Windows 11 has had its fair share of bugs since its release. There have recently been several reports that Windows 11’s audio falls too low, which users did not experience with Windows 10.
Normally, Windows sound-related problems don’t arise as a result of a physical issue with the audio device but because of software-related issues within the system. Following are several troubleshooting methods that have proved effective for other affected users. Choose whichever method is most applicable to you.
1. Check Your Audio Source
Windows 11 allows you to choose an appropriate output device by selecting it from the Action Center. After you select a device, your system routes the audio to it so that you can listen. If you don’t select the right output device, you won’t be able to listen to the audio correctly or even at all.
Here is how you can select the correct audio source on your Windows 11 device:
- Press Win + A simultaneously to launch the Action Center.
- Click on the arrow associated with the audio bar.
- Now, choose the audio device you wish to use for playback.
- Once done, play something and check if adjusting the audio source helped fix the issue.
In case the issue persists, move to the next method below.
2. Set Your Audio Device as Default Device
Depending on whether you’re connected to an audio device via USB or HDMI, you might need to specify it as the default audio device.
In several cases, Windows 11 users were facing a low audio problem because their external monitor without any built-in speakers was selected as the default audio device. If this scenario is applicable, setting your preferred audio device as the default device will do the trick for you.
Follow the steps below to determine whether your monitor is set as the default audio device. If it is, change it to your preferred device.
- Type Control Panel in the search area of your taskbar and click Open.
- Select Hardware and Sound from the list of options available.
- Next, click on Sound.
- In the newly launched Sound dialog, head over to the Playback tab and right-click on your preferred audio device.
- Choose Set as Default Device from the context menu and then hit OK.
You can now try putting on some music to see if this works.
3. Run the Audio Troubleshooter
Running the Audio Troubleshooter is also an effective way to diagnose audio issues within the Windows operating system.
Like several other troubleshooting utilities, the Audio Troubleshooter is also built into Windows. Running it will launch a scan that will check your operating system for potential sound-related issues and fix the ones that are identified without significant user input.
Moreover, there have been reports that Microsoft is already aware of the low audio problem in Windows 11, and has launched a few automated fixes that will do the trick for you. You can apply these fixes by running the Audio Troubleshooter as described below:
- Press Win + I simultaneously to launch Windows Settings.
- Choose System from the left pane.
- Now, click on Troubleshoot on the right-hand side of the window.
- Inside the Troubleshoot window, click on Other troubleshooters under the Options section.
- Next, scroll down to the Most frequent section and click on the Run button associated with Playing Audio.
- This should begin an initial scan. Wait for it to complete.
- Then, choose the device you are having issues with. If you are unsure, choose your default device and hit Next.
- The following scan should identify the potential issues that might be causing the low volume problem. If the troubleshooter finds any issue, click on Apply this fix.
- Finally, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.
4. Update Your Audio Driver
In some cases, outdated audio drivers are also responsible for issues like the one under consideration. A driver is a piece of software that communicates with your hardware to make it work with your OS.
The best way to keep your hardware functional with the latest version of your operating system is by updating your audio drivers. However, if updating does not fix the problem for you, you can try rolling back or reinstalling the audio driver.
Here is how you can update your audio driver:
- Type Device Manager in the search area of your taskbar and click Open.
- In the Device Manager window, expand the Sound, video, and game controllers menu and right-click on your audio driver.
- Select Update driver from the context menu.
- In the newly launched dialog, click Search automatically for drivers.
- Wait for the Device Manager to identify an available driver and then follow the on-screen instructions to proceed.
- In case the Device Manager does not identify any available drivers, click on Search for updated drivers on Windows Update.
- Then, follow the on-screen instructions to install the updated driver.
- Finally, restart your PC and check if you can hear the audio properly now.
5. Disable Windows Audio Enhancements
Audio enhancement packages (whether developed by Microsoft or third-party programs) aim to improve the sound quality and performance of Windows. Nonetheless, they have a well-known reputation for causing problems with audio and sound.
They may also be the main cause of your audio issue in Windows 11, which is why we recommend disabling them and checking if that fixes the problem.
Follow these steps to do so:
- Launch Control Panel and select Hardware and Sound from the list of options available.
- Next, click on Sound.
- In the newly launched Sound dialog, head over to the Playback tab and double-click on your audio device.
- Now, click on the Enhancements tab and checkmark the box associated with Disable all enhancements.
- Click Apply and close the window.
Windows 11’s Low Audio Issue, Fixed
Windows users are prone to run into audio issues now and then, and as we stated earlier, most of them are software-related. Fortunately, fixing these issues is not tough, as checking your audio source, updating audio drivers, and disabling audio enhancements should do the trick for you.
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