hi welcome to daniweb ,you use usb headset to hear the sound,so the onboard audio still workes just not the speaker plugin correct ,did you check volume control option to make sure that the speakers are set as the default player
Good observation caperjack. As he said, the audio subsystem is still functioning. You can use the headphone plug to connect with a PC speaker system. I assume you have two plugs - one on the front for headphones (normally) and one in the rear for speakers (normally). They are usually controlled separately so it may just be that your audio configuration has been messed up.
RIK is correct. USB headsets usually are not handled by the usual sound hardware. My bad! Missed that fact in reading the original post. However, if the system does have two output mini-jack plugs, try plugging the speakers, or standard headset, into the other one and see if that works, just as a test.
My audio didn´t always fail, it's after a year or so that they started breaking up, then giving up completely. i'm quite sure it's the plug that failed, since connecting my set to another computer worked, but connecting my (working) headset to the broken computer did not.
The computer itself doesn't show any sign of life either when i plug anything in the back. The front jack works fine though. (too bad it's not surround :p)
It looks like the internal sound module itself still works fine, but it's just the plugs that are screwed. either way, sound is gone :)
oh, and my headset is a CM Storm Sirus, which has it's own sound control yes, probably should've said that as well :)