When using any of my audio devices, my Behringer U2, my mobo audio out, and my Sound Blaster FX in stereo mode, all sound weird. Kinda like the sound is coming in front of me, instead of how regular headphones should sound. The sound could also be described like a tinny sound.

When I have my headphones connected to my Sounds Blaster Fx, in headphones mode, they sound just fine, but everything else sounds weird, and I don't know how to fix this issue.

I'm running Windows 11 and my headphones are a Philips SHP9600.

  • 2
    Is your entire audio path set to stereo, or do you have 5.1 set anywhere? If you do, then something might be trying to be "smart" & send only the front L/R to the headphones, with the rest going to a nonexistent 'rest' of the 5.1 I've never had a soundblaster, but it seems designed to be 'smart' for the average consumer who doesn't know how to handle 5.1 routing.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 19:41
  • 1
    @Tetsujin Good call! ...and the "tinny" sound is likely to be balancing the space a sub would occupy in the full 5:1 setup Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


That's typical for a broken ground connection. For headphones with a headset microphone using a TRRS plug, this can happen when ground and microphone convensions differ. But the SHP9600 should only have a TRS plug which should work independently of any headset pinout (there is an SHP9600MB option with microphone and third-party microphone sets, so better make sure that you indeed use only a proper headphone plug with only a single ring).

Assuming that you did not just connect to a balanced output (like a "main out" 6.3mm TRS connector on a soundcard) and assuming that the headphones consistently work in one soundcard, the most likely culprit is a badly shaped TRS plug that requires more force to push in completely than you believe it does.

So you better check visually that after plugging your headphone in that the plug is flush with the socket with no part of the shaft being exposed anymore.

  • I do have the plug in all the way, the strange thing is in the sound blaster fx driver software, when I set it to headphones mode it sounds just fine, but on stereo mode it sounds the same as every other audio device I have tried. Commented Nov 15, 2021 at 23:08

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