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How to enable the front microphone and headphone jack inputs using the Windows Vista® Realtek audio driver
Published Date : 26 Jun 2007   Last Updated : 23 Sep 2013   Content Ref: TEC949416  


After installing the Realtek High Definition audio driver on a Microsoft® Windows Vista® system, you may find that either the pink front panel microphone jack socket or the green front panel headphone jack socket (or both) does not work.


Some RM systems have an AC97 compatible front audio header (e.g. pre-August 2007 RM Ones and  D4-Series cases). The Realtek driver, by default, is configured for a High Definition Audio (HDA) compatible front header panel.


You will need a microphone and headphones for test purposes.


Driver version
Check that you have installed a Windows Vista version of the Realtek audio driver (e.g. v6.0.1.5361) and that the HD Audio Manager icon is visible in the system tray at the right-bottom of the Windows desktop (see fig. 1).
  Fig. 1 HD Audio Manager systray icon

Check the 'Disable front panel jack detection' option
  1. Double-click on the Realtek HD Audio manager system tray icon (see fig. 1 above).
  2. Click on small folder icon (see fig. 2 below).
  3. Check that the 'Disable front panel jack detection' tick box is unticked.
  4. Now insert the jack plug of either a microphone or headphones into the corresponding front panel socket of your computer.
  5. If you now see the message 'Information: A jack has been plugged in', then you do not need to change this setting as your system has a HDA compatible front panel.
  6. If you do not see this message, then click on the small folder icon again and tick the 'Disable front panel jack detection' check box.
  Fig. 2 Disable front panel jack detection option

Setting the volume and gain levels

You can set the headphones level by clicking on the Speakers tab and adjusting the volume slider.

You can adjust the microphone levels in a similar way. The microphone boost can be enabled or disabled by clicking on the blue microphone icon (circled in red in fig. 3 below).

  Fig. 3 Microphone boost option

Setting the default device

If you have connected a device to the rear sockets you may have more than one tab for the speakers or microphone. You can set the default device that you want to use by clicking on the tab for that device and then clicking on the 'Set Default Device' button (circled in orange in fig. 3 above).

If a device is listed that is not present on your system, e.g. the Digital Output (SPDIF) device, you can hide this tab as follows:

  1. Right-click on the loudspeaker icon in the system tray and select Playback Devices.
  2. Right-click on the Realtek Digital Output device (which will then be highlighted in translucent blue) and select Disable.

If you do not see a tab for the device you wish to configure, then insert a jack plug into that socket (e.g. inserting a headphone jack plug into the blue Line In socket at the rear of the computer will cause a new Line In tab to appear in the Realtek HD Audio Manager application).

  Fig. 4 Disabling devices in the Realtek HD Audio manager


Testing the microphone and headphone sockets

The Playback and Recording tabs in the Windows Vista Sound Control Panel applet (displayed when you right-click on the system tray speaker icon and select one of the Devices listed), shows a stack of blue bars against each device. If you tap the microphone or play a sound (e.g. using Media Player), you should see the level bars show some activity by changing to green to indicate a volume/recording level.

You can also use Sound Recorder (from the Start menu, choose All Programs and then Accessories) to record, and then play the saved file back using Media Player.

Other Useful Articles

How to enable the front microphone and headphone jack with Windows 7 Realtek Audio driver (TEC1549541)

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Document Keywords: Realtech, real tek, hi-def, hidef, high definition, sound, mic, head phones, level, slider, boost, 10db, front

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