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Audio playback intermittent fail


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I'm on Windows 10 1709, steamVR 1.1.4 with a 2nd gen Vive, on an alienware 13 R3.


Ever since I got my system over a year ago, the audio playback in headset and/or system speakers has been unreliable. Sometimes when I start up a game, there's no audio in the headset. Recently there's sometimes no audio in the computer speakers, or none in both.


I've played with the steamVR audio settings, i.e. with setting playback device to 'Speakers (HTC Vive)' and mirroring to system speakers (speakers/headphone (Realtek Audio), doing the opposite, and not setting any mirroring. Each combination works sometimes, and fails at other times. Sometimes there's no audio at all, sometimes only from the assigned playback device, sometimes only from the mirrored device.


When the audio is gone, the system audio still works. That is, if I go to the system sound manager and adjust the volume, I hear the Windows ding sound. So it seems like a steamVR problem.


Usually stopping and restarting steamVR fixes things. But recently it's been much harder to get audio back after it stops playing, requiring several steamVR restarts or full system reboots (and sometimes I just give up).


Any advice? It's more of a problem now because I'm demo'ing a game I'm developing and w/out audio it's a problem! It happens both for my game run in Unity or standalone build, and for other games run using Steam.




Alienware update doesn't show any audio driver updates.


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