If you're having trouble with the sound, volume, audio playback, or recording on your Surface—or if you're having trouble with an audio accessory like headphones, external speakers, or a mic—here are some things to try.
- Things to try first
- Solution 1: Get the latest updates
- Solution 2: Restart your Surface
- Solution 3: Check your default audio device settings
- Solution 4: Run troubleshooters
- Solution 5: Force shutdown
- Solution 6: Restore or reset your Surface
Make sure nothing is obstructing the speaker and microphone openings on your Surface, including screen protectors or decals. If you're not sure where the speaker and mic openings are, see Surface features.
Check audio accessory connections
If you can hear sound from your Surface speakers but can’t hear sound from an accessory, make sure the accessory is working and is connected properly.
- Try using the accessory with a different device.
- Check that the cables connecting your Surface to the accessory are plugged in securely. If the connection is secure but you still can’t hear sound from the accessory, try using different cables.
- Close all audio apps, then remove any accessory cables from your Surface and the accessory and reconnect them.
- Make sure accessories that use Bluetooth® wireless technology are paired correctly with your Surface.
- If you're using the Surface Dock while trying to listen to audio, see Troubleshoot Surface Dock.
Adjust the volume
Make sure that you've adjusted volume levels in the right places. You can control the volume in several places:
- Volume button: Press the volume button on your Surface to adjust the volume up or down.
- Keyboard: If your Surface Typing Cover or keyboard has volume keys, press the volume-down, volume-up, or mute key. , and adjust the volume control up or down.
- Audio accessories: Adjust the volume on the headset, speakers, phone, or other audio accessory or adjust it in the software included with the accessory. To learn more about adjusting volume levels, check the info that came with your accessory or go to the manufacturer's website.
- Apps: Some apps have a volume control within the app.
- The volume button on your Surface and the desktop volume setting in the taskbar work together. If you raise, lower, or mute the setting in one, the volume level in the other will change, too.
- Volume controls in apps and on accessories such as headphones and external speakers may work independently of the controls built into your Surface. You may need to adjust the volume level in more than one place.
Check the quality of the recording
If the sound quality coming from your speakers or an audio accessory isn't good, it's possible the audio recording itself isn't of good quality. Try listening to the same recording on a different device.
Adjust microphone settings
If people have trouble hearing you when you’re using the mic or if you have trouble recording sound, try adjusting your mic settings:
- Go to Start > Settings > Sound > Sound control panel.
Select the Recording tab, select the mic you want, and select Properties. Be sure to select a mic that's enabled and connected to your Surface.
Select the Levels tab. You'll see two sliders.
Microphone: Controls the mic’s volume.
Microphone Boost: Controls the strength of the mic's input signal.Note
Your device might not have the Microphone Boost slider. You can use the Microphone slider instead.
Adjust the sliders until your mic is recording at the levels you want. The levels you'll use will vary depending on the amount of background noise and on whether you're using the mic that’s built into your Surface or an external mic. A good starting point is to set Microphone to 50 and Microphone Boost to +24.0 dB.
If you’re still having problems, go to Solution 1.
In many cases, downloading and installing the latest updates for Windows and your Surface will fix the issue. To see how, go to Install Surface and Windows updates. If you're still having problems, go to Solution 2.
- Go to Start > Power > Restart.
- After your Surface has restarted and you've signed back into Windows, try listening to something (play music or a video) on the built-in speakers and try recording something using the built-in mic.
If you’re still having problems, go to Solution 3.
Check and, if needed, change your sound settings. Here’s how to review and set your sound output device:
Go to Start , and then select Settings > Sound.
Do either or both of the following:
In the Sound section, select the device you want to use for playback (for example, the built-in speakers on your Surface, external speakers, or a headset), as your output device. When you select this device, you’re also setting it as the default.
In the Input section, select the device you want to use for recording (for example, the built-in mic or an external mic), as your input device. When you select this device, you’re also setting it as the default.
If you are using a communications app, like Skype, you may want to set your communications device separately when using speakers or a headset. Here’s how to set a communications device:
Go to Start , and then select Settings > Sound > Sound control panel.
Do either or both of the following:
Select the Playback tab, select the device you want to use for communications playback (for example, the built-in speakers on your Surface, external speakers, or a headset), and then select Set Default Communication Device.
Select the Recording tab, select the device you want to use for communications recording (for example, the built-in mic or an external mic), and then select Set Default Communication Device.
If things still aren't working right, go to Solution 4.
Try running the automated troubleshooters. These tools can find and fix problems with sound:
- To troubleshoot output sound, go to Start , select Settings > Sound > select Troubleshoot under the Sound section, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
- To troubleshoot input sound, go to Start , select Settings > Sound > select Troubleshoot under the Input section, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
If running the troubleshooters doesn't help, go to Solution 5.
See Force a shut down and restart your Surface to find out how.
If you're still having problems, go to Solution 6.
If you're still having audio problems, try restoring or resetting your Surface. To find out how, see Restore or reset Surface.
Need more help?
If the speakers or mics that are built into your Surface still don’t work as well as they should, or if your volume rocker remains locked after resetting your Surface, your Surface may need service. Go to Get my Surface fixed.
If you've tried these solutions but your audio accessory still isn't working, contact the accessory manufacturer for support.