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Why is sound from my desktop so quiet and can I make it louder?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I recently built a new computer with the following specs:

ASUS P8-Z68-M Pro motherboard
EVGA GTX560 Ti gpu

(I think that's all that's relevant to this question)

The headphones I am using are Sennheiser HD448

I also have a laptop, HP Envy 14 (with beats audio software, but it's not the beats edition laptop). On my laptop, when I listen to music, or anything for that matter, 25% is pretty much the loudest I put the sound on before it gets too loud for my liking. On my desktop however, I have to crank it up to 100% for it to be almost as loud as 25% on my laptop.

I had the same issue with my previous desktop (ASRock gen3 extreme3 motherboard, same gpu).

My headphones are plugged into the back of the motherboard. I have installed the Realtek software that came with the motherboard and there is no difference if I have it installed or not. I'm just wondering if there is anything I can do to make the sound out of my desktop louder without distorting my music?
    
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post #2 of 9
Check your levels? Right click the sound icon in the task bar and go to Mixer. with your headphones plugged in it should have "headphones" listed with separate volume control.

There are several places the volume could be turned down.

Also make sure the headphones are plugged in as far as they can go.
post #3 of 9
Check that you have Loudness Equalization turned on in the Realtek settings.
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post #4 of 9
Sennheiser lists HD 448 at 114 dB SPL / 1V, which is kind of typical, not that quiet. I don't think anybody would complain about volume except possibly from a low-output portable source that has something like 0.5V or less.

So again, check all volume settings everywhere. For a sanity check, you could try booting a lightweight Linux distro from a live CD / flash drive and test the sound there. That should confirm it's something to do with software rather than hardware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kz26 View Post

Check that you have Loudness Equalization turned on in the Realtek settings.
I guess it depends on your perspective, but this would quite arguably be "distorting [his] music," and it's not really a solution as much as a kludge (not that those aren't good sometimes).
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeighborhoodGeek View Post

Check your levels? Right click the sound icon in the task bar and go to Mixer. with your headphones plugged in it should have "headphones" listed with separate volume control.
There are several places the volume could be turned down.
Also make sure the headphones are plugged in as far as they can go.

I have checked all my levels everywhere and they are all the way up to 100%, and yeh the headphones are plugged in all the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kz26 View Post

Check that you have Loudness Equalization turned on in the Realtek settings.

If anything that made it a bit quieter :/
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Sennheiser lists HD 448 at 114 dB SPL / 1V, which is kind of typical, not that quiet. I don't think anybody would complain about volume except possibly from a low-output portable source that has something like 0.5V or less.
So again, check all volume settings everywhere. For a sanity check, you could try booting a lightweight Linux distro from a live CD / flash drive and test the sound there. That should confirm it's something to do with software rather than hardware.
I guess it depends on your perspective, but this would quite arguably be "distorting [his] music," and it's not really a solution as much as a kludge (not that those aren't good sometimes).

I'll boot into linux later this week when I'm not so busy. It's interesting because anything else I plug them into they are plenty loud (android phone, iphone, laptop etc...)

Thanks everyone, I guess I'll try and play around with the settings a little more and boot into linux to see whats up

thumb.gif
    
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post #6 of 9
Not that it should be required but headphones that nice should have an amp of some sort anyways. Xonar DG works well and it's really cheap if you didnt want to go with a full blown amp.
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post #7 of 9
Perhaps try using another set of headphones or buds to make a second comparison to confirm it is the computer, although I don't see why it wouldn't be I have seen weird problems. My guess would be there is some setting that is set really low you are missing somewhere. The Linux idea will confirm this, if not then it would seem to be a hardware/power problem.
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post #8 of 9
My headphones(Sennheiser something, the model escapes me atm) are very low when hooked up to my onboard audio as well. All my levels were all the way up but I did find under the playback devices under the communications tab, the reduce noise by x% was set to 50% when communication was active. Even though I wasn't using anything that should kick that in, when I checked "do nothing" it cranked up the volume by quite a bit. It was still too low for my liking, but much louder than without it. I finally got around the lower volume all together by hooking my monitor up the onboard output and then plugging my headphones into my monitor and adjusting the volume up on the monitor. It isn't the clearest audio at higher volumes, but I couldn't stand it as low as it was before. Anyway, I'd check under the communications thing to be sure that isn't doing it.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strat79 View Post

My headphones(Sennheiser something, the model escapes me atm) are very low when hooked up to my onboard audio as well. All my levels were all the way up but I did find under the playback devices under the communications tab, the reduce noise by x% was set to 50% when communication was active. Even though I wasn't using anything that should kick that in, when I checked "do nothing" it cranked up the volume by quite a bit. It was still too low for my liking, but much louder than without it. I finally got around the lower volume all together by hooking my monitor up the onboard output and then plugging my headphones into my monitor and adjusting the volume up on the monitor. It isn't the clearest audio at higher volumes, but I couldn't stand it as low as it was before. Anyway, I'd check under the communications thing to be sure that isn't doing it.

mine was set at 80%, checked do nothing and it did help so thanks never even thought of looking there thumb.gif

its definitely acceptable now so I probably won't worry about the linux thing unless i have some spare time. +rep to you kind sir biggrin.gif

Also, I found out that apparently the audio on my envy laptop is given more power (or something like that) to make any headphones louder so I guess I'm just used to the loudness from my laptop.

EDIT: I just made the audio on my laptop even louder as well haha, not that it needs to be tongue.gif (love my envy)
Edited by Aleckazee - 3/12/12 at 4:01am
    
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