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How to enable Line In Pass Through to your speakers with Realtek Audio on Windows XP

If you are having problems hearing anything after you have plugged a sound source into the 'Line In' socket of a Realtek soundcard (or motherboard onboard sound) then read on...

Plug your MP3 player (or other sounds source) into the 'Line In' socket and then go to the control panel and start the 'Realtek HD Sounds Effects Manager'. If you click the 'Audio I/O' tab you should see something like:

The highlighted part indicates that the Realtek HD Audio Manager knows that you have plugged a 'Line In' device in. You should now be able to record what is being played but you most probably won't be able to hear it!

A lot of audio cards give you the option of passing the line in through to the line out so that you can hear it on your speakers but this isn't the case with the Realtek audio.

What you have to do is ensure that the 'Rear Blue In' channel is not muted and has some volume as well as the 'Line In':

It took quite a bit of messing about to find this out, but it makes sense when you look back at the first screenshot and see that the line in socket is the blue socket. Why they can't label the 'Read Blue In' as 'Line In' I don't know!

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Alex Smith said…
Depends on how old the control panel for the realtek is and who provided it. Mine is from realtek directly and is listed as "Line Volume" on both output and input now rather than what you have.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for posting this was a great help!
Damian said…
Thanks mate, you saved me a lot of time .
Anonymous said…
What if you are on windows 7?
Anonymous said…
Thank you very much, been trying to figure this out for quite some time. Luckily someone took their time to post a blog entry like this one.
Deg said…
Thanks so much! I was pulling my hair out on this one. What bad UI design.
Roca said…

I can resolve my issues whit your help.
Anonymous said…
Thank you very much! I spent a lot of time on this question, and even bought a piece of hardware (converter) to solve it, without success. The solution is so simple (once you know it ....). Well done!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for a great help!
Todd Lefkowitz said…

You saved me from many more hours of hair-pulling :)

I was running audio into the line-in input of my Realtek soundcard, and trying to hear it on a remote computer using TeamViewer. I heard no audio on the remote PC until I found your solution online.

Thanks so much
Todd Lefkowitz said…

Thanks for saving me many more hours of hair-pulling..brilliant!