I'm on the latest Windows 10 1803 17134.48, running on a ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero Intel Z370 motherboard with Realtek audio. Speakers are plugged into the headphone (green) jack in the back.

The hardware (and the Windows install) is 7 months old, and sound has worked great everywhere for most of that time.

Recently I do not get audio in most games. Audio still works fine in non-games (e.g. VLC, Chrome/Youtube etc) and in some games (older games?).

This makes me suspect that the problem is with Direct X / DirectSound, but since there is no way to install / reset that in Windows 10, it's hard to tell.

"Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)" is always set as the current audio device. When in e.g. VLC I can see the audio meter move in the volume mixer, but in games there's no output there.

Sound in games where Realtek is not working works fine when played thru a different sound device (a USB headphone amp with its own DAC).

I've searched for clues, here's a non-exhaustive list of things I've already tried:

  • Deinstalled all other audio output devices that I am not using, such that there is no chance it can be switching to another. There was Nvidia audio or output to my monitor that is now gone, and there's only 1 audio device left (speakers).
  • Checked DxDiag.exe to see if there were any errors. none.
  • Checked Device Manager for any problems.
  • Tried reinstalling Realtek drivers. Neither the February 2018 ones from the Asus site nor the absolute latest (June 5th 2018) make any difference.
  • Tried unplugging any devices that are not keyboard/mouse/monitor/speakers.
  • Tried re-installing Steam (some Steam games have audio, but wanted to try anyway).
  • Disabled all sound effects in audio settings.
  • Tried low bit rate (16 bit 44khz) and high (24 bit 48 khz) settings.
  • Deselected allowing applications to take exclusive control.
  • Spatial sound off.
  • Quit as many concurrently running application, especially Skype.
  • Run Windows Trouble-shooter.
  • Checked per-app volume settings (all default).
  • Checked in-game audio settings :) But yeah, no audio in games I am running for the first time.
  • Checked Steam settings (nothing applicable).
  • Checked Sonic Studio (sofware installed by the asus drivers) and made sure all settings are default / no effects).
  • Installed older versions of Direct X.
  • Disable Windows 10 fast start up.
  • SFC /scannow
  • Make sure I'm up to date on Windows update.
  • Reboot a bunch of times.

None of this appeared to make any difference.

What I did not try yet:

  • Reinstall Windows. Was hoping to avoid that, and seeing as how "fresh" this install is, I was hoping it is not necessary.
  • Go back to a restore point or backup prior to that update. – SiXandSeven8ths Jun 13 at 16:05
  • @SiXandSeven8ths I appear to have only one restore point, and it is from very recent (after the problem started) :( – Aardappel Jun 13 at 20:37
  • Try this for uninstalling updates: howtogeek.com/223864/… – SiXandSeven8ths Jun 14 at 12:49
  • @SiXandSeven8ths thanks again for the tip, but there are no driver updates of any kind in the Windows Update list. The only bigger update is Windows version 1803, but nothing specifically audio related. – Aardappel Jun 15 at 0:58
  • While you might not have any driver updates in Windows update you might want to check the ASUS website for the most recent audio drivers. Also check your Windows audio settings to double check that the default device is set. After installing 1803 (while the device name was the same) some of my applications complained that the audio devices were gone and I had to reselect them. Also if you're using the Studio X tool make sure to check what's selected there, especially in case you redirected the audio for those games. – Seth Jun 15 at 6:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is a conflict between Sonic Studio III (packaged with some ASUS products) and Windows 10 version 1803. This is likely because Sonic Studio III includes features for redirecting audio from applications to different physical audio outputs and Windows 10 version 1803, which was released recently via windows updates, provides similar functionality. Even without redirection enabled in either, there is still a potential for conflict just by having them installed together.

Remove Sonic Studio III completely by going to Windows Key > Windows Settings Icon Settings > Apps and uninstall Sonic Studio III. Then restart Windows. You may have to remove the entire ASUS Sonic Suite (but not the ASUS/Realtek drivers).

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