No audio using HDMI

I’m setting up RetroArch on a new Intel NUC8i3 and I’m not getting any audio output in RetroArch using HDMI. Windows system sounds and audio from other emulators (PCSX2) work fine, however.

I used remote desktop to do some testing from my desktop, and when I used that RetroArch had audio using the remote audio device it creates, so it seems to be just the HDMI audio output that is not working. I’m using xaudio for my Audio driver, although I tired dsound as well. I don’t have any more info to provide right now, looking for troubleshooting advice.

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have you tried this?

No audio over hdmi is a frequent issue. If you search for it, you should find a bunch of threads with troubleshooting tips and solutions.

I don’t have any left/right options for Audio device. When I use the Audio device setting it brings up an on-screen keyboard, the same as this: How to choose Audio Device?

I’ve discovered 2 things:

  1. There’s no audio when I launch RetroArch from my front-end (LaunchBox) however, if I open some other Content once RetroArch is running, it will have sound when it opens. Example: Launch Super Mario World directly: ‘retroarch.exe -L core.dll Mario.smc’ - no audio. Then bring up RetroArch menu, Load Content, open ‘Mario.smc’ - then audio works.

  2. Audio works (right away) if I use Windowed Fullscreen instead of true Fullscreen. However I can’t use this config because of performance issues as described elsewhere.

Some info from logs:

[INFO] XAudio2: Requesting 64 ms latency, using 64 ms latency.
[ERROR] Failed to init XAudio2.
[ERROR] Failed to initialize audio driver. Will continue without audio.

[ERROR] failed_to_start_audio_driver
[ERROR] failed_to_start_audio_driver

Sounds like you’re missing the DirectX libs. Try running this web-installer from Microsoft:


That’s already installed. Audio works if I open content from within the RetroArch UI. It’s only when I launch content along with RetroArch (command line) that it fails. It also only fails in Fullscreen.

Ok correction to OP: dsound does in fact work, but it slows down emulation significantly and sounds awful.

Update: I have a working theory. It only fails when using fullscreen, when using HDMI for audio, and when launching content along with RetroArch. I hypothesize that the problem is that when lauching RetroArch the HDMI output is changing to a new resolution and context and at that moment the HDMI audio device is not available as a result. This would explain why it works if you open content directly from within the RA UI that audio suddenly works, because then the video output doesn’t have to go through any changes because its already in the state it needs to be in.

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I’m having the same issue, but with a wrinkle: sound will play through my laptop’s built-in speakers rather than HDMI, when opened through a command-line directly. When opening content from Retroarch’s internal menu after that it’ll use HDMI just fine. Happening to me with both xaudio and openal selected in fullscreen on Windows.

Even after loading via the command line directly, if I just close the content and load it again in the same retroarch session, audio uses HDMI just fine, which I think jibes with Osirus’s theory about it being the video switchover happening during that initial startup.

Intel Iris 650 in my machine, for reference, which is pretty close to the OP’s (I think) Iris 655 in that NUC.

This just solved my problem. I just purchased a laptop and promptly messed things up and had to completely wipe it and reinstall Windows 10 along with all the laptops drivers, etc… I installed all the necessary updates and I was ready to install RetroArch. First everything was in fast forward with no sound. Enabled vertical sync in in the Nvidia control panel, and everything was back to normal speed, but with no sound. Googled around a little and tried a few recommendations, but installing this did the trick. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, " @hunterk saves the day, once again! "

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Did you find a solution for this problem? I have the same problem now. Because of this i can’t launch retroarch from emulationstation.

No, not really. I’m just using Windowed Fullscreen now to avoid the issue.

Thanks @hunterk. Just reinstalled Windows 10 & had this issue all of a sudden. Your solution worked for me! Thanks dude!!

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Did you find a resolution? I have the same thing, I get sound if I launch retroarch directly, don’t get sound when launched through emulation station.

tested by launching command line, no sound from command line either. However running again from relaunching in the gui and there is sound. Very odd.

so from command line 1 out of 5 tries will load sound. Verbose messaging shows “failed to init xaudio2” on the executions that fail.

I’m hitting this exact issue. The workaround is OK, I guess, but seems like it would be better if there was a fix. What can I do to assist?

I’m having this issue with DP. Basically no audio in fullscreen, but I do get audio in Windowed mode. I’ve watched the audio device get removed into sound control panel then come back but no audio

I’m also having this problem but only on vulkan, windowed is fine but fullscreen the audio is forced through the speakers built into the computer. Setting the monitor and audio device to the tv doesn’t change anything, changing the audio backend doesn’t change anything. I’ve set the tv as the default sound device in windows and that’s changed nothing.

Vulkan audio in fullscreen worked prior to updating Windows 10 to the latest version, so I suspect a problem with the interplay between RA and Windows and Vulkan.

I’m using a pc with an i5 6600 and the intel hd 530 igpu. No problems with other programs that use vulkan.