I cant seem to figure out what is wrong with the connection of my front panel mic jack. My motherboard manual says to connect it to the correct pins, and has a note that says:

If your front panel cable is separated, please connect it to pin1 and pin3 or pin5 and pin7 to activate the MIC function.
:rolleyes: doesnt tell me much since i cant figure out what pins they speak of...and i dont know what the cable is separated from or not separated from based on this sentence

here is a map of my pin layout (there are 10 spots for pins in all, with one spot not having a pin):

G ? N _ N
1H H H ? H

through the process of elimination and using the manual - i have found out that

the ? are the open pins for the front panel mic cables

H is for my headphones and are connected correctly, while 1H is pin 1. the _ is where there is no pin. the N is where the pin is marked 'NC' in the manual (I think this means not to use them). G is the ground, also connected correctly

i have tried hooking up the cables in both possible configurations (only two left - that is, top ? hooked to pink wire, bottom ? hooked to yellow, and vice versa) but the mic doesnt work.

also of note is that the computer records loud clicking noises when the headphones are plugged in, and records light static (light a fan blowing into a mic) when its not plugged in, regardless of config.

any suggestions on what to do?

10 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Chaky

Here's my layout:

BLINE_OUT_L . . Line out_L
(empty one) . NC
BLINE_OUT_R . . Line out_R

(The dots represent the pins)
This is supposed to be standard.

My very descriptive mobo manual says (quote):

Front panel audio connector (10 - 1 pin FP_AUDIO)

This connector is for a chassis-mounted front panel audio I/O module that supports legacy AC '97 audio standard. Connect one end of the front panel audio I/O module cable to this connector. (end quote)

(comment: might as well say "here is where you plug it in")

If your computer RECORDS clicks when you plug in headphones, that usually means you connected the headphone's line to where the mic's line should go.

Also check the volume control.

Note that in volume control default one is playback control. To switch to recording control click "Options" in the menu and select properties.

To rough-test if your headphones are connected where the mic should be, you can record a sound via sound recorder (type sndrec32 in the run.. thing) and yell at your headphones. Your voice will be recorded. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is true. Believe it or not, headphones work both ways. That way you'll know for sure that the mic should go there without poking inside the PC.


Here's my layout:

BLINE_OUT_L . . Line out_L
(empty one) . NC
BLINE_OUT_R . . Line out_R

(The dots represent the pins)
This is supposed to be standard.

my mobo doesnt have this as the pin descriptors. i have

top row (from left to right)
Front audio detect

second row
Smart jack F left channel - pin 1
Smart jack F right channel
Smart jack E right channel
Smart jack E left channel

the cables are labeled differently (of course..) my total config is below:
mic in --> front audio detect
mic bias --> SENSE B
ground --> AGND
speaker out left --> smart jack e left
speaker out right --> smart jack e right
speaker return left - disconnected
speaker return right - disconnected

also, my rear jacks dont work now, or before when i HAD hooked up cables to each of the smart jacks, but i disconnected them and the rear jacks still dont work, but the headphone jack still works fine - leaving me with the config i have now. so it appears they arent needed. im so confused with this now...:-|

also, the clicking was steady and highly loud. it also had horrible staticky noise along with that. i could only get some recorded sound (very faint) by tapping on the case, and not the headphones. not sure what the hell to consider the source of that sound. i tried tapping headphones and speakers


Did you try pins 1 and 3 as the manual suggested? Bare in mind that 1 wire per channel is enough. Ground can be mutual.

And for the white noise, get used to it. PC is one big noise generator. I have my PC hooked to Hi-Fi and, believe me, if I increase the volume high enough on my Hi-Fi (90%), I can hear CD spin up, HD's clicks and even some noise when I'm scrolling the web page. And it's all being picked up by the analog CD Audio cable. Wires work like an antenna.
But all that wouldn't be heard on the headphones. Unless they are $1000 or more headset and you have acute hearing of a bat.
If you're hearing loud constant noise, it's connected wrong.

You should try to find correct connections on channel by channel basis.


well, i have come a long way since i last posted, by just tossing the manual in the trash. i have found that

1. jumpers across pins 5/6 and 9/10 make rear output jack work. take the jumpers off to connect front panel by plugging into 5, and 9
2. the speaker jack in the back, and the headphone jack in the front, cannot be hooked up at the same time due to the jumpers.
3. the mic works by hooking up 'mic in' to 'smart jack f left channel' and 'mic bias' to 'smart jack f right channel' (go figure there...)

BTW, what mobo do you have? And is the front panel just an extension or some sort of module?

i have an ECS Elitegroup PF88 mobo, and the second question's answer is that it is a module i suppose, that increases (extends, if you will) the number of jacks for microphone use. it doesnt allow me to use both the front and back headphone/speaker jacks no matter what config i use.

i have this config now.

GRD=empty=jumper=no pin=jumper
mic in(pin1)=mic bias=jumper=empty=jumper

so my friend tells me i need a splitter, or audio hub...kinda defeats the purpose of connectivity to make the jacks only work one at a time, and require microscopic wire changes...in the corner of my case...


(Directed to the manufacturers) Whatever happened to putting the damn jacks on the other side of the case?

I've downloaded the manual for your mobo. It looks like it's world standard not to give any expalnation nor what to plug where when it comes to front audio panel. I think that's what the AC97 stands for.


yea - i could only laugh (in horror and fury) when i see mic outputs go to inputs labelled left and right. what a pile of crap is what i thought. mics have ONE CHANNEL. so this task required me to not only toss the manual but toss my common sense into the trash. the other thing that made me furious is the lack of warning or explanation about the jumpers. i took em off to work with the pins better and it took me roughly an hour to think back to what i did that couldve caused my speaker jack to stop working. i thought id shorted it or something...worst explanations ever in this manual, with the exception of the pin 1 and 3 thing. that made the mic work. too bad it doesnt tell you about the fact that the whole thing is counter-intuitive, since you cant hook up headphones and speakers at once. i figured that was the point.. now i spose ill be buying an audio hub like my friend suggested

ac97 = ALL CRAP 97 times over

but thanks for diggin up the manuals and taking out that much time to give it a good effort. i appreciate it really!

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