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Fix distorted sound on Windows 10 in a few simple steps

There are many ways to fix distorted sound on Windows 10, but they are all complicated and not easy to follow. The first step would be to run Windows Troubleshooter  to find any issues causing the sound distortion. This is a very long process, which can make it seems like it’s not working at all. The second step would be to try to fix the issue from the Sound settings.

In Windows 10, the sound system is quite impressive. It offers a lot of options which allows you to customize your audio experience. For example, you can choose to not have any sound at all, or you can pick a specific app to use for playing your music. It works quite well for most people. There are a few areas though where audio can sound distorted and/or muffled and this can be annoying.

Alexander Ognianovich Expert at solving problems Technology is Alexander’s greatest passion. With a strong background in writing, he strives to bring the most advanced technologies to the average user. He has a sharp eye and always sees what’s going on around him ….. Read more Updated: 16. June 2021. Published: April 2020

  • After upgrading from an older version of Windows 10, the audio may become distorted, and this is a fairly common problem.
  • Reinstalling the drivers is a very simple solution, try it first.
  • You can also use your operating system’s audio troubleshooter to get everything back in order.
  • It doesn’t hurt to check your audio devices, as a system update can be a fluke.

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Microsoft is touting Windows 10 as a superior improvement over previous versions of Windows. And it really is an improvement in many areas, but sometimes it lacks basic features. Many users who have switched from Windows 7 or 8 have reported audio problems, including distortion, noise, lack of quality and many other issues. Needless to say, these sound problems only showed up on Windows 10, and everything would work fine on the system used before the update. Fortunately, no matter how difficult the problem, there is always a glimmer of hope if you take the right approach. For this, we have given some solutions that will solve the problem and help you restore normal sound in Windows 10. You can view them below.

How can I fix distorted sound in Windows 10?

1. Reinstall drivers

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Continue with the sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Right-click on the audio device and open Properties.
  4. Open the Details tab.
  5. Select Hardware IDs from the drop-down menu.
  6. Copy the first value of the driver signature, paste it into a browser of your choice and google it.
  7. Open the official website and download the correct sound driver.
  8. Install it and restart the computer.

If you are 100% sure that your hardware is working properly, the first thing you should do is check the sound driver. There are drivers that work well in their general form, and they are provided by Windows Update. On the other hand, some GPU and sound drivers can cause many problems if you choose to use them manually. Windows Update will also install them. But don’t be fooled into thinking they will be enough. Now they may be suitable for some users. But if not, you know where to start troubleshooting. Follow the instructions above to download and install the sound drivers from your component manufacturer. If this does not solve the problem, go to the next step.

2. Driver update

  1. Right-click on Start and start Device Manager from the user menu.
  2. Scroll down to the Sound, Video and Game Controllers section.
  3. Right-click on the sound device and select Uninstall Device.
  4. Restart the computer after the uninstallation process is complete.
  5. Open the Device Manager again.
  6. Click the Check for Hardware Changes icon.
  7. Windows should automatically install the latest sound drivers.
  8. Restart the computer and see if you notice any improvement.

The following solution is a bit controversial, but we are talking about Windows after all. In particular, some users reported that the manual approach caused sound problems and distorted audio playback. What they did was usually right, but when a situation takes an unusual turn, we have to change our approach to dealing with it. And the approach itself is quite simple. The above steps should show you what to do next. It is recommended to use a professional driver update tool to safely update your drivers. With a special program you can save time and update all necessary drivers correctly. Driveris essential for your PC and all the programs you use every day. If you want to avoid crashes, hangs, errors, delays or other problems, you need to keep it up-to-date. The constant search for driver updates takes time. Fortunately, you can use an automated solution that safely checks for new updates and easily applies them, which is why we highly recommend DriverFix:

  1. Download and install DriverFix.
  2. Start the application.
  3. Wait until DriverFix has detected all defective drivers.
  4. Now the program will show all drivers that have problems, and you just need to select the one you want to fix.
  5. Wait for DriverFix to download and install the latest drivers.
  6. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.


Drivers will no longer be an issue when you download and start using this powerful software today. Denial: This program must be upgraded from the free version to perform specific actions.

3. Running Windows audio troubleshooting

  1. Open Start and tap the cog icon to open the Settings application.
  2. Select Update and Security.
  3. In the left pane, choose Troubleshooting.
  4. Click on the playing sound to expand it.
  5. Click the Run Troubleshooter button and follow the instructions.

While we’re at it, the Audio Troubleshooter tool we mentioned above may also be useful. The drivers may work properly, but the sound reproduction may be of insufficient quality, with stuttering, distortion or low quality. The Windows Audio Troubleshooter should at least give you an indication of the cause of the problem. In a favorable scenario, it could also solve these problems. If you don’t know where to find Audio Troubleshooter, follow the steps below.

4. Examination of equipment

How likely is it that a hardware problem will occur immediately after the operating system is updated? We would say minimal. But since Windows troubleshooting is a detailed and meticulous procedure and step-by-step troubleshooting system, you should check everything. Just in case. So make sure everything is connected properly depending on the type of sound system you are using. In general, you should check the speakers twice and the sound card three times.

Run a system check for errors

Press Start Scan to check for Windows problems. Press Repair Everything to troubleshoot proprietary technology. Run a PC scan with Restoro Repair Tool to find errors that cause security problems and slowdowns. Once the scan is complete, the recovery process replaces the damaged files with new Windows files and components. It is best to connect your speakers to another device to make sure. If the problem occurs only on the current device, continue with the other steps below. If you need to replace your sound card, check out this list of the best sound cards for Windows 10.

5. Disabled Allows applications to take sole control of this device Option

  1. Right-click on the audio icon in the taskbar and open Playback Devices.
  2. Right-click on the default playback device and open Properties.
  3. Select the Advanced tab.
  4. In the Exclusive Mode section, clear the Allow apps to have exclusive control over this device check box by unchecking it.
  5. Save the changes and notice the improvement in sound.

Let’s move on to the system settings that affect playback and can sometimes cause problems. The first option to disable is Allow applications to take exclusive control of the device. This allows individual applications (third party or system) to take control of the unit and override the default sound settings. In theory, this is a good thing for many reasons. In practice, however, allowing applications to take control when needed can lead to a host of problems. For some people this works well, for others it can cause problems. Therein lies the ambiguity of Windows 10. So follow the above steps to deactivate it and go to the next step. However, if you still can’t hear your favorite song or even the sound of the system without a metallic squeak, you should also disable the other option.

6. Disable sound effects for the default playback device and change the default format

6.1 Switching off sound effects

  1. Right-click on the audio icon in the taskbar and open Playback Devices.
  2. Right-click on the default playback device and open Properties.
  3. Open the Extensions tab.
  4. Check the Disable all sound effects box and confirm the changes.

There’s another thing you can turn off and adjust to avoid annoying distortion. Let’s talk about the sound effects first. They are primarily driven by the Realtek driver and are disabled by default in the system settings. However, the most reliable option would be to completely disable Sound Enhancements from the system. This can be done by following the steps described above. 6.2 Changing the audio format

  1. Right click again on the audio icon and open Playback Devices.
  2. Right-click on the default playback device and open Properties.
  3. Select the Advanced tab.
  4. Switch between formats, press the test button and look for audio improvements.
  5. Once you have found a suitable format that works without distortion, save your changes.

Some users have been able to solve this problem by simply switching to a different audio format in the playback device settings. The only problem with this solution is that you have to check different formats until you find the right note, so to speak. Follow the instructions above to change your PC’s default audio format.

7. Resetting Windows 10

  1. First, you need to back up your data to another partition or cloud storage.
  2. Then press Windows + I to open the Settings application.
  3. Open the Update and Security section.
  4. Select Reset in the left pane.
  5. Under Reset this PC, click on the Start button.
  6. Select Remove All and click Next.
  7. Once the procedure is completed, your sound problems should disappear for a long time.

If none of the previous steps worked in your favor, it’s time to bring out the heavy artillery. After all, if you upgraded Windows 10 instead of doing a clean reinstallation, there may be issues. Again, Windows 10 may work like a charm for some users.  On the other hand, it will be difficult for others to deal with a range of problems. Either way, Windows 10 may be missing a few things, but troubleshooting and recovery options abound. The Reset this PC option avoids a clean reinstallation, but it does update the system. If you don’t know how to do this, just follow the instructions above and you’ll be set. This process is similar to a factory reset on smartphones and similar devices and is very convenient. However, if you are still experiencing distortion, reinstallation may be the only solution. In that case, we recommend you to read this detailed article describing the reinstallation process. If you have any questions, alternative solutions or suggestions regarding the sound distortion problem we discussed today, feel free to share them in the comments below. Do you have any problems? Repair them with this tool:

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix distorted audio in Windows 10?

If you own a Windows 10 computer, you’ve probably noticed that sound tends to get distorted. This can be frustrating, but don’t worry – it’s within your grasp to fix. The audio in your computer plays back in a variety of different formats. Some use small floating windows called “streams” to play audio files. Others, like Windows, use separate devices to play back sound. However, when you start to play a stream or download a file from the Internet, Windows 10 may not play the file correctly.

How do I fix distorted audio on my computer?

There are many reasons for your computer’s sound to become distorted. Some of these reasons may include hardware malfunctioning, software issues, and even a virus. Hopefully, this article will help you to fix your distorted sound problems. If you’re experiencing distortion on your computer’s output, chances are it’s due to a misconfigured audio driver. Troubleshooting seems long and complicated at first, but, hey, it’s actually pretty easy. In this tutorial, we’ll show you the best ways to fix distortion on Windows 10, so that you can hear your computer’s output again.

Why is my PC sound distorted?

Sound quality is important for PC gamers. When the game is running, you want to hear the game audio without any distortion. If the sound is distorted, it can ruin the experience of your favorite game. Nowadays, PC games come with excellent sound quality, but in your Windows 10 PC, the sound can get distorted, maybe due to various reasons. So, let us see how to fix distorted sound on Windows 10. How many times have you heard the irritating sound that your PC produces when you’re playing a game, watching a movie, or browsing the web? I’m sure you’ve heard it and wondered what the problem is.

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