Last reply by 01-14-2019 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Noticeable difference between TB16 dock & XPS 15 9550 audio

Hi All,

I've noticed an audible difference between the quality of the audio output passed through the 3.5mm jack on the Dell XPS 15 9550 versus the 3.5mm jack on the back of the TB16 dock.

The audio passed through the TB16 sounds flat with minimal bass, whereas the audio played direct from the onboard 3.5mm jack sounds bright and rich.

Upon further research it appears that none of the MaxxAudio adjustments are being applied when the laptop is connected to the dock. 

I've already ensured all of the drivers are up to date, including going to the relevant component manufacturer.

Is there a way to rectify this and have the USB audio from the TB16 dock sounds as good as the audio from the onboard jack?

Equipment:- Dell XPS 15 9550, TB16 Dock, external 2.1 speakers (via 3.5mm jack)

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3 Zinc

Do you get the dialog asking you what you have plugged in in both cases? Can you use the equalizer in Dell audio settings? If no, did you try a music player with an equalizer (WinAmp used to have one)?

I'm not sure about this but I think Maxx does the heavies pumping when driving the wee built-in speakers that indeed sound awfully flat on their own. While decent external speakers should get by better without such overdrive. 

7 Plutonium

The dock has its own audio chipset built in that uses its own driver package, so I doubt you can use MaxxAudio with it. But the enhancements are generally meant to improve the quality of output when using the built-in speakers. I’ve found that when i have external speakers connected directly to the system, I have to disable those enhancements or the bass sounds overpowering, muddy, and generally unnatural. Fortunately the MaxxAudio application remembers settings separately for built-in speaker output vs external speakers. Anyhow, if you actually want those enhancements, you’ll probably need to connect your speakers directly to the system.


I've tried using VLC with the equaliser applied and the audio does change, so it just seems that the MaxxAudio EQ settings do not work when plugging the external speakers through the TB16 dock...
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