Asus CX5 Chromebook and the strange issue with the speakers

By - Dan Millward

Updated -

I recently took advantage of Black Friday and bought an Asus CX5 Chromebook from Amazon. It was a great deal. I managed to get my hands on the Intel i5 quad-core model for just £599.99. Soon after purchasing this, I noticed they were no longer available, so I was lucky to get one at such a good price.

LATEST UPDATE: Good news, the speaker issue with the Asus CX5 has been fixed. Find out more in my latest post about the Asus CX5 speakers.

I went for the i5 model because I wanted to see what an eleventh-generation Intel i5 quad-core could offer. The fact is, not much more than what I can get from my Asus Chromebox Intel i5 dual-core eight-generation. Find out whether I think buying an Intel i5 Chromebook is necessary.

One of the first things I noticed was a really strange issue with the speakers. At first, I thought I was imagining it, then I thought it must have been the song I was playing. Nope, it was definitely an issue with the speakers or should I say software.

Asus CX5 speaker issue

The first thing I’ll say is the speakers on the Asus CX5 are pretty impressive. They are really loud and the sound is pretty decent. I decided to play Ocean Drive, which has a good bass line to it.

At first, it sounded fine, but then it sounded as if the left speaker was fading out into the right speaker. I thought it was strange because I could not remember the song fading out from left to right. I decided to play another tune and the same issue occurred.

Spotify on Chromebook
Using Spotify on my Chromebook

This was really off-putting and was really getting in the way of me enjoying my music. The issue was really noticeable, which had something to do with the sound generally being so good. When it was playing the music correctly, it sounded great, so it was really obvious when it started having these issues.

I had a look online

It took me a whilst to try and establish what was wrong. The problem was it was intermittent, which makes it more difficult to pinpoint. I took a look online and noticed other people had the same issue. They were describing the exact problem of music going from one speaker to the next.

Some people were suggesting issues with the speakers. However, I don’t think this was possible because it sounded intentional. This is why at first I thought it was the song. It sounded like the producer intentionally faded the music from the left to the right speaker.

Someone mentioned it sounded like a software issue, and I felt this was the most likely situation. I was somewhat relieved because software issues can be rectified. My Chromebook was up to date using the latest Chrome OS 94 and no further updates were available.

I reported the problem to Google

I decided to report the problem to Google. This is something someone suggested. To report a problem you’re experiencing on your Chromebook you can simply hold down Alt + Shift + i. You’ll then be presented with a dialogue box similar to the one you can see below.

The dialogue box that appears on your Chromebook when pressing Alt + shift + i

This is a really good way of reporting issues. I would strongly recommend doing this because it will help the team deal with any Chrome OS problems. The more people who report these issues the more information they will have to fix any problems.

My Asus CX5 received an update

I continued to listen to music throughout the day because I was struggling to understand what was wrong. It was frustrating because as I’ve already mentioned, it was really noticeable. In the end, I decided to use my Bluetooth headphones instead when I decided to have a music night with Spotify.

The next day I notice there was an update. I did not really look into it much and just decided to restart my Chromebook. This appeared to fix the issue I had with the speakers.

I don’t think my reporting the issue had anything to do with this fix. I’m sure people before me had already reported it, which makes me think it is something Google or Asus is aware of. It just appears I did not get the update straight away.

Summary

If you’ve just bought an Asus CX5 and have issues with the speakers. I would strongly suggest waiting a couple of days to see if you receive an update. If you do, this should hopefully fix the problem.

I would also strongly suggest reporting the issue because it is good for Google to have this data. The good news is it does appear to be a software issue rather than a hardware issue.

I’m thinking it may be something to do with the technology Harmon Kardon has used. It appears they’ve tried to make the laptop sound much better when the speakers have a surface below them. I might be wrong, but perhaps this technology was not working as intended.

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6 thoughts on “Asus CX5 Chromebook and the strange issue with the speakers”

  1. I bought a CX5500 a few months ago and it had exactly this problem. I didn’t receive an update to fix it.

    I returned it and then ordered a replacement as I love the Chromebook otherwise. I got it today and it has the same issue again.

    Do you know what version of the update resolved the problem for you?

    Thank you , ALan

    Reply
    • Hi Alan

      Unfortunately, the fix was short-lived. The issue come and then went and come back again. I’m now stuck with a Chromebook with a speaker issue. I have spoken to Asus but they gave a very much template response, which was disappointing. Essentially stating I could send it back to them for repair. However, if they found no issue I would be charged. The fact it’s an intermittent issue makes me feel they would possibly state no problem and charge me for the privilege of them doing nothing.

      Reply
  2. I have the same issue with a purchase from June 2022. sound shifting from left to right to left and sometimes scratchy. I went for an update immediately which did not resolve the issue.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Dan for the information.

    All global consumers should have a heads up on this terrible issue.

    I recent bought a 15.6″ FLIP CB5500 Enterprise. I have the EXACT issue and it is really disappointing to be subjected to this from day one of a new machine.

    I contacted Google, along with your article, and they BLEW ME OFF and said ASUS is responsible for fixing this.

    With good intentions and hope, I now go to Asus for help. I will post the results here and elsewhere on the internet. Going to a Chromebook is a great thing, I hope ASUS does not cast a gray cloud over Chromebooks due to issues like this.

    Reply
    • Hi Gerry

      Thanks for your comments. It is really disappointing when the tech we buy doesn’t perform as intended. I’ve said all along this is a software issue and not mechanical. However, it appears from others I’ve spoken with that Asus has been treating as mechanical. This is because they’ve been asking users to send their Chromebooks in for repair. I don’t understand this because it’s obviously a software issue.

      The good news is. Once you upgrade to Chrome OS 103 the speaker issue with the Asus CX5 has been resolved. Great news for me and anyone else who owns one. I need to write an article about this to let people know. Again, this shows it was a software issue rather than hardware.

      My personal opinion, but I may be wrong is that it’s something to do with the Harman Kardon sound technology. Don’t get me wrong Harman Kardon has been around for many years and have a good reputation. However, I generally believe it was something to do with this, and it caused the issues people have been facing.

      I’m hoping the issue has now been resolved for good and it doesn’t come back in the future.

      I hope you get the outcome you’re looking for on your CB5500 Flip.

      Thanks for reading

      Dan

      Reply

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