How to Manage, Improve, and Fix Sound Quality in Windows 10

Joe Keeley 03-04-2018

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 make your sound experience better.


From quickly switching between audio devices to enabling sound enhancements, hopefully, you’ll learn something new here. Be sure to let us know in the comments afterward if you have any of your own suggestions.

1. Change Sound Effects

sound quality guide windows 10 - change sound effects

You can customize all sounds in Windows to get a personalized experience. To get to the area where you 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. Be sure to click OK when you’re done.


See our guide for spicing up your Windows sound effects The 5 Best Free Sites to Download Windows Sound Effects Learn how to change your Windows 10 sound scheme. Here are some of the best free sites to download Windows sound effects. Read More if you want some great resources for downloading free sounds.

2. Adjust Individual App Sounds

sound quality guide windows 10 - adjust individual app sounds

Clicking the speaker icon in your taskbar tray will let you 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. Quickly Switch Audio Devices

sound quality guide windows 10 - switch audio devices

If you have multiple audio devices, like speakers and a headset, you’ll find yourself constantly switching 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.


The program’s Playback and Recording tabs will show you all your tabs. Right-click any of them to perform actions like setting it as your Default Device or Set Hot Key.

I’d recommend going to the Settings tab and ticking Start when Windows starts and Start minimized.

4. Update Your Audio Drivers

sound quality guide windows 10 - update audio drivers

If you’ve been having trouble with your audio, you should try updating your audio drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More . 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 the steps above, but click Uninstall device rather than Update. Restart your system and Windows will attempt to automatically reinstall the driver. 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 automatically resolve any issues that it finds.

Still no luck? See our guide for fixing Windows 10 audio issues 7 Steps to Fix Sound Issues on Windows 10 When Windows 10 has no sound, check your sound settings, audio drivers, and codecs. We show you how to get your sound back. Read More for even more advice.

5. Enable Sound Enhancements

sound quality guide windows 10 - enable sound enhancements

Windows has a number of built-in sound enhancements that you can apply to your playback devices. To get going, right-click the speaker icon in your taskbar tray and click Playback devices.

Double-click the playback device you want to alter. Switch to the Enhancements tabs. To have it applied immediately, so you can quickly test out the options, tick Immediate mode.

Now you can tick which 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.

And… Buy New Speakers


If there’s one thing that’s sure to improve your audio quality, it’s buying better speakers. That’s probably not an option if you’re on a portable device, but it’s definitely recommended for desktops. Also, you’re mistaken if you think you’ll have to break the bank to get the best.

Before you do that, consider reusing any old speakers you might have. See our creative projects to repurpose old speakers to put them to good use, whether they’re in working condition or not.

But if that’s not enough, and if you’re looking for advice on what speakers to get, check out our guide for the best desktop speakers The 7 Best Desktop Computer Speakers You Can Buy Here are several excellent desktop computer speakers that'll give you the most bang for your buck. Read More . You don’t need to go for the full 7.1 surround sound experience, but get a seat that has a subwoofer if you want decent bass.

Get the Best Sound Quality Out of Your PC

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 make your Windows experience even better.

But it doesn’t have to stop there! Windows 10 has a hidden feature that will give you virtual surround sound in a few clicks. Set up the spatial surround sound feature called Windows Sonic This Hidden Windows 10 Feature Can Give You Virtual Surround Sound The Windows 10 Creators Update contains a hidden jewel: Windows Sonic, a new spatial surround sound tool for Windows 10. Let us show you how to set it up! Read More and perfect your audio experience. You might also try some Windows equalizer apps The 7 Best Windows 10 Sound Equalizers to Improve Your PC Audio Do you want to tweak Windows audio to your liking? Here are the best Windows 10 sound equalizers to do just that. Read More .

Related topics: Troubleshooting, Windows 10.

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  1. Sahalie Nelson
    August 9, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Ahh thank you. I messed up the audio and had to fix it.

  2. Keith Bridgman
    June 15, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Been thru this process several times because of Windows 10 updates changing the audio settings. The last update messed up the drivers and I had to download and reinstall which reset all my previous audio setting fixes. To fix the problem I did a right click on the speaker icon by the date and time. Selected 'Open Sound Settings'. Clicked on Device Properties and selected Clicked on trouble shoot under the speaker device. Then clicked on Enhancements and selected 'Disable All Sound Effects' and selected Apply. This would temporary fix the problem for a particular piece of music that might have been playing at the time. However, when I selected another song, it would revert back to the bad 'Tinny' Sound. To resolve it I then clicked on trouble shoot and let it do its thing. A popup window displayed and I selected an option to select a different driver. It came up with the same driver that has always been used and I simply allowed the option to redo what it does and then restarted the laptop. That seemed to fix it. I wish Microsoft would stop creating issues like is a real pain to recover from it.

  3. Bhupender Thakur
    April 10, 2018 at 5:48 am


    Thanks for sharing these tips. I am unable to immediate mode under Enhancement tab on my win 10pro v 1709. Am i on an older update? if yes, then let me know. I am in India by the way so it is possible that this part of the world may have to wait more for an update. But as per windows update i am on the latest one. Is there any other way to unlock this?