RealTek audio devices and the software that comes with them are very common in Windows computers. If your sound is muddy or distorted, you can try disabling the bundled enhancement software by going to the speaker properties, selecting the “Enhancements” tab, and then disabling these enhancements. These instructions are written for Windows 7, but they can also be applied to later versions of Windows. This method may also work with other (non-RealTek) sound devices that include enhancement software. Don’t forget to look in the sound properties for any additional third-party enhancement software!
Method 1 Disabling Audio Enhancements
1. Right-click the speaker in the taskbar and select Properties. This icon can be found in the bottom right corner of the screen. Right-clicking it brings up a menu with a variety of sound options.
If you don’t see a speaker icon, you may need to first expand and display all task bar items by clicking the arrow button.
2. Choose “Playback Devices” from the drop-down menu. This will display a list of your speakers and other audio devices that are connected. There will be a label on your computer speakers (for example, RealTek HD Audio).
3. Choose your speakers from the list and click “Properties.” This button, which is located in the lower right corner of the window, will open a second window with additional speaker options.
4. Navigate to the “Enhancements” tab. This tab will display information about any sound device enhancements that are being applied. The enhancement is active if the box next to its name is checked.
If your computer came with extra enhancement software, it might have its own tab on this menu. If you see any additional tabs (aside from the defaults such as General, Levels, Enhancements, and Advanced), select those as well to disable all of your enhancements.
You can permanently remove the separate enhancement software by going to the “Control Panel”Add “‘s or Remove Programs” and selecting to uninstall the enhancement software.
5. Click the “Disable enhancements” check box. This button appears at the top of the list of enhancements.
6. Click “Apply” to save your changes.
7. Test your sound. Play some audio to see if your sound quality has improved.
Method 2 Troubleshooting and Workarounds
1. Reduce the volume on your computer. Adjust the computer volume by clicking the speaker icon in the lower right taskbar. Your sound may be distorted as a result of the high volume.
If you have speakers connected to your computer, try adjusting their volume to improve the clarity of the sound.
2. You should update your audio drivers. A driver update can help to resolve bugs that may be causing your audio issues. You can search for your audio device on Realtek’s website, or you can search your computer manufacturer’s support website for your specific computer model. Download and run the installer before restarting your computer.
Updating the drivers may reactivate your enhancement software. After the update, you may need to go back and disable it.
3. Purchase an external sound card. If you’re willing to spend the money, an external sound card will almost certainly provide a noticeable improvement in sound quality. Most external sound cards connect via USB and work alongside your existing sound device.
Desktop computers can use internal or external sound cards. Due to limited physical space, laptops typically can only use external devices. Either option is likely to be an improvement over the built-in sound chip that came with your computer.
The cost of a USB sound card replacement varies greatly, but it is possible to get one for less than $10.
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