Fixing 3.5mm Headphone Jack Sound on RetroPie

I was bored today, so I got out my old Raspberry Pi 3, with retropie installed, to do some retro gaming. I plugged it all in, with my little 2.8″ screen connected, and fired it up! Went to play a game and discovered there was NO SOUND! What? You can play it, but it’s just not as much fun without the sound.

So, I went to the settings to try and see what the deal was. I 1st went to the sound settings under the main menu. Everything was set correctly; Volume up, Sound Device: PCM, etc.

Then checked the retropie setup menu and changed from Auto to Headphone Jack. I then rebooted and tried it again. This time it gave me a weird error, “failed to find mixer elements”, when going into a game.

So, I tried switching it all back to auto and playing around with the sound setting under the main menu. Still nothing worked.

I did some google searches, tried some settings in the config.txt file like some people suggested, but nothing works.

But then I remembered I had installed the pixel desktop environment through retropie, and thought I just check some stuff out on that end. To do that, you just hit F4 on the keyboard. Then at command prompt you type startx.

Once I was on the raspbian desktop, I right clicked on the speaker icon. I noticed it was set to HDMI and I had speakers plugged it. I thought, could it be as simple as changing the setting from HDMI to Analog? I might as well try it, right? I did and then exited back to the command prompt under the shutdown menu. Typed in emulationstation and I then heard a small pop noise. Could that be the sound now working?

So I went over to one of the game and started it up (GALAGA), and sure enough, SOUND!!! About scared the crap out of me too, because I had turned the sound volume level up to 100, under the main menu setting, when trying to figure out the problem.

Anyway! If you are having the same issue and tried things like I did with no luck, you might try it yourself. If you don’t have the raspbian pixel desktop installed, you can follow this tutorial here.

About Robby 90 Articles
I am just your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Nerd ready to lend a keyboard to others who need IT help without the IT cost! I also love to cook, play golf and try to make people laugh!