I need to make my laptop's speakers go to 11.
November 26, 2006 8:25 PM   Subscribe

I need to make my laptop's speakers go to 11.

Since replacing the motherboard most everything seems a little quiter than it used to be, and some films are almost too quiet to hear distinctly.

Some songs or films are nicely loud, so I know my speakers can do it.

Is there some sort of universal amp type of program, or other way to increase my volume control, maybe something in the registry, to increase the volume even though I am already at max on the Windows Media Player and Windows volume control?

(Acer Aspire 1800, WinXP Media Center Edition 2004)

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.
posted by Meatbomb to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you just buy some headphones for $14? If not, install Media Player Classic and a recent ffdshow build. Play a video in MPC, then right click video->Filters->ffdshow Audio Decoder->Volume section->check 'volume' and play around with normalization.
posted by aye at 8:45 PM on November 26, 2006

Media Player Classic can normalize audio by itself (Options > Internal Filters > Audio Switcher); if you'd rather make use of ffdshow-audio, you'll have to disable some of MPC's internal filters.

FFDshow will work without MPC, of course - just make sure to specify in its control panel that it should decode whatever it is you're playing.

If you're using some other program like WinDVD, and don't want to bother with installing more codecs, check its options for a 'Normalize', or maybe 'Dynamic Range Control' option.
posted by unmake at 9:02 PM on November 26, 2006

Theoretically, you could probably use virtual audio cable and some sort of soft compressor... but I'd probably spend the $10 for a pair of powered speakers.
posted by pompomtom at 9:17 PM on November 26, 2006

Check your soundcard settings in the control panel, some have weird controls of their own that are independent of windows.
posted by IronLizard at 9:28 PM on November 26, 2006

Can you just buy some headphones for $14? [link to some Koss over-ear junk]

If you want more volume because you're watching films or listening to music, and I imagine also care about fidelity, why not drop a little more on something nice, headphones-wise? :-)
posted by Mikey-San at 9:58 PM on November 26, 2006

I use VLC to do this exact thing. Yeah, it's not Windows Media Player, but it'll play DVDs, CDs, mp3s, or whatever. Hold CTRL and up to crank the volume up to 200%. CTRL+DOWN lowers it. You can also use the "Full Bass + Treble" equalizer setting to get more volume.

Come to think of it, what's your equalizer set at in Media Player? You could use the preamp setting in there.
posted by niles at 10:23 PM on November 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Love my Acer but the speakers leave something to be desired... seems to be the only place they cut costs. I just use external speakers or headphones when it is important. Yours have the AC97 audio? You can play with the built-in equalizer settings if you wish, it can help, but there really isn't anything you can do to overcome the fact that it is a laptop with cheap laptop speakers.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:26 AM on November 27, 2006

Oh, and here's a link to Media Player Classic (download), by way of clarification (it's not WMP).
posted by unmake at 6:48 AM on November 27, 2006

Yup, I use VLC for this exact reason (well, that and it is just that little bit nicer).
posted by antifuse at 2:22 AM on November 28, 2006

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