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Windows 7: New PC's sound is way way too low

26 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]
New PC's sound is way way too low

Hi everyone, first post so please bear with me.

I just bought a new PC: HP p7-1270t w/ Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit] OS.
The sound is way way too low!

On my old computer, I had 10 year old Polk speakers that, with the settings on max, the sound did reverberate through the entire house. I plugged those same speakers into the new machine, and even with volume settings on max, the noise is barely audible. Yes, it's there, but if you want to listen to music or watch DVD's or web content, the sound is completely unacceptable.

Please help!

I've done things like change from Night mode to theatre mode, no difference. I enabled loudness equalization or whatever it is, no difference. I played with the wave bars on media player, and yes I did notice a small difference, but again still completely unacceptable.

I would like to know possible problems/solutions. Do I need to download new codecs or anything to make the sound louder? Update driver? Could I have bad hardware components, bios etc? I do plan on buying new speakers, I see on the web some threads about independent power speakers, but to be honest I'm skeptical of this, because the 10 year old speakers I have worked just fine on my old Windows XP computer.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

You need "powered" computer speakers - ones that have their own built in power amplfier. Many old speakers in the day of yiour 10 year old Polk speakers were not "powered" speakers as many old sound cards had the power amp built on the sound card and the reason for speakers that did not have a built in power amp. If they are not powered, that is the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]

OK, thanks for that. Can anyone recommend good speakers given my specs?
I'd like to stay as cheap as possible, under $30-40 and preferably less, thanks!

Also not looking to take up too much space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

I don't know about "good speakers" - that definition can mean different things to different people. But, powered computer speakers are available many places, even Wal-Mart. Check Best Buy, HH Gregg, the large chain office supply stores such as OfficeMax, Staples, OfficeDepot, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]

Well, I don't really know anything about speakers, to be honest.
So when it comes to lingo and specs, I would be clueless what to look for.

I am looking for something that will give:

#1: Good performance for my needs
I enjoy multimedia content online, watching DVDs on my PC, and most of all, listening to music, sometimes quite loud

#2: Reliable
My last speakers outlived the computer, which made it 10 years. I don't want some bad product that will become defective in a year or two, or less.

#3: Indepent powered
I've now found out that my motherboard provides only "line out" 1V signal that will not drive speakers, so I need powered ones.

I've started looking at $10-20 speakers, and will spend $30 or so if the difference in performance is worth it. Otherwise, I'm not looking to spend $50 or $100 or more on speakers.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

I assume you want only 2 speakers?

Here is a list of those at Newegg in the 25 to 50 dollar category. - Computer Hardware, Soundcards, Speakers & Headsets, Speakers, 2.0, $25 - $50

Without hearing any of them, I'd take a chance on the Altec-Lansing or Logitech units at 27.99, free shipping.

I had a 15 dollar pair of Yamaha speakers 15 years ago that sounded pretty good, but have since gone to headphones.

DON'T get caught up in the specs or lingo. That stuff is typically exaggerated and intended to dazzle you and make you feel inferior. You won't be able to tell a damn thing about how they sound without actually listening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

I buy most of my computer parts from neweeg, but the best thing is to go to somewhere such as Best Buy that has demo setups on speakers. You can then tell what you want for your price range.

I would look at the "2.1" systems - two small speakers and a bass speaker. They are very popular.

I don't how far you are from Fishers but there is a Fry's computer store there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]

Thanks for the help so far guys. Yes I'm looking for 2.0, I don't really have a lot of room, and the speakers will have to go on the desk with the 21.5" monitor. In fact, the desk is not much wider than the monitor, really, so I will probably have to angle the speakers in order to keep them next to the monitor and not behind it.

So far I've looked into the Logitech X-140 and it says they have 2 active and 2 passive radiators. Again, I don't know about this stuff, but my impression is that each satellite has two speakers, one is active and one is passive, and I'm not sure if the passive ones won't work well with my new computer, given the problem I mentioned before. I just don't know enough about these things.

Also the edges are flat, not rounded, and I'm curious if that makes a difference with the sound. Metal/plastic cover vs. cloth, etc.

Otherwise, those looked like the best bet in my price range. I could be wrong but maybe any negative reviews online were from people who can only tolerate more expensive setups.

Pretty much I have to order those online because even Best Buy says they are out of stock. There is a Walmart 25 mins from me, but otherwise the other major retailers are in Ft. Wayne about 45 mins away. Kind of a pain. Walmart also has the Logitech S120 which I think are the pretty standard cheap PC speakers. I'm wondering the X-140 will be significantly better to pay 2.5x as much?

Also feel free to suggest others, thanks again!

oh, and one more thing ... some of the speakers advertised that they are magnetically encased (or something) in order to prevent interacting with the monitor, but I couldn't find out for sure on these X-140s ... do you know if they are? I will have to put any speakers very close to the monitor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

There is no substitute for actually hearing the speakers. If you cannot do that in advance, you are at a disadvantage.

The passive/active thing is a reference to speaker design and should mean nothing in your case. The speakers have amplifiers built in----that's the main point.

Nor would I pay any attention to rounded, flat, metal, cloth, etc.

I've never encountered monitor interference from a speaker. My suspicion is that it is more marketing drivel to intimidate you---apparently with some success.

If it's any comfort: Altec Lansing is a highly regarded speaker manufacturer dating back 50 years or more. They are very well known in hi-fi circles.

Logitech, on the other hand, is primarily known for mice and keyboards.

Signifying very little. The fact is that both will be built in Asia of modest components.

You are better off playing music through any type of external hi-fi system available---or through good headphones. I play mp3s by using an ordinary cable from my PC sound card to a standard audio receiver in the same room. The receiver has its own full size speakers.

If you can't do that and can't listen in advance, just roll the dice and take a chance--ideally with some type of return privileges. But of course, you won't be able to audition the replacements either.

I'd keep your expectations pretty low and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]

Yeah I know it's too bad for me, the next time I will be in Ft. Wayne without making a special trip is Friday, and then if I need to compare and shop around etc. and make a second trip it might be a couple weeks before buying any speakers. I don't want to wait that long.

Also I don't ever use headphones or any devices like that, I listen to the music loud and my hearing would go if I used headphones. Basically I like to immerse myself in the music in an eccentric way, so I like the room getting filled up with it, if that makes sense.

I've never had a sub woofer, and to be honest I'd be afraid that with the volume up the bass might take over and start vibrating etc. Anytime I hear someone plead for more base I get the image of the booming car driving down the road and I'm just not into that, I'd like a little clear base but not overpowering everything else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 New PC's sound is way way too low

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