Last reply by 05-12-2021 Unsolved
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Inspiron, bad sound quality

Hi, I have a fairly new Inspiron laptop running windows 10. The sound quality on it is noticeably bad compared to other pc's, mac's or even my iphone. Theres still audio and you can here everything but its the worst quality ive heard on a computer because the frequencies clash. Also bass sounds like subs or 808s often don't sound the same between my computer and other devices. Ive tried using the built in windows equalizer in my sound device settings (I had to roll back my sound driver to use this) but it didn't sound any better. (btw I have Realtek High Def Audio) I'm wondering if this is a software or hardware issue. And if it is a hardware issue, will I have to get a new laptop or will it be as easy as plugging in an external usb sound card or something.


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@bigboiWASSUP  "And if it is a hardware issue, will I have to get a new laptop or will it be as easy as plugging in an external usb sound card or something."

If you were to use a usb audio interface you would have to use external speakers (or headphones) because the external devices cannot route the signal back to the laptop's internal speakers. How is the sound quality when you listen through headphones plugged into the audio port? If it is okay then using that port would functionally be the same as getting an external sound card, in the sense that you can connect external speakers to the laptop's audio jack.

Something you might not have tried is to switch from the Realtek audio driver to the Windows native audio driver. The native driver does not have the WavesMaxx audio enhancements that the Realtek driver does, so if the sound is better when using the native driver the problem when using the Realtek driver is probably the settings in WavesMaxx, which can be tweaked to possibly improve the sound.


1. Open the Device Manager
2. Expand the "Sound, Video & Game Controllers" section.
3. Right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio" and select to uninstall.
4. Put a check mark in the option to delete the driver software, and then ok.
5. Restart the laptop.

When the laptop boots up it will look for the Realtek files that were removed in step 4. If none found then it will install the native driver. If an earlier version of a Realtek driver had been downloaded then its files could still be in the laptop and Windows would install that version of the Realtek, not the native driver. So after step 5, go back to the Device Manager and check again for a Realtek driver. Keep uninstalling & restarting until "Realtek High Definition Audio" no longer appears under Sound...Controllers. If you see "High Definition Audio Device" that is the native driver, although in Win10 it can have a different name.

To re-install a Realtek driver you will have to download one from Dell or Realtek.



Jim Coates -- 18 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 


Thank you for the help, but theres still a problem. I uninstalled all the Realtek drivers until i saw the "High Definition Audio Device", but a couple minutes later the Device Manager page refreshes and the high def audio device is gone and it is replaced with just "Realtek". I repeated this several times, and it keeps switching back to "Realtek" a few moments after start up. Is there a way to fix this?

thx again



Try disconnecting from the internet or turning off Windows Update while testing. Windows Update is very aggressive in Win10.

Jim Coates -- 18 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 


Worked for me. Thanks.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Open Waves MaxxAudioPro - and disable all enhancements - little slider on the three tiles - magic - finally back to iphone quality using itunes on windows.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

what if dell created a software so that it  can detect the audio issue immediately and solved it instantly. lots of people go through this problem. thank you


Random person on the innertubes, THANK YOU!!  FINALLY, the sound on my laptop doesn't sound terrible.


Please help. This is a 2 weeks old laptop Dell 15 5000. The sound is crackly, its really distracting. Please how do i fix this? Thank you


Then why not get in touch with Dell.

If they cant make it better, how about returning it, & get a different laptop???

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