09-16-2015 10:53 AM
09-28-2015 11:22 PM - edited 09-29-2015 12:03 AM
I never finished doctoring the XML files, but I found another fix. Just downgrade the driver. I can't believe I didn't consider this, but it works great. I searched for the 4003dx, went to Windows 8.1 drivers, and installed the Realtek Audio driver from February. The drivers works fine on Windows 10 and now the crackling is gone! I need to do further tests to see if disabling the enhancements sticks, or if the checkbox lies like it does with the Windows 10 drivers from July.
Edit: If HP takes the driver down, I have hosted a copy at my website. http://andrewiam.com/files/sp70653.exe
Edit 2: The Enhancements still reenable themselves on reboot with the old driver, but at least the crackling is gone. Windows 10 will try to automatically update the driver back to the crackly one. To avoid this, download the Windows 10 update hide tool, uninstall the Realtek I2S driver from Programs and Features, install the February Realtek driver, reboot, and then run the hide tool to hide the Realtek hardware driver update. As for an Enhancements fix, I guess I'll keep playing with the slconfig.xml file.
09-29-2015 09:53 AM
I wonder if we can make the .XML file read-only to prevent re-enabling?
No, the XML file is not modified when enabling and disabling the Enhancements. I believe the enable/disable switch is in the registry. However, the driver/service ignores this setting (wherever it may be) on boot and just reads slconfig.xml to see how the presets should be configured. When you open the DTS control panel, the panel actually reads the setting, but won't apply it unless you recheck the box, which I assume is when the control panel actually notifies the driver/service to enable or disable the enhancements. It will be another year of college, at the least, before I know enough to fix the driver by imitating the DTS control panel and sending the "disable enhancements" signal. The only solution available to me now, that requires no human intervention on boot, will be to modify slconfig.xml so that audio sounds the same with and without the Enhancements.
BTW, it looks like there's still a bit of clipping with the February driver on default settings. The Space setting seems to clip the easiest with the Center setting also creating clipping. The driver also seems to remember which of the 3 Enhancement modes were enabled (Voice, Music, 3D Movie). Selecting Voice and turning all the sliders down seems to be relatively close to non-Enhanced audio, although the mids are suppressed.
10-06-2015 08:58 PM
I just sent a long email to the AMS TCO Escalations Team after they did an acceptable job replacing my faulty 4003dx with a 4101dx (although I had to specifically request it; they initially offered me a customized 13t that would take even longer to ship). Here's a copy with my greivances. Hopfully I get a response this week.
I previously contacted XXXXX X. at HP AMS TCO Escalations Team to replace my faulty Spectre x360 13-4003dx (Case No. XXXXXXXXXX) after both the motherboard and hinge sensor were found to be faulty. I am now having issues with the Synaptics Touchpad driver and Realtek DTS Audio driver under Windows 10 on my replacement 13-4101dx, serial number XXXXXXXXXX. I have installed all Windows 10 updates as well as all driver updates from HP Support Assistant, HP’s website, and the hardware companies’ websites.
The first issue with the touchpad is that with about 1 in 50 left clicks, the cursor will jump right before the click registers, clicking the wrong link or line of text. The other issue is that the touchpad will enable itself after one minute of resuming from hibernate with the keyboard folded away even though the keyboard will stay disabled. The jumping cursor has been widely complained about online with no fix found.
My issues with the Realtek DTS audio driver is that the “Enhancements” will reenable themselves on reboot even though the checkbox in the DTS Control Panel shows they are still disabled. In addition, the latest version of the drivers has severe, unpleasant, and painful clipping while the Enhancements are enabled. I have downgraded to the Realtek Windows 8.1 drivers from the 4003dx and have used the Microsoft Show or hide updates applet to disable automatic updating to the flawed Windows 10 driver. This issue has spawned multiple forum threads for the x360 along with many other threads for other models and brands of computers. The Synaptics driver also inconsistently registers a 3-finger swipe as backward/forward in the browser and as a window switch gesture.
My particular 4101dx also had a Wi-Fi reception issue because the antenna cable was disconnected from the Intel wireless card upon delivery. I had a qualified technician reconnect the cable which drastically improved Wi-Fi connectivity. (On a side note, I noticed HP is using an Adata SSD in the 4101dx. Isn’t this slower than the Samsung SSD that was in the 4003dx?)
These issues stack on top of design flaws in the laptop (backlight the leaks around the keys, linked speaker and headphone volumes, and a Synaptics Pen Digitizer that was so inaccurate compared to the Wacom digitizer on my Samsung Note that I had to return the stylus I bought). To be clear, I am confident that all of these issues cannot be fixed by sending me a new Spectre x360. Both my 4003dx and the 4101dx (which are the same hardware, just different SKU) have had the same issues under Windows, and do not exhibit many of these issues when booting into Linux. I can tolerate the minor hardware issues and I realize it is difficult and expensive to engineer an ultrabook. However I find the driver issues to be inexcusable because competitors can engineer similarly priced hardware with no such issues. Can you please contact the respective engineering teams at HP, Synaptics, and Realtek and have them look into these issues. I will be more than glad to provide memory dumps, system logs, and other reports that would help. At this point all I want is a fast, long-lasting 2-in-1 laptop that I can enjoy using.
10-06-2015 09:27 PM - edited 10-06-2015 09:29 PM
I write software for a living. I don't understand how this problem can be so persistent over months of time passing. If we had a problem with our products that was so obvious and affected so many customers we would work overtime until our customers had a working product and no matter how complex the issue it would be taken care of within a week not months.
Anyway I don't think the whole DTS enhancements thing is a 100% fix anyway, I'm sure my sound got funky on me during enough heavy wifi use regardless of having freshly disabled enhancements when I was still actively trying to come up with a solution since our buggy months old drivers don't seem to be getting fixed. I have given up.
10-06-2015 09:54 PM - edited 10-06-2015 09:54 PM
I don't think Realtek really cares. They have a strong hold on cheap "good enough" audio codecs. It would also be pretty easy to fix the driver. Just have the DTS Control Panel notify the service/driver to disable the enhancements when the computer boots instead of having to make the user manually check the box. But we have to put up with fixing it ourselves because Realtek and HP can get away with it. Why do we even need enhancements? HP paid extra money to Bang&Oulfsen for the Windows 10 Spectre x360's to be tuned, supposedly. Unless Realtek requires it, there shouldn't be a need for any tuning or options besides a one-page control panel. Instead there are three folders full of services for Dolby DTS, Waves MaxxAudio, and all the other unnecessary crap.
10-06-2015 09:54 PM - edited 10-06-2015 09:58 PM
Yeah, it has been an issue for awhile and they still have not fixed it. Only solution I can think of is they should probably give us an option to get rid of the DTS enhancements altogether and provide us with an unadulterated realtek driver that works.
Oh and by the way andrew, microsoft just released the surface book, might want take a look at that maybe its what you need. 😃 Because seriously none of us need to be put through so much trouble just to make our devices work like they were supposed to.
10-06-2015 10:08 PM
I'm seriously drooling over the Surface Book. I bet the digitizer is actually accurate (unlike the terrible Synaptics digitizer HP throws into some of its laptops) and I also bet there won't be driver issues. It's even the same weight as the Spectre despite packing additonal batteries to make it last 12 hours with a GPU included. But the resale value of the Spectre is around $800 and I paid $1250 for the 4003dx/4101dx. So I guess I'll stick with this. Best-case scenario is HP quietly offers a refund, but I very much doubt that will happen. I would nag Best Buy to take a 6-month return but I don't even have the 4003dx anymore; just the replacement 4101dx. But if I never reply to these forums; assume I got a NDA with a check stapled to it 😛