Sound might not be something you think about too much, but Windows 10 has many options to customize it to its full potential. We’re going to show you all sorts of tips and tricks to improve your sound quality and experience on Windows 10.
From quickly switching between audio devices to enabling sound enhancements, you’re bound to learn something new here.
1. How to Change Your Sound Effects
You can customize all the sounds in Windows to create a personalized experience. To do this, press Windows Key + I to open Settings and navigate to Personalization > Themes > Sounds. Alternatively, right-click the speaker icon on your taskbar tray and click Sounds.
Use the Sound Scheme dropdown to switch between the default Windows options. You can choose No Sounds if you want to mute all sounds.
Alternatively, click an item on the Program Events list and use the Sounds dropdown or Browse to select a different sound. Click OK when you’re done.
2. How to Control Individual App Volume
Click the speaker icon in your taskbar tray, and you can adjust your overall system volume. However, that’s not very useful when you want to control an application’s individual volume. To do this, right-click the speaker icon, click Open Volume mixer and adjust the sliders accordingly.
If you want to do this quicker and with the help of an enhanced Windows interface, download EarTrumpet from the Microsoft Store. Once installed, open it, and it’ll automatically go into your expanded taskbar tray. Left-click and drag the icon onto the taskbar to keep it there permanently.
If you want to remove the standard speaker icon and use only EarTrumpet, right-click the taskbar and click Taskbar settings. Click Turn system icons on or off and slide Volume to Off.
3. How to Quickly Switch Audio Devices
If you have multiple audio devices, like speakers and a headset, you will need to switch back and forth between them.
To do this, click the speaker icon in your taskbar tray. Click your current audio device name, and it will bring up a list of the other options. Simply click the audio device that you want to change to.
An even better way to do this is with a free and lightweight program called Audio Switcher. With this, you can assign audio devices (playback and recording) to any keyboard combination you desire. This is great for quickly switching between audio devices, especially when you’re using a full-screen application.
On Audio Switcher:
- Go to the Playback and Recording tabs to view all your audio devices.
- Right-click the device you want to customize.
- You can set it as your Default Device, and you can also click Set Hot Key to assign a keyboard shortcut.
Also, you probably want to go to the Settings tab and check Start when Windows starts and Start minimized.
You can use other automation tools to achieve the same effect. For example, if you have an Elgato Stream Deck, you can download the StreamDeck-AudioSwitcher plugin to switch back and forth between two audio devices with a single button press.
4. How to Update Your Audio Drivers
If you’ve been having trouble with your audio, you should try updating your audio drivers. Generally, you should keep your drivers up-to-date so that your hardware remains functional with the latest version of Windows 10.
To do this:
- Press Windows Key + X and click Device Manager.
- Double click Audio inputs and outputs.
- Find the troublesome audio device, right-click it and select Update driver.
- Click Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the wizard through.
If this doesn’t work, repeat steps one to three above, but click Uninstall device instead. Restart your system, and Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver automatically. If that’s still problematic, head to the manufacturer’s website and grab it directly from there.
If your audio problems continue, right-click the speaker icon in your taskbar tray and click Troubleshoot sound problems. Follow the wizard, and it’ll attempt to resolve any issues that it finds automatically.
5. How to Enable Sound Enhancements
Windows has several built-in sound enhancements that you can apply to your playback devices. To apply them:
- Right-click the speaker icon in your taskbar tray and click Sounds.
- Switch to the Playback tab.
- Double-click the playback device you want to alter.
- Switch to the Enhancements tab. Some audio devices won’t show this tab if they don’t support the functionality.
- Now, check the sound enhancement you would like, such as Virtual Surround or Loudness Equalization. If you click one, it’ll give you a description of what it does.
- When you’re done, click OK.
6. How to Enable Windows Sonic for Spatial Sound
Windows 10 includes a feature called Windows Sonic. This emulates surround sound for headphones. It also offers spatial sound, which makes the audio feel like it’s moving direction.
To enable it:
- Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
- Click System > Sound.
- Beneath Output, select Device properties.
- Use the Spatial sound format dropdown and select Windows Sonic for Headphones.
7. Buy New Speakers or a Headset
If there’s one thing that’s sure to improve your audio quality, it’s buying better speakers or a headset. Not all audio devices are built equally, and some will offer louder volume, deeper bass, noise-canceling, and a number of other important features.
Are You an Audiophile?
Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about how to get the best out of audio on Windows 10. These are all easy and quick things to do, but they’ll improve your Windows 10 sound quality no end.
Considering you’ve read this far and made some audio tweaks, you might be an audiophile. Want to find out? Take our fun “audiophile or not” quiz!