Fix Creative Speakers stop playing audio out of the blue

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 25, 2015

For the past ten years or so I have used headphones to listen to audio and do other audio-related things on PCs.

Recently, I bought a pair of audio speakers from Creative instead as I found headphones to be a nuisance at times. Among the many reasons where battery issues of my (second) Logitech G930 wireless headset and the fact that I did not want to buy another one of those devices only to have them stop working after a couple of months because of it.

The installation of the speakers went smoothly and they really added to the playback experience as I did not have to wear headphones to listen to audio anymore.

While that was great, I noticed an issue shortly after I installed them on a system running Windows 10. The speakers would suddenly stop playing audio. It felt random and happened while I was watching a video on YouTube or locally for instance, and also when I played music on the system using AIMP3.

fix creative speakers standby no sound

The LED of the speaker would go out and I had to manually push the power button again to turn the speaker back on again.

My first thought was that the speakers were defective but that was apparently not the case. After researching the issue I found out that the issue affects speakers sold in the European Union only.

Creative has a Knowledgebase article up that describes what is happening:

In keeping with ErP (Energy-related Products) regulations, your Creative speaker will go into Standby mode if it doesn’t detect audio input (via aux-in/line-in) after a specific amount of time. This speaker uses a fixed threshold input level to enable auto power management feature. This means if you greatly lower the volume on your mp3 player or smart device, your speaker might interpret this as silence and go into Standby mode. This is by no means a product defect but a design intent in keeping with ErP regulations.

ERP is a European directive that applies to energy-related products that are sold in significant number per year in the European Union and have a significant environmental impact as well as potential for improvement.

Fixing the issue

The fix is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is increase the volume of the audio on the device you are using to higher levels (as high as possible without getting distortions). You would then use the volume controls on the speakers to turn down the volume again to level the volume of the audio to previous levels.

This does mean however that you need to use the volume controls on the speaker each time you want to modify the volume of the audio as you should not touch the device's volume controls anymore afterwards.

It is by far no perfect solution but the only one available besides buying speakers that don't fall under ErP regulations.

You may want to experiment with volume settings until you get it right, for instance by turning down the volume on the device gradually until you hit the sweet spot (no standby mode of the speakers).

Fix Creative Speakers stop playing audio out of the blue
Article Name
Fix Creative Speakers stop playing audio out of the blue
Find out how to fix Creative Speakers stopping to play audio suddenly by going into standby mode even while audio is playing.

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Timothy Takemoto said on April 18, 2022 at 2:48 am

    I took mine apart and for some reason that made the right speaker, the one with the amplifier start working again. The same technique has not worked for the left speaker. There are four screws at the back (that need a very long screw driver) and two in the base.

  2. Anonymous said on December 7, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks for this!
    Mine is plugged into a TV, so there are less options, but Turing the device volume up is a good simple solution.

  3. Anonymous said on December 2, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Hello from Peru, i have a Creative speaker 5.1 and using Windows 10. It turned off sound “randomly” and had to increase volume on windows to get back its sound .
    My solution was to put the creative volume at 25% and turn windows volume up so to enter more signal on creative to prevent turning off. It worked for me.

  4. MrsSnowfox said on May 4, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Hi there. I just got Creative Insp=ire T6300 last year, and am very much infuriated by how it works. It doesn’t do it for me, because it is inconvenient to regulate the volume through the speakers’ volume roller, and also I don’t want to wear it out and render the speakers useless. Making the threshold adjutable would do it, but it is fixed.

    This mostly annoys me in the night and in the early mornings, when I play silent music, being considerate to my neighbors. Obviously, the music is good enough to me, so why would the spakers tell me that there is a distortion. That is not how it should work, the user is the judge of the sound quality.

    To say, I *am* infuriated to the level that I want to throw 2k euros to get a comparable sound system that will just stay on until I turn it off.

    In that sense, are there any recommendations?

  5. DTSquared said on March 21, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks for this, after buying a new sound card and performing a complete rebuild of my PC I had finally isolated it to the least likely component of all, a speaker being powered by an AUX lead, which lead me to your post. I was already suspecting power management but assumed it would be at the PC end not the speaker. In my view this makes the speaker totally useless because I am using it for monitoring when editing video and have to jump back to just a fraction of a second before speech starts. This EU regulation has probably wasted more energy just in the components that I’ve binned trying to track this down. Sadly I’ve also started to notice the same thing on a brand new £1500 TV !!! You start a tv show after pausing and miss the first word.

  6. WorknMan said on February 9, 2019 at 3:31 am

    If anybody else gets here from a Google search like I did, the REAL fix for this issue is here:

    The second post down worked for my Creative T40 speakers. I did deviate a little from the instructions, however:

    – Instead of doing the stereo mix recording, I just went to Generate->Silence and generated 3 seconds of silence.

    – Instead of using 20000Hz, I did like 15Hz, so it’s inaudible to me when it plays every 10 minutes.

    I suspect you could screw around with the length/frequency to see what the bare minimum would be to wake the speakers up, but this works for me.

    1. MrsSnowfox said on May 4, 2020 at 11:32 am

      Heh. Would it work with 30 kHz? Asking, because I have really good hearing, and 20 kHz won’t do it for me. :( Besides, I would like to just get speakers that stay on until I turn them off.

  7. Anon said on January 25, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    This is not a solution as every time a new source is opened it just blasts out at full volume until you manually turn it down on screen. After that it will open as you left it but some sources do not have volume controls which are easy to find or obvious. Not fit for purpose in my mind, return it and get your money back, that’s what I intend on doing.

  8. Dave said on October 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Guys, Drop the whole Windows complaint. This has nothing to do with Windows. This is just another annoying environmental feature like those dispensers on the new gas cans. The speakers can be plugged directly into other hardware that has nothing to do with a PC and the speakers will go into standby mode. Create a very short audio file at a frequency just above or below the range of human hearing and run that through Task Scheduler in Windows.

  9. Anonymous said on September 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    The truth of the matter is the re-design of the mixer from XP to win 7 was a FAIL

    Even I had some visual basic programs that got broken with the NEW WIN 7 GARBAGE mixer

    IT’s when all the DRM and software attacks to stop recording occured.
    Either YOUR REALLY OLD hardware and OS or DIFFERENT software is now needed to use your old good stuff.
    I don’t KNOW where you get your CREATIVE drivers, but I still have old AUDIGY Platinum Pro’s (plural)

    In 2015, I get MY drivers for these cards here.
    These will fix bunch of stupid things. Like headphones killing off sound when plugged in.

    Then even with Volume2 (where that 2 looks like “squared”) I am not happy with the mixer.
    In XP I had fall in love with CLOCKSTER XP (from VB source code before that disaster burned to the ground)

    Now they have the .NET mixer (from source code), but it’s still junk.

    The only reason I went with 7 is for the 64 bit.
    Today I see that a XP 64 bit is BETTER than WIN 7 in MANY WAYS.

    I most certainly do NOT have audio problems in XP.

    After windows 7 I started shopping for a 36 channel mixer. I mean seriously.

    Even HAM radio/SDR is a PAIN with win7 mixer. WHY?
    Cause of that mixer usually, that’s where all the bigs, glitches and grief comes from.

    in linux we have a better mixer with QASMixer AlsaMixer
    It’s PAST time to DUMP the stupid.

    The microsoft VISION going forward is a fascist ecosystem dump, but you didn’t hear that here

  10. Finnen said on September 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Funny thing is that this started happening to me recently after going back to Windows 7 (clean install). I’m using USB sound card that was shipped with Creative Alpha 3D headset. I don’t have this headset anymore but I’m still using the USB sound card from it (it was detachable). I used it for last 2-3 years without problems but right now the same issue started happening to me. I talk on Skype, play some games or just listen to the music and suddenly all sounds stop playing. I need to disable/enable sound card in Audio Devices settings. Weird issue, never had it before.

  11. hirobo2 said on September 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I have two pairs of the same Creative speakers. One of them occasionally malfunctions b/c of a bad soldering job. Sometimes, Creative speakers do cut out b/c of defective hardware…

  12. TekWarfare said on September 26, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    We have a pair of Bose Companion 5 speakers that go into standby after 10 or 15 minutes of idling. We’ve kept them because of the great sound quality, and the auto standby is rarely a problem for our use case. However, this auto standby “feature” that can’t be configured is a joke and I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy speakers that do this. I also wouldn’t call what you’ve done “fixing the issue”, you’re managing the issue at best.

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