Do Audio Drivers Change the Quality of Sound?

Microsoft provides Windows 10 as a big improvement over older versions of Windows. In many ways, it offers definite upgrades in capability, but occasionally, it falls short in certain fundamental areas. To be precise, there are users who have bought new PCs or upgraded from previous Windows versions who report sound problems such as static, distortion, and more issues with drivers and sound quality.

If you experience any of these issues with your PC, you may end up unable to use certain applications, play videos or even hear anything from your speakers.

What to Do To Fix Sound Quality Issues

Luckily, there is always a fix to these audio quality issues, no matter how complicated they may seem. You simply need a systematic approach to figuring them out. For this reason, let’s examine five solutions that should help you get the proper sound out of your Windows 10 computer.

1. Run the Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooting Tool

If your sound drivers work fine but you still experience low quality, stutters or distortion, the Audio Troubleshooting tool built into Windows could offer clues to the source of the problem and suggest a fix. To find this useful system tool, you should:

  1. Go to Start. Click on the gear-like icon and select Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. In the left-hand pane, choose Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on Playing Audio and expand it.
  5. Click Run the troubleshooter and follow the instructions.

2. Inspect Your Computer Hardware and Speakers

What are the chances of something going wrong with your PC’s hardware immediately after upgrading to Windows 10? Most likely, minimal. However, troubleshooting Windows successfully depends on having a meticulous and detailed approach. A process of elimination where you check everything out will ensure you do not waste time troubleshooting faulty hardware. Specifically, you should:

  1. Ensure all hardware and peripherals are connected properly
  2. Double-check your speakers as well as the sound card. You could also connect your speakers to an alternate sound source.

If you discover that you only have a problem with your computer, you may move on to the steps below.

3. Disable Apps That Have Exclusive Access to Your Audio Device

Sometimes, system-related options can cause issues and affect playback. One of the first you should look out for and disable is “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.” It is an option that lets individual apps override your default settings to control the device. While this may be desirable in certain cases, it will often cause sound quality issues when you try to use other applications. The following steps show you how to disable this feature:

  1. Right-click the sound icon located in your notification area then open the Playback devices listed.
  2. Locate the default Playback Device, right-click on it then open its Properties from the context menu.
  3. Choose the Advanced tab.
  4. In the Exclusive Mode, locate and uncheck the option Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.
  5. Save your changes then test your device to see if the sound quality improves.

4. Reinstall Your Sound Drivers

If you are positive that none of the above steps resolved your issues, then you will have to consider the possibility that sound drivers are at the root of your problems. While many of the generic drivers that are provided by Windows 10 update work perfectly fine, there are certain GPU and audio drivers that may cause problems if not installed manually. To manually locate, download and reinstall sound drivers, follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click your Windows Start button, and choose Device Manager.
  2. Go to the Sound, video, and game controllers section.
  3. Right-click your default sound device then open its Properties.
  4. Open the Details tab.
  5. In the drop-down menu, pick Hardware Ids.
  6. Copy the value of the first of the driver signatures. Paste it into your browser and Google it.
  7. Go to the official website to download the sound driver.
  8. Install the driver.
  9. Restart your computer and test for improvements to the sound quality.

Finding and manually installing OEM sound drivers is highly technical, and it is recommended to use software like Driver Support to ensure that the process of resolving issues of drivers and sound quality is as painless as possible.

5. Update Your Audio Drivers

This step could seem to contradict the instructions above, but Windows has been known to have quirky solutions to issues. Sometimes, you may find that manually updating sound drivers bring up distorted playback and even more audio reproduction issues. This is commonly due to downloading the wrong drivers or installing them incorrectly. When things take a peculiar turn, a different approach could provide a solution.

This approach is simple, and the steps below will show you what you need to do:

  1. First, right-click the Start button.
  2. Run Device Manager from the Power User menu.
  3. Scroll to the Sound, video, and game controllers section.
  4. Right-click your default audio device and select Uninstall Device.
  5. After completing the uninstall procedure, restart your computer.
  6. Open the Device Manager after restarting.
  7. Click the icon marked Scan for hardware changes.
  8. Windows 10 will automatically install fresh drivers for your sound device.
  9. Restart your computer once again and test it for improvements.

Get the Best Possible Sound Out Of Your Windows PC with Driver Support

By utilizing the steps above, you now know new ways to get the best audio from your Windows 10 PC. If you discover that the issues with your PC involve the sound drivers, Driver Support offers a service that automatically scans your computer and will inventory all supported active devices. When fully registered, the service updates all missing and outdated drivers so you do not waste time trying to locate them manually, solving any problems with drivers and sound quality.

Stop suffering through tinny, noisy sound on your PC. Download Driver Support today, get updated drivers and enjoy the best sound quality possible.