Last reply by 09-14-2020 Unsolved
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XPS 13 9310, audio of bottom facing speakers duller than before?

Hi, I was wondering if by now somebody owns or had the change to listen to the speakers on the new XPS 13 9310? I know its speakers are a bit more powerful (2W) than previous models, however they are now bottom facing while on previous XPS 13 models they were on both sides.

My question.. does that mean the sound on the XPS 13 9310 is more dull, more muffled, has less clarity, less high frequencies than the Late 2019 XPS 13 or previous models, which had the speakers on both sides? It would make sense if speakers are now indirect, bottom facing.

I own the XPS 13 9343 and XPS 13 9350 and those had speakers on both sides which sounded really good with lots of high end clarity. How does that compare with the XPS 13 9310 and which previous models have you heard for comparison? Hope somebody can help with this. Thanks alot.

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Yes it's so disappointing (especially considering the price). I feel that if there was a way to increase the volume, it would be adequate. I'm also interested in learning if anyone figures out a fix. 

I too cannot hear people over zoom and need earphones.

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I should also add that I’m 63, so maybe my hearing isn’t what it used to be, but judging by what others say, I’m not alone. The sound is good, I’d just like to turn it up more than is possible. 

@lhabs @acore9 @OogieMonster @Skhezein 

To all having problems with the audio, please go over each point below and tell me your experience:

1. First, go to following XPS 13 2020 youtube review by Dave Lee: https://youtu.be/2SfSUjxNHtE?t=340 and start playing it. The link goes directly just before the moment where he first demos the audio on the 2019 model followed by the 2020 model so you can compare. Play it for a while and maybe even repeat couple of times. It even shows on screen which model is playing. Now which of those first 2 models sounds best in the comparison in your opinion? I need to know this first. He also demos the Macbook as third model but you can ignore that. You can also listen on another or multiple devices if you want to better hear the comparison, but make sure to mention that in your reply so it's clear.

2. second, are you sure the low volume also happens when listening to audio when playing a youtube video for example, or is it specific to conference apps like Zoom?

3. third, have you gone to control panel > Dell Audio (or MaxxAudio or whatever it's called on your model). In the app make sure everything is on (play around with it) and as preset select "video" which I believe is the best. In the other tabs make sure MaxxVolume, MaxxTreble, MaxxBass are all checked and MaxxLeveler is set to "normal" and NOT "midnight". Did this help?

Put alot of effort in this post so would be helpful if you could reply to all 3 points before, especially point 1 with the comparison. With that info I can try to help further.

Hi and thank you for the questions. Here are my answers:
1. I definitely like the sound of the XPS 2020 over the XPS 2019. A little note that my back panel differs from what the reviewer shows. I have another line of speakers (see previous post of mine) underneath the machine as well as the side speakers.
2. My issue is specific to conference apps such as Zoom and GoTo.
3. My machine does not have the settings you describe for Audio. However, I did check every sound setting I could find and all are working (I was unable to find any presets as you suggested).
Thank you, thank you, thank you for trying to help. My house is a device nightmare... my old 2015 XPS sounds great on Zoom, but the camera is down by the keyboard (I look bad), another Dell has the camera in the right place but doesn't perform well, and the iPad doesn't give me enough flexibility. Where is Goldilocks?

1) I found the XPS 2020 speakers to be tinny. I actually have a macbook air and the sound is way better than my XPS 13 7390 - a deeper fuller sound.

2,3) After messing around with the sound settings on XPS the sound from youtube was louder. However, I did multiple comparisons for zoom calls with xps and mac. Here is what I found-

a) The XPS volume was way too low - I had to have my head right next to the laptop and even then the sound quality was not great. The other participant could not hear me most of the time as my voice kept cutting out (not a network issue as my voice was going through clearly when using the mac for the call). So both sound and microphone not working well with conference calls. We tried skype as well and the sound was not as loud as on the mac (when we tried mac on skype) and the microphone issue persisted. Lastly, my wifi dropped while I was on the zoom call on XPS (something that has consistently happened over the last two days of online lectures and labs). Once I switched to mac, my internet connection remained stable. 

Overall, I am very frustrated since this laptop is 2 days old. I am shocked to be encountering such basic issues which I did not have on my very first SONY VAIO, Thinkpad or the macbook air. I have wasted so much time today playing around with settings which I should not have to. Not in this day and age and definitely not 2 days into buying a 2000 dollar laptop. I will be returning this as I should not be wasting time trying to troubleshoot this when I have assignments due. 

I agree with you that for $2000 this thing should serve me lunch. I decided to keep it, and it is frustrating. The sad thing is that simply being able to turn up the volume more would solve it. Fortunately, I don't have any any assignments due. It's such a shame because it's my third XPS, the last one being in 2015. I really wish I hadn't gotten it.

@acore9 You wrote: "I found the XPS 13 7390 speakers to be tinny. I actually have a macbook air and the sound is way better than my XPS 13 7390 - a deeper fuller sound." 

So you have the Late 2019 model (= 7390). If you watch the youtube video link I gave in my previous post, how do you feel the audio of the 2019 vs 2020 XPS models compare in the audio demo comparison in that review video? Click the link and you'll hear the audio demos after a couple of seconds.

To me the 2020 model sounds louder but the audio seems duller, so more crisp on the 2019 model which had the speakers on both sides.

@peter001 responses below

1. In this video, XPS 13 7390 sounds better, both when I listen to both the models with MaxxAudioPro and without.

2. The low volume problem is restricted to video conferencing apps. Basically, from what I can tell, Maxx does not recognize the VC apps, because whenever I open Maxx while doing a VC, it shows zero sound ie nothing is happening in Maxx. You can toggle it on and off and change whatever you want, but the sound remains the same. 

3. Answered in 2 above. I do want to add one thing here: that while boosting using Maxx makes music listenable and movies watchable, the sound does become tinny and distorts for the high frequencies occasionally. 

Qs for everybody: do you know of anybody who has an XPS 13 7390 and does NOT have a low volume issue with conferencing apps? Am trying to understand if this issue is limited to some pieces or if it is a model issue. 

Thanks in advance for your help Peter. 

Thanks for asking. I think my answers were the same with everyone.
1. Definitely XPS 13 7390 model.
2. I rarely used Zoom but I encountered the same issue everyone is having when I used it before.
3. I checked my MaxxAudioPro software and everything was defaulted with the setting you've mentioned. Another thing to note is that this laptop has issue when the headphone is removed randomly. Sometimes after removing the headphone, there is no sounds firing from the speaker. Alternatively, it can be resolved by restarting the laptop. I never had this kind of issue before in my previous laptops or any laptop I've known.

@OogieMonster and @acore9
I agree with you both. Aside from other issues, I've got the motherboard and keyboard replacement on its 3rd month. I still decided to keep it but already fed up with the stressful experience and time consuming reporting of issue with the tech support while my work is piling up. A bit disappointed with the laptop given on its price tag.

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