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How to enable the front microphone and headphone jack with Windows 7 Realtek Audio driver
Published Date : 21 Oct 2009   Last Updated : 05 Mar 2019   Content Ref: TEC1549541  


After installing the Realtek high definition audio driver on a Windows® 7 computer, 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.


Older RM computers had an AC97 compatible front audio header (for 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 7 version of the Realtek audio driver (e.g. v6.0.1.5936 ) and that the Realtek HD Audio Manager icon is visible in the system tray at the right bottom of your desktop.

Check the 'Disable front panel jack detection' option
  1. Double-click the Realtek HD Audio Manager system tray icon.
  2. Click the small folder icon (see the image below).
  3. Check that the 'Disable front panel jack detection' box is cleared.
  4. Now insert the jack plug of either a microphone or headphone 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 the small folder icon again and tick the 'Disable front panel jack detection' box.
Click to view a larger image
  Image showing the Connector Settings option

Setting the volume and gain levels

You can set the headphones level by clicking 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 the blue microphone icon (see the image below).

Click to view a larger image
  Image showing the Microphone recording and playback volume options

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 the tab for that device and then clicking the Set Default Device button (circled in orange in the image above).

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

  1. Right-click the loudspeaker icon in the system tray and select Playback Devices.
  2. Right-click 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).

Image showing the Sound window


Testing the microphone and headphone sockets

The Playback and Recording tabs in the Windows 7 sound control panel applet (displayed when you right-click 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 Windows 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 by following the steps below:

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Sound Recorder.
  2. Record the required sound and then play the saved file using Windows Media Player.

If microphone is muted in Realtek HD Manager

The default Realtek HD audio settings have the playback volume setting on the Microphone tab in the Realtek HD Manager software set to mute in some cases. Due to this, the sound plays through the external speakers, but not through the headphones when they are plugged into the front green audio socket. To check if the microphone is muted, follow the steps below and also ensure that the microphone is plugged into the proper jack.

  1. Click Start, Control Panel.
  2. Click Realtek HD Manager.
  3. Click the Microphone tab.
  4. For the Playback Volume setting, if you see a red cross for the speaker icon, unmute it by clicking the icon.

More Information

Plug in the microphone and headphones
Another option when you are using Windows 7 is to power the computer off, plug in the microphone and headphones, power the computer back on and Windows will detect the devices.

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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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