Ubuntu – No audio in laptop speakers or headphones, but sound plays in screen (HDMI connection)


I couldn't hear the songs in my headphones after I had left my laptop and the screen went off (it probably suspended, I can't remember). It started a few weeks ago and has continued since. I haven't had this problem before, and there are no significant changes I can think of that could have caused this.

My observations about the issue so far –

  1. I can not get any audio from the laptop speakers, headphones or the
    screen (with speakers, connected with HDMI cable).
  2. However, I can get the sound back from the screen if I disconnect the HDMI cable and plug it in again.
  3. The microphone of my laptop doesn't record sound either, when this happens. So, it is not limited to audio output, it affects audio input as well.
  4. Everything is resolved if I reboot. (May 21 update: I think it did in the beginning. but now nothing is fixed even after I restart)
  5. It always happens when my laptop goes into suspension mode. – (May 21 update : I am fairly certain it used to work before the first trigger of suspension mode, but now it isn't working from the very beginning after a reboot)
  6. The sound plays just fine in the Windows OS mode (I have dual boot set up).

I have tried the following –

  1. alsamixer – Not muted
  2. Sound Settings – Selected and not muted
  3. pavucontrol – Checked, everything seems A-ok
  4. sudo alsa force-reload – Tried but didn't help
  5. pulseaudio -k && sudo alsa force-reload – Tried but didn't help
  6. Reinstalled ALSA and PulseAudio, as instructed in many blogs for resolving audio issues for Ubuntu, for example (this medium post) – Did not change a thing
  7. Checked that the sound card was detected properly
    00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio (rev 21)
        Subsystem: Dell Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 32, IRQ 146
        Memory at d1228000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
        Memory at d1200000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
        Capabilities: [60] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
        Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
        Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel, snd_soc_skl
  8. Updated my BIOS

Information about my system –

  • I am using Ubuntu 18.04, updated from 16.04 about 3 months ago.
  • Kernel version (uname -r)- 4.15.0-101-generic
  • Dual boot (for >2 years) – Windows 10 as the other OS.
  • Codec: Realtek ALC3253 (Checked using cat /proc/asound/card0/codec* | grep Codec)
  • Laptop – Dell Inspiron 13 5000 Series

If anyone has any clue as to what might be I would really appreciate it. If you need more details about methods tried, in order to better understand and narrow down the possible reasons, please let me know in the comments to this question.

As it goes without saying, thank you so much.

Best Answer

Short answer
[Probably] Update the kernel to the latest version recommended for your system.
Mine resolved with 4.15.0-109-generic, installed with Software Updater.
(Resolved on its own in about 2 months since I first faced the issue)

Details -

I have suddenly got the audio back (speakers, microphone and headphones). Before this point, a month ago, in an attempt to resolve the issues, with no luck, I had

  • Updated firmware (Required booting into windows and took >6 hours) and
  • Consistently installed new updates as soon as I received a notification for them (Ubuntu).

I have not done anything since, to resolve the issue, except installing regular kernel updates.

I suspected the kernel update because of the sudden occurrence of the issues, and I suspect it even more because of sudden resolution. Both times, there was a kernel update in merely a day or two ago. My problem began around the time of 4.15.0-99-generic update and was resolved around the time of 4.15.0-109-generic. It could be a bug that is resolved in this update (you'll have to check). I am only stating that this kernel version for my system specs, worked for me. Reiterating my system specs (from question) -

  • Ubuntu 18.04
  • Dual boot (for >2 years) - Windows 10 as the other OS.
  • Codec: Realtek ALC3253
  • Laptop - Dell Inspiron 13 5000 Series

The full log kernel update log, that I obtained using zgrep 'install linux-headers' /var/log/dpkg.log* | sort | cut -f1,2,4 -d' ', for reference is given below-

/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-07 06:26:45 linux-headers-4.4.0-161:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-07 06:27:06 linux-headers-4.4.0-161-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-07 06:28:13 linux-headers-4.15.0-60:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-07 06:28:35 linux-headers-4.15.0-60-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-12 07:01:06 linux-headers-4.15.0-62:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-12 07:01:45 linux-headers-4.15.0-62-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-18 06:49:18 linux-headers-4.4.0-164:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-18 06:49:41 linux-headers-4.4.0-164-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-18 06:51:50 linux-headers-4.15.0-64:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz:2019-09-18 06:52:29 linux-headers-4.15.0-64-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.11.gz:2019-08-15 06:14:17 linux-headers-4.15.0-58:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.11.gz:2019-08-15 06:14:38 linux-headers-4.15.0-58-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.11.gz:2019-08-15 11:45:17 linux-headers-4.4.0-159:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.11.gz:2019-08-15 11:45:52 linux-headers-4.4.0-159-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.11.gz:2019-08-15 11:46:19 linux-headers-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.1:2020-06-10 06:56:50 linux-headers-4.15.0-106:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.1:2020-06-10 06:57:15 linux-headers-4.15.0-106-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.12.gz:2019-07-25 06:33:10 linux-headers-4.15.0-55:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.12.gz:2019-07-25 06:33:36 linux-headers-4.15.0-55-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log:2020-07-01 06:25:25 linux-headers-4.15.0-108:all
/var/log/dpkg.log:2020-07-01 06:26:12 linux-headers-4.15.0-108-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log:2020-07-03 06:46:50 linux-headers-4.15.0-109:all
/var/log/dpkg.log:2020-07-03 06:47:14 linux-headers-4.15.0-109-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz:2020-05-20 06:08:58 linux-headers-4.15.0-101:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz:2020-05-20 06:09:34 linux-headers-4.15.0-101-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz:2020-05-28 18:10:06 linux-headers-4.15.0-91:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz:2020-05-28 18:10:31 linux-headers-4.15.0-91-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz:2020-05-28 18:11:49 linux-headers-4.15.0-96:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz:2020-05-28 18:12:19 linux-headers-4.15.0-96-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.3.gz:2020-04-07 06:13:59 linux-headers-4.15.0-96:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.3.gz:2020-04-07 06:14:37 linux-headers-4.15.0-96-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.3.gz:2020-04-29 06:28:56 linux-headers-4.15.0-99:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.3.gz:2020-04-29 06:29:20 linux-headers-4.15.0-99-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.4.gz:2020-03-19 07:10:22 linux-headers-4.15.0-91:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.4.gz:2020-03-19 07:22:12 linux-headers-4.15.0-91-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.5.gz:2020-02-22 06:31:45 linux-headers-4.15.0-88:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.5.gz:2020-02-22 06:32:42 linux-headers-4.15.0-88-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz:2020-01-08 10:27:33 linux-headers-4.4.0-171:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz:2020-01-08 10:46:25 linux-headers-4.4.0-171-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz:2020-01-08 10:51:03 linux-headers-4.15.0-74:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz:2020-01-08 10:51:26 linux-headers-4.15.0-74-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz:2020-01-31 06:16:52 linux-headers-4.15.0-76:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz:2020-01-31 06:17:30 linux-headers-4.15.0-76-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.7.gz:2019-12-04 06:05:28 linux-headers-4.4.0-170:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.7.gz:2019-12-04 06:05:57 linux-headers-4.4.0-170-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.7.gz:2019-12-04 06:07:16 linux-headers-4.15.0-72:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.7.gz:2019-12-04 06:07:42 linux-headers-4.15.0-72-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.8.gz:2019-11-18 06:04:57 linux-headers-4.4.0-169:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.8.gz:2019-11-18 06:05:18 linux-headers-4.4.0-169-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.8.gz:2019-11-18 06:07:09 linux-headers-4.15.0-70:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.8.gz:2019-11-18 06:07:49 linux-headers-4.15.0-70-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-02 06:24:23 linux-headers-4.4.0-165:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-02 06:24:54 linux-headers-4.4.0-165-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-02 06:26:11 linux-headers-4.15.0-65:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-02 06:26:45 linux-headers-4.15.0-65-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-23 06:33:05 linux-headers-4.4.0-166:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-23 06:33:30 linux-headers-4.4.0-166-generic:amd64
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-23 06:34:49 linux-headers-4.15.0-66:all
/var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz:2019-10-23 06:35:14 linux-headers-4.15.0-66-generic:amd64

It seems that kernel update resolved it for me, on its own. I post this answer, in hopes it may provide someone else facing similar issue with either clues or the patience to wait out a few kernel updates and see if the issues are resolved.