Why won't my built in speaker work when connected to the Pluggable


I have a dell XPS16 with awesome sound. Unfortunately it wont work anymore when the laptop is plugged into the Pluggable. Why is that?


Hi Andrea,

Thanks for your question! Yes, this is a confusing one when you’re not using the external sound.

What has happened is Windows 7 (or Vista) on the Dell laptop automatically switches to use the new USB audio connection, when it shows up.

You can see exactly what’s happening by clicking the Windows start button on the lower left of you desktop, entering “sound” into the “search programs and files” area, and selecting “change sound card settings”.

Without the dock (and its USB audio device) attached, it’ll look something like this the first image.


When the USB dock is attached, you can see what happens - unless the user says different, Windows assumes the new audio device is the one you want to use.


But by clicking on your original audio device (pointed with the red arrow below), and clicking on “Set Default” (circled below - note audio output and input can have separate defaults) - you can tell Windows to default to your XPS16’s native high-end sound.


Windows should remember that settings, and when the docking station comes and goes, it will keep your default.


Kind of a simple problem, but very confusing, since by default Windows makes some decisions without telling you what’s happening!

So thank you for the question - and let us know if you have any follow-ons!

Best wishes,


Bernie, I think I’m having the same problem–my laptop speakers aren’t working–but I am not running Windows 7. Can you please provide a step-by-step answer for Windows XP. Thanks.


Hi Andy - yes, Windows XP Audio behaves differently (in fact, in some ways better). We’ll work up that step-by-step and post it here …


Thanks, I think I figured it out through the control panel.