Lots of People Hit by the Dell Inspiron 700m Sound Input Design Flaw Dell Inspiron 700m Sound Input Design Flaw?

I posted on this in the middle of May, and the post has been getting lots and lots of comments (relatively speaking), so I thought I’d bump it back to the front page.

It seems that many Dell 700m owners are unhappy with the sound recording quality of the 700m, and are even more frustrated with Dell’s (lack of) response to the problem.

Check out the original post, and sound off if you’ve had the problem on your 700m. It’s the first hit in a Google search for “dell inspiron 700m sound flaw”. Work of mouth marketing works both ways…


77 thoughts on “Lots of People Hit by the Dell Inspiron 700m Sound Input Design Flaw

  1. thanks Syed Irfan…. u saved me a bunch of trouble… i installed the c major audioi driver awhile back. i forgot to even look back at the volume control menu after i installed the driver and rebooted. needless to say a couple boxes were muted.

    thanks again Syed Irfan

  2. Ex-DELL Rep... says:

    ASTORIA – Are you sure they sent you the 710M motherboard and not the 700M board? As far as I know before left that HELL hole was that DELL DOES KNOW ABOUT THE DEFECT…

    BUT, they will not give you a 710M board for a 700M thus defeating the purpose of actually FIXING THE PROBLEM….


  3. Adam says:

    Does anyone here also have the screen flicker/freeze problem with your 700m? There’s a 35 page forum on dell’s site devoted exclusively to the flicker issue. Like everyone here, there, and apparently everywhere, I’ve gone around and around with dell online and on the phone but no solutions from them, and of course they act like this is the first they’ve heard of a problem with the 700m at all. The posters on the forum have apparently found a solution in uninstalling the intel video driver and installing an A08 driver, but you also have to turn off automatic update, as it will immediately “update” to the defective driver and the problem returns. I haven’t tried the mic and haven’t gotten dell to admit that there’s any flaw in the machine, but I’m under a 4 year warranty so if either of these issues manifest themselves, my question is: can I simply return the machine to dell and demand a refund? They refuse to send out a tech as they deny any hardware problem. I am in the middle of law school so I can’t afford to be without my laptop for any period of time, so I’m hesitant to send it to them (especially given the horror stories about 5 month delays, “lost” computers, and false allegations by dell of moisture on the motherboard). I would be very interested in class action (in fact posted to that effect on their site but of course they deleted that) but the link above isn’t for the 700m.

    Brings a whole new meaning to their ad slogan, “dude, you got a dell (aka sucks to be you).” I hope bad things come to the dell chiefs. There’s a circle in hell just for dell execs, and I hope they get there soon. I’m no socialist, but this is crapitalism at its worst. Down with dell.

  4. Brian says:

    I just today had to order a replacement systemboard for a 710M for a laptop I am working on and the part number they are sending is the same exact part that I used last week to replace a systemboard on a 700M. So it appears they are using the exact same board in both.

  5. Nam L says:

    I uninstalled and then reinstalled the drivers per the instructions by Syed. This actually worked for me. The microphone doesn’t sound that great, but there’s not enough interference for me to want to bother with changing anything. It sounded horrible at first but then I turned of mic boost in the control settings. Then upped the mic volume to 100%. I made a Skype test call and left myself a voicemail that sounded okay. Thanks for the help everyone.

  6. Jim says:

    I have just used a dynamic microphone – gets around the buzz problem without any hacks 🙂

  7. Victoria says:

    Thanks to all who have posted here.

    I have had Dell Inspiron for a little over a year — and just now trying Skype. For three months I have struggled with this — trying cheap headset, then more expensive and so forth…

    The clue to learning about this issue was the SigmaTel C-Major Audio driver. Under the Control Panel, listed as SigmaTel, the only settings were for Power Management!

    So I am adding my voice to this group. It’s a particularly gnarly problem to diagnosis much less fix….

  8. Victoria says:

    Update on my take on this sound problem which I have solved in relationship to Skype and bluetooth headset (Motorola Internet Calling Kit – headset H500 and USB PC Adapter PC850)

    Inspiron 700m – SigmaTel C-Major Audio driver

    Control Panel: SigmaTel Audio – Turn off Power Management! — assume that by having this turned on — it locked Audio settings. Reboot.

    Control Panel: System | Device Manager Tab
    – Find Sound, video, game controllers. On the list below click on SigmaTel
    – Right click – Properties – General
    – Run Troubleshoot – after this I was able to hear!

    Earlier I had changed the settings in Skype — Unchecked “let Skype adjust the sound settings”.

    After this all audio features were restored including laptop speakers and wav action. I can now use Skype with my new bluetooth headset. I’m good to go!

    I am not sure why this problem occurred – Perhaps it was installing a cheapie USB corded Skype phone or some other Skype related issue. So your mileage may vary…..

    Good luck!

  9. Peter says:

    Is it a surprise to know that the Dell 5150 also has mic and audio problems with the Sigmatel Audio?
    There is low level static heard in the headphones and the mic level is very very low.
    Thanks for all the possible solutions listed here. Looks like Dell needs a kick in the butt.

  10. Luke Gosselin says:

    I have owned the 700M since April 2005, and I am not pleased with the computer at all. My 700M has the same noise issue with the mic input, and with the headphone output. I have also had a problem with the USB ports. Would not recognize any external devices attached to the USB ports. Dell support replaced the motherboard with the same faulty one. It seems that they are just waiting for the computer’s warranty to expire, then we will have no recourse in the matter. I am frustrated with Dell’s corporate attitude. I will never buy another dell product and will not recommend a dell system to anyone. I would like to see a class action suit against dell. If only I could find one to get on.

  11. Perry says:

    I found that if I use a USB headset and plug it into the bottom USB port the quality is much better. It’s still crap that I had to go back to the store twice and monkey around but a USB headset is cheaper than any alternatives and I need my Skype for long distance. Hope this helps someone who is as frustrated as I’ve been.

  12. jhanso says:

    I am having a problem with my laptop Dell insperon 6400 , suddenly i am not able to here the sound volume control is disappearing and asking me to instal something, but when i did that add hardware even then i cannot get it

  13. Luis Perez says:

    Yes. I have and am experiencing both the sound (hum/60hz?) and occational/intermittent LCD flicker.

    Dell Customer Service and Technical Support do not admit this as an issue and will immediatly point out warranty expirations as a reason to blow you off.

    I WAS a Solution Provider (that means I was a reseller) with White Label. I no longer promote their products because I can not trust them. They still owe my company about $22,000 in fees, chargebacks and compensation.

  14. LeoK says:

    I have my 700m since June 2005. It’s been a good little unit for all my needs – so I thought. The audio was acceptable on my unit until somewhere in September 2006. The speaker stop working. Well, it makes sound if the laptop is closed while Windows is shutting down. I’ve tried many ways without any success. So I now feel necessary to add my voice to let DELL know that my next laptop will never be a Dell. I am just as disappointed as many of the 700m/710m users. I also will stop telling firends how great the little Dell has served me, not without speaker and having to have headsets all the time.

  15. Tom says:

    I have my 700m for a couple of years. It’s been a good little unit for all my needs. The speakers stop working couple day ago. Well, it makes sound when I plug in my headphones. I’ve tried many ways without any success. So I now feel necessary to add my voice to let DELL know that my next laptop will never be a Dell. I am just as disappointed as many of the 700m/710m users. I also will stop telling firends how great the little Dell has served me, not without speaker and having to have headsets all the time.

  16. Same problem, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Really was annoying b/c I had no idea what the problem was. I tried for weeks to adjust programs etc. Dell, no help. I just bought another mic, thinking that might help, but it won’t.

    So my solution is to find a usb microphone, all of the headsets of used with this, seem to work alright.

  17. Ray says:

    Wow, Tom, I have the exact same problem.

    The speakers just stopped working a few days ago and I’ve been installing, re-installing audio drivers, etc, etc. I can hear the sound fine when the earphones are plugged in, but the speakers themselves do not output any sound.

    The 700M was a good laptop, and I hope Dell takes care of this issue.

  18. Michelle says:

    I’m having the same problem as Tom and Ray. Speakers stopped working last week, but sound works fine through headphones. Curious if this is due to a recent windows update, explaining why we’ve only started having this problem recently?

  19. Jon says:

    I also own a 700m and (gasp) have the same problems. Based on the non-existent response from Dell, I have opted to purchase an external sound card as a work around.

  20. John says:

    We had our 700m for about 2 1/2 years and it ran fine until a month ago when the speakers went out. Anyone have any luck fixing it or with Dell customer service?


  21. Ed says:

    You can either pull the speakers out and resolder the wires, or buy new speakers from eBay for $50 or so & then just plug in the new ones and toss out the old. If you can’t do this yourself, anyone who’s ever taken a laptop apart can do it for you. it’s all standard stuff on the 700m – just don’t miss the screw that’s immediately to the left of the wifi light – hidden under a silver sticker.

  22. Alex says:

    I simply replaced the drivers with the Intel AC’97 ones, and WALLA!! I have a line input!

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