Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.
Q: Headphones are so difficult. They work unless it’s really important, and then nothing I try ends up in sound. I know the sound works. What else can I do?
A: First, troubleshoot: Do your headphones work? If so, the problem is external–probably the speakers–not with the computer. It’s possible your speakers aren’t set as the default device. Go into your computer settings and check that.
If that didn’t work, try these solutions:
- check sound on systray (lower right corner)–make sure it isn’t muted
- make sure sound isn’t pushed way down–so low you can’t hear it
- if you’re using speakers, check the sound on those–make sure it’s loud enough to hear–and that they’re plugged in either physically or virtually
- if headphones are plugged in, remove them
Another solution to the no-sound problem is to switch where headphones are plugged in. Sometimes, the front port on a CPU degrades and doesn’t work well anymore. Pick your reason–children jiggling jacks, overuse, leprechauns. The reason doesn’t matter. What matters is you can’t hear what’s going on. Switch headphones to a different jack. In my case, since I always use the front jack, I switch to the rear jack. Problem’s over.
If none of these work, it gets more geeky, like installing updated drivers. I won’t get into that here, but here’s a pretty thorough answer.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.