Manage Sound in Windows 10

Edited by Jay

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Adjusting sound in Windows 10 was typically managed via the control panel, that is, until the April 2018 update. Now, users have the option of editing sound; output, input (microphone), and app volumes from the Settings App. One of the great features of Windows 10 is the ability to manage various options via the Settings Application. Having access to critical settings in one location is convenient, and makes for a more fluid user experience.

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Many people use their Windows 10 PC for various multimedia functions, so being able to change sound options quickly is essential for maximizing their setup. For example, if you plan on editing audio, you might want to increase the sample and bit depth to ensure higher quality production. Also, if you intend to record audio with your PC, you may need to boost the microphone levels to capture the recording better.

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In this VisiHow article, we're going to show how to manage sound options using the settings app in Windows 10. For this tutorial, we used a Clevo laptop, running Windows 10 Professional.

Windows 10 Output Sound Settings

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  1. 1
    Using your keyboard, press the Windows key + X at the same time.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-01.png
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  2. 2
    When the Quick Link menu pops-up, click or tap "Settings".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-02.png
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  3. 3
    With Windows Settings app open, tap or click "System".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-03.png
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  4. 4
    On the System window, click or tap "Sound" in the left-side pane.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-04.png
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  5. 5
    The first option on the Sound window is "Output Device". Tap the drop-down arrow to view your available output devices.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-05.png
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  6. 6
    With the output device menu expanded, select the option that best suits how you'll be using the output sound on your machine. These options will vary depending on what types of hardware you have installed on your system.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-06.png
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  7. 7
    To adjust the options for the output hardware selected, click the "Device properties" link.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-07.png
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  8. 8
    On the General tab you can; view the controller properties, jack information, as well as enable or disable the output device.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-08.png
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  9. 9
    On the Supported Formats tab, you can; select the encoded formats and Sample Rates. You can also click the "Test" button to hear how each setting sounds.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-09.png
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  10. 10
    On the Levels tab you can adjust both the master volume and balance. Adjust the balance to make either the left or right-side louder or quieter.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-10.png
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  11. 11
    On the Enhancements tab you can enable/disable available sound effects, such as "Loudness Equalization".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-11.png
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  12. 12
    On the Advanced tab you can select the default sample and bitrate using the drop-down menu. Also, you can use "Exclusive Mode", which allows applications to take control of the output device, as well as give Exclusive Mode applications priority.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-12.png
    To return to your original settings, click or tap "Restore defaults".
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  13. 13
    On the Spatial sound tab, you can choose the spatial sound format. If you wish to return to the device's original settings, click or tap "Restore defaults".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-13.png
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  14. 14
    Back on the main Sound window, you can adjust the master volume for the device selected by moving slider horizontally.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-14.png
    If you're having playback issues, click or tap the "Troubleshoot" button, then follow the onscreen instructions.
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Windows 10 Input Sound (microphone) Settings

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  1. 1
    On your keyboard, press the Windows key + X simultaneously.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-01.png
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  2. 2
    From the Quick Link menu, click or tap "Settings".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-02.png
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  3. 3
    With the Windows Settings app open, click or tap "System".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-03.png
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  4. 4
    From the System window, click or tap "Sound".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-04.png
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  5. 5
    Once on the Sound window, scroll down to the "Input" section. To select an input device, expand the drop-down below; "Choose your input device".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-15.png
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  6. 6
    To view additional settings for your selected input (microphone) device, click or tap the "Device properties" link.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-16.png
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  7. 7
    On the General tab you can; view the controller's properties, jack information, as well as enable or disable selected device.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-17.png
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  8. 8
    From the Listen tab you can; Enable Listen to this device and select the Default Playback Device. Also, you can choose to continue running or to disable while on battery power.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-18.png
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  9. 9
    On the Levels tab you can adjust the; Microphone and Microphone boost level.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-19.png
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  10. 10
    On the Enhancements tab, you can enable/disable sound effects such as; Noise Suppression, Beam Forming, and Acoustic Echo Cancellation.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-20.png
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  11. 11
    On the Advanced tab, you can select the sample rate and bit depth. Also, you can allow Applications to take exclusive control of the input (microphone) device.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-21.png
    If at any time you wish to return to the devices stock settings, click or tap the "Restore Defaults" button.
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  12. 12
    Back on the Sound window in the Windows Settings app, you can test your microphone. If you're having issues with any of your input devices, tap or click the "Troubleshoot" button.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-21A.png
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App Volume and Device preferences

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  1. 1
    Using your keyboard, press the Windows key + X together.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-01.png
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  • 2
    When the Quick Link menu launches, click or tap "Settings".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-02.png
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  • 3
    Once in the Windows Settings app, tap or click "System".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-03.png
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  • 4
    From the System window, click or tap "Sound" in the left-hand menu pane.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-04.png
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  • 5
    On the Sound window, scroll down and tap or click; "App volume and device preferences".
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-22.png
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  • 6
    On the App volume and device preferences window, you can; adjust the master volume and select both the output and input devices. You also have the option to select the output/input devices for specific applications, in addition to setting the master volume for each.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-23.png
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  • 7
    Another way to quickly access your computer's sound options is via the taskbar/notification area. Click or tap the sound icon, then select one of the following options; Open Volume Mixer, Open Sound settings, Enable/Disable Spatial sound, Sounds (system), and Troubleshoot sound problems.
    NorthernTouch manage-sound-windows-10-24.png
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  • If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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