Speakers seem really quiet and bounce from quiet to loud?

Two Reasons Why Your Speakers Are Quiet

When your speakers are not working, it can either be due to a problem with the hardware of the speakers or the software of your computer. But to really understand why your speakers are so quiet, you will need to check each potential issue, perform any possible fixes, and then run a final check to see if your speakers are working.


Check The Speaker Settings

To check if there’s an issue with your speaker settings. First, you need to make sure that your sound isn’t muted. There’s usually a mute button or shortcut cut located on your keyboard that you may have accidentally pushed.

To ensure that your laptop isn’t on mute, click the speaker icon in the Windows system tray. Then, if you see an X next to the speaker symbol, click it to unmute. Alternatively, you can use the mute button or the function key shortcut on your keyboard if your laptop has one.

Check Default Audio Device

When you often use devices like wireless headphones or external monitors, those devices are stored in your laptop. So if one of those devices were set as a playback device, your computer would remain quiet if the device isn’t connected.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to set your computer speakers as your primary playback device. To do this, left-click the speaker icon and check your current playback device. If it isn’t your speakers, click the device’s name and then click your computer speakers from the menu.

When In Doubt, Troubleshoot

Every windows device has a built-in sound troubleshooter. It checks and fixes most problems automatically. To do this, right-click the speaker icon and click troubleshoot sound problems, then follow the prompts.

Check Communications Settings

There is a built-in low volume feature in some computers that helps you get clearer audio when you use your computer to place or receive phone calls. This feature can automatically reduce your volume by 100 percent and could be the reason why your speakers are quiet.

To check this, right-click on the volume icon in the taskbar and select sounds. Then, switch to the communications tab, and when you’re there, make sure the “Do nothing” feature is selected. If it isn’t, then click on it and save your changes.

Update The Audio Driver

  1. In the Windows search box, type device manager, then select Device Manager.
  2. Select Audio Inputs and outputs, then right-click on your speakers and select update driver.
  3. If no driver is found, then you can look for one on the device manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions.

Reinstall The Audio Driver

Alternatively, you can just reinstall the drivers by following these simple steps:

  1. In the device manager, select Audio inputs and outputs.
  2. Right-click on your computer speakers and select Uninstall.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. This will attempt to reinstall your audio driver.

Check The Loudness Equalization

You can also check the Loudness Equalization settings to find out why your speakers are quiet. If it isn’t activated, your speakers will produce a lower volume.

How To Activate Loudness Equalization

  1. Open settings, click on system and then click on sound.
  2. Scroll down until you see “Related Settings” and then click on the Sound Control Panel.
  3. Select the speaker that’s set as the default (usually has a green check)
  4. Click the Properties button and then click on the Enhancements tab.
  5. Check the Loudness Equalization option and then click the Apply button followed by the OK button, and voila. This should fix any volume issues you may have experienced.

Physically Check For Hardware Problems

If you need to, you can always open up and inspect the computer for any hardware issues that might be present with the speaker.


To my dismay, I discovered some Windows users might actually have an easier fix for this problem. Then I researched some more, and realized that it’s a little more complicated depending on what type of sound card you have. That sounds more like the Microsoft I know.

Don’t worry, there is a solution for you Windows folks: it’s just that you may have to try more than one of the following approaches.

The Built-in Windows Solution

  1. Open your Control Panel
  2. Select “Sound” under Hardware and Sound
  3. Select your speakers, then click Properties
  4. Select the Enhancements tab
  5. Check Loudness Equalization
  6. Click Apply

If you made it to the end of all six steps without scratching your head, congratulations. You’re good to go.

If not, you probably got stuck at step four or five. Some sound cards apparently don’t give you this option, or Microsoft thought it’d be too easy if all machines had volume equalization. Either way, there’s hope for you yet.

PC Alternative #1

  1. Open your Control Panel
  2. Select “Sound” under Hardware and Sound
  3. Select your speakers, then click Properties
  4. Select the Enhancements tab
  5. Select Equalizer
  6. Turn up each EQ band.
  7. Save this setting as a preset for easy recall* (Optional)

If you got stuck here, it was probably on that darn step number four or five again. Luckily, there’s still one more option.

PC Alternative #2

  1. Download and install this software: . Make note of the install location. You’ll need this later.
  2. Select your speakers under the Configurator window that will pop-up while installing.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Go to the location where you installed the software.
  5. Select the “Config” folder.
  6. Open the config text document. Delete everything in the file.
  7. Type the following into the document: Preamp: +10 dB
  8. Click Save.

The changes will be effective immediately. You can edit the config file again if you need to adjust the volume.

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