panel if you run it manually. It looks different to the one that the driver actually installs automatically

 

The MaxxAudio control panel that's installed after you update the driver is the one I've always seen - with MaxxBass and Details knobs on the left, and a Width knob and Midnight button if you're on Internal speakers.

But there's an installer for a different version on the drive at

C:\Program Files\Realtek\Audio\HDA\Waves\Maxx Audio Installer (x64).msi

and the folder was created around the same time the driver was installed, so I assume it's part of the installation. If I run that, there's a Repair option (which has no effect I can see) and a Remove one, which uninstalls MaxxAudio. If I do that and run the installer again, I get an Install option for "MaxxAudio for Ultrabook" - this claims to fail with "Icorrect permissions, aborting installation" (with the typo) but it does install v1.0.107.0 of MaxxAudio (which is the same version number as the one the driver installs automatically).

This version has a couple of extra buttons at the bottom left, Reduce Noise and Revive under a label marked S*treaming (I'm not allowed to type that word here for some reason??). There's also a message on the right above the EQ that says "Current default playback device is not supported". The actual on/off switch at the top left is disabled - I can't turn MaxxAudio on

There's another copy of this x64 .msi file at

C:\Program Files (x86)\Realtek\Audio\Waves (dated 19/10/2018)

along with an x86 .msi file. By the date I'm assuming this one got installed with the last version of the Realtek driver, which also broke MaxxAudio, which is why it seems suspicious to me - are the recent drivers supposed to be using these newer-looking versions, but failing to install them properly? (The actual x64 .msi file is the same version and creation date in both folders, 2.7.9434.5 and dated 18/10/2018 05:19 - I'm in the UK if these timestamps matter)

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Saltgrass
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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I don't have your system and none of mine have moved to the 8555 version.

When I have audio problems, I always use the process below to clean out any prior driver which might be effecting the current install.

Have the new driver downloaded and ready to go then go offline...  Stay offline until the new driver is installed.

Use the Device Manager to uninstall the Sound device and check the box to uninstall all drivers.  

The system will reinstall a driver given some time or a reboot.  If a Windows driver is now shown for the device you can proceed to reinstall the good driver.  Restarting between actions is always a good idea to help clear out the drivers.

If a Microsoft driver is not shown, continue to uninstall until it is.  The reason is because if you have .inf files other than the one currently installed on the system, one of those will be used to reinstall the Realtek drivers.  If you show a Windows driver then all other prior driver install files are gone.

Reinstall your downloaded driver which may also require a reboot.

When you are ready to check your system, open the Waves (MaxxAudioPro) user interface to make sure it is functioning.  Don't make any configuration changes until after you test for basic operation.

If you are using any third party audio software or Chrome, let us know.  If you have only tried one headset, let us know.

You and I seem to disagree on the Bass setting.  Smiley Wink

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

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telemetry
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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Hey thanks for the reply!

I had done the uninstall with "Remove device drivers" option before, but I tried it your way (offline, uninstall+remove then reboot, repeat until the Realtek sound device stops showing Realtek drivers). It took a while, kept coming back with various driver versions - 8216, 8216, 8555, 8555... and then in the end there was no Realtek device listed, and Intel High Definition Audio was listed under Other devices with the warning triangle - said there was no device driver installed. 

Then I reinstalled 8555, restarted, and it's the same as before - MaxxAudio is there, sounds like it's active - not enough on speakers (too thin, hard to hear people talking) but too much on my earbuds. I'm used to the sound profile and the bass is decent on them, so it's obvious it's being boosted by the EQ. The panel controls don't seem to do anything at all, so I can't adjust it or turn it off

I'm not using any other audio software, not on the output anyway - I have Steam s*treaming enabled (why is that censored??), so there are two audio devices listed: Steam S*treaming Microphone and Steam S*treaming Speakers, which are used to route the audio from games running in Steam to another device. I guess it's possible that could be interfering, but I never had an issue with it before these last two Realtek updates.

I do use Chrome, yeah - it's not just happening to sound from that program though, if that's what you mean. Even the test audio in MaxxAudio does it. Nothing's changed about my system, just the driver update, and going back to 8216 works every time (until it reinstalls itself, it's really aggressive about that apparently Cat Indifferent )

And yeah just the one headset (it's just a basic set of wired earbuds, no inline controls or anything like that) but like I said I'm familiar with their sound, and if I crank the EQ and then turn off MaxxAudio there should be some change in the sound! I like bass but this is too much, it just drowns everything else out

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Saltgrass
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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I suppose what you say about the bass and volume seem odd to me.  Normally, on my systems, the presets for the earbuds have a lower volume but about the same bass.  I normally save a preset to the headset and crank up the bass levels.  If the earbuds fit my ear well and seal, the bass really rocks.

I play Steam games but no sound apps.  I do not play multiplayer games, so if you do that perhaps you need that driver.

I have several wired headsets and they all seem to behave about the same.  If you wanted to bypass the Realtek sound device, you could try a Bluetooth headset.

Also, there have been comments regarding Intel Smart sound and certain versions causing the latest Win 10 build upgrade to block systems with that version.

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

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telemetry
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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The sound's gonna depend on the actual earbuds and your personal taste - for me I have to turn down the MaxxBass and Details knobs from the headphones defaults because I don't need them boosted. That's how I can tell that MaxxAudio is active in the new drivers, but the problem is the control panel doesn't affect it anymore. Old drivers work fine

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telemetry
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Re: MaxxAudio not working in the latest Realtek drivers (855

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So does anyone from Dell read these, or is there somewhere else I'm supposed to report bugs?
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