Extremely low volume

Hello -

I have the Plugable USB Audio Adapter plugged into my dock. Everything works fine for a while. I can dock/undock, sleep, reboot, no issues. But then what seems random to me (but I’m sure there’s a reason) the volume gets SUPER quiet. So quiet that with the soft volume and the hard volume on my speakers turned all the way up, I can barely make out what people are saying.

I’m a technical user, and I’ve done a ton of troubleshooting. It’s not a simple volume issue, can see in the screenshot below that the master volume as well as all the application-specific volumes are turned all the way up. A full reboot or shutdown doesn’t fix it. Physically removing the USB adapter and plugging it back in doesn’t help. I’ve turned off all the “spatial” sound settings and audio-enhancements, no difference.

Volume Mixer

The only way to fix the issue is to uninstall the “Intel Smart Sound Technology for USB Audio” driver, and reboot. After the reboot, the driver is transparently reinstalled and all is well without me having to do anything else. However the issue is really frustrating and seems to pop up at the worst times when I’m redocking and only have a few mins until my next meeting.

Any ideas?

Here’s the driver screenshot… It wouldn’t let me post it in my initial posting:

Intel-Smart-Sound-Driver

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for reaching out to us about this. I’m sorry for the trouble, and I’d be glad to help you. Was this a recent purchase from Amazon? We offer a 2-year warranty on our products. I’d be glad to check the warranty on your order number if you’d like. I’d like to get some further details about your situation if we could:

  • What type of dock are you using? Is it one of ours, or one from a different manufacturer? What happens if you plug the adapter directly into the computer? Do you get the same volume issue?

  • What apps are you using? Have you checked the settings in the app to equalize them out? I imagine so as this is a pretty basic step. Have you tried a different app to see if the issue happens in other applications?

  • What type of speakers/headphones are you using? We’ve noticed some volume issues at times with Hyper X headsets. Can you try a different set to see if that gives the same issue?

I see volume issues happen with often with speakers/headphones that feed the mic and audio through one jack. Our adapter has a jack for both audio out and mic in, and they need to both be used for optimum audio and volume. If you have speakers/headphones capable of both mic in and audio out you may need to get a 3.5mm splitter to properly channel the audio into the adapter.

I hope this helps, and I look forward to hearing back from you with some more details about your setup!

Thank you,

Kevin
Product Owner
Plugable Support