When you play different types of audio in Windows, you may have noticed that some are louder than others, while others may be quieter. This can be an extremely frustrating experience that you may push by changing the volume regularly.
That's a problem that you may be able to overcome by changing the volume of the audio device manually, or by adjusting sound settings in the application that is playing the sound.
While that works fine if it happens occasionally, it is not a solution if you run into this issues regularly.
Some applications provide you with options to normalize the audio output. But what does that mean?
Loudness equalization levels the audio output so that louder and quieter sounds are closer to an average level of loudness.
If you use just one application to play sound, it may be enough to adjust its settings or enable normalization. But that won't work if you use multiple programs to play audio, for instance an audio player, a video player, a voice chat application and Internet browsers.
Some sound cards may offer volume management features as well, but not all do.
Windows 7 and newer Windows operating systems come with an option to enable loudness equalization which takes care of this on a system-wide level.
Here is how you configure it:
- Press the start button and type manage audio devices. If you are using Windows 8, type while you are on the start screen.
- Select the Manage Audio Devices result from the list with a mouse click or a tap on the enter-key.
- This opens the sound controls.
- Here you need to select the output device which usually means the speakers.
- Click on the properties button afterwards.
- This opens the speaker properties window.
- Switch to the enhancements tab.
- Before you make any change, click on preview to play a sound for comparison purposes.
- Enable loudness equalization here.
- Play the preview sound again. You should notice a difference in volume. If you did not catch it the first time, disable loudness equalization again and click on preview to play the song again. Repeat this until you notice the difference.
According to the description, loudness equalization uses understanding of human hearing to reduce perceived volume differences.
You can enable other enhancements as well.
- Bass Management enhances or redirects frequencies below a specified crossover point to reduce loss or distortion of bass signals.
- Speaker Fill creates a virtual environment for playback of stereo audio sources surround speaker systems.
- Room Correction compensates for room and speaker characteristics.
You can test this using audio or video files on your system to see if enabling the preference makes a difference in regards to the volume of sound on it.