Something that’s been bugging me since starting my new role was that I could only listen to audio through the left channel. I initially chalked this up to using Apple earphones with integrated mic not being compatible with the audio out port of the PC.
Despair set in after investing a whole £3 on a dedicated set of headphones that turned out to exhibit the same issue. This narrowed it down to 2 main issues, hardware or drivers.
I found a hardware issue hard to justify, as audio through the working channel was fine, and considering how integrated a sound card is on a modern motherboard these days sound would be all or nothing. Moving on to drivers, the simple trouble shooting was fine, with the balance centred on both the Realtek software and the Windows sound manager.
Getting frustrated I methodically went through every obscure setting on the Realtek manager, choosing that as its usually undeveloped manufacturer software rather than the OS at fault. Then finally I found it:
My machine is updated with the latest Realtek drivers installed including the Audio device manager. This can be accessed from the notification icon or by plugging a peripheral into an audio jack.
On the Realtek Device Manger, click advanced settings.
Under Playback Device, simply click “Make front and rear output devices playback two different audio streams simultaneously.”
And it’s fixed! Any audio currently playing may need to be restarted, but now I can get both channels through my headphones.