That high pitched noise you are hearing on your Windows 10 devices? It is a bug!

Martin Brinkmann
May 15, 2021
Windows 10

Microsoft confirmed a new issue that is affecting the company's Windows 10 operating system. According to the report, users may hear a high pitched noise when they are using 5.1 audio with specific settings.

Microsoft confirmed the issue yesterday for Windows 10 version 2004 and Windows 10 version 20H2. Both issues are listed as known issues on the health dashboards of the two versions of the operating system.

The summary is identical for both versions of Windows 10 that are affected by the issue.

A high-pitched noise might be heard when using 5.1 audio with certain settings
Certain combinations of apps, audio devices and Windows settings might produce a high-pitched noise when using 5.1 audio.

The issue occurs in KB5000842 and later cumulative updates released for the operating system according to Microsoft. The company released KB5000842 on March 29, 2021 as a preview update. Two stable cumulative updates were released on April 13, 2021 and May 11, 2021 with the Knowledgebase IDs KB5001330 and KB5003173. The last update affected by the issue is the preview update KB5001391, which Microsoft released on April 28, 2021.

enable spatial sound

Microsoft suggests the following two workarounds to address the issue on affected systems:

  1. Users should try and use a different application if possible, e.g. a different web browser or application to stream the video or audio on the device.
  2. Enabling Spatial sound, e.g. by right-clicking on the volume icon in the notification area, hovering the mouse over Spatial sounds (off) and selecting any of the options listed there except for off.

The first workaround may not be applicable in all cases, e.g. when a specific app or site needs to be used to stream the video or audio content. The second workaround may be suitable, at least as a temporary workaround until the issue is fixed by Microsoft.

Microsoft engineers are working a resolution and plan to release a fix in "an upcoming release". Whether it will be fixed in the upcoming preview update for Windows 10 version 2004 and Windows 10 version 20H2, or in a later update, is unclear at this point.

Now You: Did you encounter issues recently when installing Windows Updates?

That high pitched noise you are hearing on your Windows 10 devices? It is a bug!
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That high pitched noise you are hearing on your Windows 10 devices? It is a bug!
Windows 10 users may hear a high pitched noise when they are using 5.1 audio with specific settings according to a new confirmed bug report.
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  1. bill said on May 28, 2021 at 5:18 am

    Bill: It’s a Feature!

  2. ULBoom said on May 18, 2021 at 3:55 am

    If you listen carefully you can hear Yanny or Laurel in the background.

  3. nealis said on May 17, 2021 at 6:34 am

    Just adding to the chorus of complaints about the quality of Windows updates. Every major update without fail, there is something off that I will have to take my time to fix. At this point QA is actually worst than Android ever has.

  4. ULBoom said on May 16, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    “Did you encounter issues recently when installing Windows Updates?”

    Probably, I had to completely remove FF and Chromium, which is a real PIA since they both leave stuff all over “just in case” and reinstall. OK after reinstall. Both had unpredictable cert errors, wouldn’t pick up certs after a time browsing and froze. Online help was useless, “Be sure graphics drivers are current…blah, blah.”

    Frustrating, you go for months with everything smooth, then random stuff starts glitching. That fix thing is loopy, “We know how to replicate a bug we made and will fix it whenever we feel like it?” What a bunch of lazy, pampered clowns! At Microsoft the Customer is Last.

    Meanwhile my Ubuntu home server updated its kernel and does security updates every few days with zero issues for over a year since I put it in service.

  5. Sebas said on May 16, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    And the bloatware of all the services, the telemetry. And the ms updating process stuck at 40 or 70% the last months, and then installing the updates again.

    The terrible bland user interface.

    W10: born to to make you never forget XP and W7.

  6. Henk said on May 16, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Only one of my three Windows computers is running Windows 10: this is a laptop I bought almost 4 years ago that came with 10 Pro preinstalled. When I got it, I thoroughly customized the system with a Windows-7-like start menu etc, disabling nearly all apps and the app store and telemetry and other such nonsense. I also completely blocked all Microsoft updates, except those for Windows Defender (the default antivirus).
    So basically this somewhat neutered Windows 10 system has now been running for almost 4 years without any system updates, just antivirus updates (and of course updates for the installed non-Microsoft software, such as browsers).
    Following the steady news stream about Windows 10 system updates, I cannot help thinking I made the right decision back then. No doubt some will warn me that I do run great risks skipping all system updates and thus running an “old version” now, and theoretically this may be true, but honestly: so far, in daily use I’ve never encountered any problem with it.
    But don’t I miss new features? Well, no, because basically I view an OS not as a source for features, but just as the base layer that allows me run any program I like. If I really need some new feature, then usually I can install some utility that is specialized in offering me just that.

  7. Steve said on May 16, 2021 at 9:10 am

    This kind of news makes you …
    laugh, if you are not using W10
    cry, if you are using W10

    Too bad the comedy will end in 2023,
    leaving just drama as the only Microsoft option.

  8. Anonymous said on May 16, 2021 at 6:04 am

    These Windows 10 weird issues marathon updates remind me of Google Pixel issues from couple of years back. Safe to say Microsoft want to reclaim its pathetic software update crown from Google.

  9. RIP Microsoft said on May 15, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Windows is Humpty Dumpty. I said it fifteen years ago, now I get to say it again. Fifteen years ago I said Microsoft will never be able to fix Windows. Look at them today, they couldn’t even finish the Win 10 GUI in five years. Why do we still have a half-deleted control panel from 1995 and a half-finished replacement that is full of new bugs and missing features?

    Or let’s talk about all these recent devastating hacks of US infrastructure. Every single hack was made possible by Microsoft Windows. Every piece of malware intelligence agencies and organized crime infect computers with is made possible by Microsoft Windows. OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS DON’T HAVE THESE PROBLEMS.

    Windows has caused the world trillions in damages and countless lost time and productivity, because Bill Gates created a corrupt monopoly through government bribes and illegal business schemes that the world is held hostage by. Windows remains a security threat and an unstable dumpster fire that is not suitable for business and should not be forced on anyone.

  10. Corky said on May 15, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    So Microsoft’s answer is to disable all but two of your speakers and depend on Windows to do the spatial orientation, idiots.

  11. Mike said on May 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I once had an Android phone that made an extremely loud, high pitch sound when it was rebooted. Thankfully I wasn’t wearing headphones, because it literally blew out the rear loudspeaker of the phone. The rear loudspeaker still “works”, but it sounds terrible now.

    Software quality today is ass, and every decade it gets even worse.

    1. Anonymous said on May 16, 2021 at 6:17 am

      I’m glad other people notice this phenomenon. In general, software has been gradually getting buggier and less optimized as the years pass. Running a web browser these days takes several times as much hardware power as it did a decade ago, and for what? 20% prettier websites and interfaces? This isn’t sustainable in the long term, this is a very worrying trend…

  12. Anon said on May 15, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    An then Microsoft criticizes people that prefer to run LTSB/LTSC, which are supported for 10 years and only receive security updates, instead of this Windows as a Service shitshow that are the regular versions of W10.

    1. Anon said on May 15, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      And by the way, KB5003173 also causes the same performance issues as in KB5001330. Games perform like absolute ass after this update.

  13. No Win10 said on May 15, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Another day, another Windows 10 bug or failure. At this point, it’s almost comical, if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    1. Anonymous said on May 15, 2021 at 8:12 pm

      Everyday I enjoy Windows 7 with ESU more. Stress free for 10 years and much better OS than bloated Windows 10. I don’t have to put up with this nonsense from Microsoft.

    2. Tom Hawack said on May 15, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      Windows 10, the buggy-woogy OS. It shakes, rattles but don’t roll. Makes it harder, day by day, to imagine the moment I’ll have to abandon Windows 7, and easier to conceive Linux as the next step. Will there ever be an achieved version of Alpha-Win10?

      1. ddk said on May 16, 2021 at 8:56 am

        I’d be a little bit weary about Linux, unless you’ve tried it out already. To me, it’s a big step down even from Win 10 as buggy as this sometimes is.

        Linux is just bad, period. the theming is flat out awful, hard to read fonts, a very crude, homemade, armature feel to it really. Plus one usually has to get under the hood to fix almost non-stop issues that seem to forever crop up.

        My other choice is Macos. It has been pretty much OK to use, it does take awhile to get a feel for it though. It doesn’t break nearly as much like Linux distros do and I would certainly recommend it before using Linux.

        Lots of Apple haters would say otherwise but my experience has been pretty good so far..
        If you go that route, look for bargains when they become available, overall their products are too pricey most of the time.

      2. Corky said on May 16, 2021 at 7:33 pm

        While i don’t disagree that some Linux distro can be a PITA if you stick to the big distro those issue are mostly not there, Kubuntu would be my recommendation for anyone coming from Windows and not familiar with Linux.

      3. Yash said on May 16, 2021 at 6:20 am

        That’s the effect of a Giant monopoly failing to do basic things. Every month its the same issue in Windows 10, updates takes around an hour to install and then surprise! do it all over again three times a week. Not to mention all the new privacy issues that comes with Windows 10.
        Google Pixel lineup pathetic updates vs Windows 10 pathetic updates. Who would win this lame battle?

    3. beemeup5 said on May 15, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Took the words straight outta my mouth!

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