Computer sound board problem

I have an XPS Dell running Windows Vista 64. A few days ago, my speakers started making a popping static sound. I unplugged them and replugged them, and now there is no sound whatsoever from the audio jack in the back. I can plug it into my headphone jack, and still get sound. I plugged my speakers into a radio, and the speakers are working fine. Could my sound board be bad? If not, what else do I check?

without knowing your specific model of Dell (“XPS” covers a range of different systems) I’d put these here as possibilities:

  1. yes, the sound device could be having a problem; assuming the line-out and headphone out are separate outputs. Note that if your computer is even remotely modern, the sound “card” is unlikely to be a separate card and more likely to be integrated on to the main system board.

  2. the 1/8" jack on the back of the PC might have broken. 1/8" jacks are hilariously weak; I’ve lost count of how many I’ve killed due to wear and tear.