SOLVED! Headphones Showing Up As Speakers

From listening to music to attending online meetings, headphones have become an important accessory to Windows users. Usually, it won’t take long for Windows computers to recognize headphones and establish connections accordingly. That being said, the recognition still acts upon occasions, and headphones appear as something else on computers. If you notice headphones showing up as speakers on your PC, you should check out this article. 


Several Windows users have reported facing this issue with their headphones. Getting to a solution is easier when you know the possibilities behind this error. Some of the causes for the error include:

  • Loose connections: It is possible that there is some loose contact in the wiring.
  • Default sound settings: If the default settings have set speakers as the default audio device, your headphones will not play the sounds.
  • Missing audio drivers: Your system could be missing updates in audio drivers which can result in complications.
  • Corrupted files: Damaged or corrupted files in the audio registry of your Windows system would mess up device recognition.
  • Faulty headphones: Needless to say, if you use a faulty pair of headphones, you cannot expect smooth performance. 



One of the simplest solutions to take care of tech problems is to reboot. A proper reboot of the system clears the RAM and the cache files. If you have been putting your laptop/PC on sleep mode instead of a complete shutdown, it is advised to reboot your system and see if the headphone error persists.

Take A Look At The Connection

If you have left the headphone jack unattended or unused for a long period of time, it must have accumulated dust and dirt. Although these particles are very small, they can still block the jack from completely plugging in, resulting in loose contact. So, clean the headphone plug-in point and try again.

Apply Change to Settings

Your default sound settings could be responsible for headphones showing up as speakers. You will have to manually change the audio device with the following steps:  

  • Step 1: In the right corner of your Taskbar, there’s a volume icon. Right-click to select Sounds.
  • Step 2: On the Playback tab, you will see three options. Select Headphones and right-click on it.
  • Step 3: Select the Set as default device option and press Ok.

Update Audio Driver

Depending on the kind of headphones you are using, you need to have up-to-date drivers as An outdated sound driver can cause trouble with the PC audio. To update the sound driver. Follow the steps down below 

  • Step 1: Go to Control Panel and click on Device Manager
  • Step 2: Click on the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers option. It opens a drop-down list featuring different sound drivers
  • Step 3: Select your sound driver and choose to update it

Note: In the case that you see no update, head to the official website of your sound card driver and see if there is an update available. Follow the instructions there to update the driver.

Make Use Audio Troubleshooter

Windows packs multiple built-in troubleshooters to detect common problems and resolve them. Follow these instructions to run the audio Troubleshooter on your computer:

  • Step 1: Go to the Search bar, type troubleshoot, and click the top entry to open Troubleshooting settings. 
  • Step 2: Click additional troubleshooters
  • Step 3: Run the Playing Audio troubleshooter with the ‘Find and fix audio playback problems option’ description underneath. 

Once the process is completed, try plugging in your headphones to see if the issue has been resolved

Restart Sound Controller

If the audio troubleshooter does not work, refresh the sound controller with the below steps:

  • Step 1: Go to the Device Manager – Sound, Video, and Game Controllers option
  • Step 2: Click on the Realtek High Definition Audio and click on Properties
  • Step 3: Click on the Driver tab – Select Disable
  • Step 4: Now once again go to the Realtek High definition Audio as per Step 3 and click the option Restart – OK 


  • Regularly clean the headphone jack and input slots, even if you are not using them frequently.
  • Do not use the headphones forcefully if there is a wiring issue or loose contact. Chances are it may damage the jack permanently
  • Keep checking the audio hardware for updates
  • Check if you are facing the issue in certain apps or all the applications. Windows usually have a specific volume for each application
  • Try a system restore the Control Panel if nothing else works

How To Change The Audio Output Settings On Mac?

  • Go to the Apple menu visit the System Preferences option – Hardware section – Sound
  • Click on the Output tab and select the headphones option.

How To Restart Windows Audio Service?

Go to the Search bar and type services.mcs. Look for the Windows Audio service and right-click. The dropdown list will have the Restart option. Once finished, go ahead and restart the system.

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