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Last reply by 02-11-2020 Solved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze
227523

XPS 15 9560, Doing away with Waves MaxxAudio, Fixed

Ok... so this as been an ongoing dilemma for me and it's time I took action instead of working around it.  It's concerning this AWFUL piece of software called Waves MaxxAudio.  I've been ALL over the web to find some type of hack or workaround to make this curse go away, and there are limited options. 

I work in audio and love my XPS, and wanted to use it as a mobile satellite unit.  It's impossible to do so because of the signal processing that goes on, which does all kinds of things to the sound.  What I need is for the audio to be totally, completely and 100% unaffected by the software.  Not to mention, This whole business of selecting what happens when you plug in your headphones has got to go.  This should be automatically detected.  I know plenty of Windows systems that do this. 

Well, regardless of any of the reasons, I want it gone, and I should be able to do so EASILY, not by jumping through all these hoops.  I'm kind of disappointed that Dell would agree to making this a NON option.  But I'm sure they don't care what I (the minority in this case) want.  That being said, here's my plan:

I'd like to do a fresh, clean reinstall of windows 10 so that NONE OF THE SOFTWARE that ships with any Dell system is included.  What I want to know is: Can I install a driver THAT ISN'T REALTEK and will NOT HAVE WAVES MAXXAUDIO as it's main audio manager, when I install a fresh Windows 10?

Has anyone done this on an XPS with any success?  I have read that Windows now automatically detects your product key by identifying your machine, so I don't think that's an issue at this point, but I just want to make sure that if I go through this rather arduous process of reinstalling all my software, that I will NEVER, EVER see this MaxxAudio curse ever again?

Solution (1)

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2 Bronze
2 Bronze
212751

You can disable the Waves driver by:

  • Open Device Manager
  • Go to Sound, video and game controllers
  • Find Realtek Audio
  • Right-click, then click update driver.
  • Selece "Browse my computer for driver software"
  • Click on "Let me pick from a list..."
  • Find the device "High Definition Audio Device"

It should switch to the default Realtek drivers. On reboot the waves driver will be gone, along with the prompts. 

Headphone audio should be improved but speaker volume may appear lower due to the lack of compression.

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Replies (32)
7 Plutonium
218842

First off, I'll say that I'm right there with you about not wanting my audio doctored by "optimization/enhancement" applications like this.  I don't have great news for you there, but I'll also share some experience having come from that same mindset.

First, the facts.  Waves MaxxAudio is part of the regular audio driver.  If Windows 10 had built-in support for whatever audio chipset is in that system, then you might be able to stick to just that in order to avoid getting it, but that would also limit your functionality, including having the headset jack configure itself appropriately based on whatever device you plugged in.  And it actually isn't possible to make that fully automatic for all cases, fyi.  For example, line in and mic use the exact same pin mapping, but mic input needs to have mic gain applied, whereas line in must NOT have that applied in order to be captured properly.  Additionally, the TRRS connector spec that supports headsets (headphones + mic combo devices) have two different pin mappings defined.  One was defined by Samsung and the other by Apple, and headsets on the market have to use one or the other.  If the system itself only allowed one setup or the other, then headphones with the opposite wiring design would not be usable in that system -- and there are PCs like that on the market.  This is why there's a "Headset (alternate)" option at least on some systems.  Another reason you're prompted for that is because it allows you to store different Waves profiles for different devices, e.g. you may want enhancements applied when you're using headphones but not when using external speakers.  If there were just a "Line Out" option, then that would allow audio to play out of both devices, but it wouldn't allow different profiles to be stored for each.

All that said, even if you were ok giving up all of that functionality, it's possible that Windows Update will push a more full-featured driver onto your system, which may include MaxxAudio.  I don't know this for sure since I haven't tested a scenario of not having this driver installed, but it's something to be aware of.

In terms of experience, I have MaxxAudio on my Latitude 7480.  I originally turned everything I could find in there off, but then I found that the volume of my built-in speakers was almost inaudible.  I turned it back on and it sounded reasonable again.  Frankly, when I'm using the built-in speakers, quality is going to **bleep** anyway because they're built-in speakers, so I'd rather be able to actually hear something than get less processed but virtually inaudible sound.  On the other hand, when I have external speakers connected, MaxxAudio makes them sound terrible, so I disable all of those "enhancements" in that use case in order to make them sound reasonable.

And yes, if after all this you decide to attempt a clean install, whether your system came with Windows 10 or you upgraded to it, your system would have a digital Windows 10 license.  It's not embedded into the firmware anymore, but your system's hardware fingerprint is registered with Microsoft, so after a clean install when it tries to activate again, Microsoft will recognize it and allow it to do so.


7 Plutonium
218810

 

@nebulon5"Can I install a driver THAT ISN'T REALTEK and will NOT HAVE WAVES MAXXAUDIO as it's main audio manager, when I install a fresh Windows 10?"

 

You can switch from the Realtek/Waves driver to the Windows native audio driver. The native driver does not have the Waves software. You might find that some functionality is lost lost with the native driver, and the audio quality might not be as good.

You can do this now without having to do a fresh install of Windows. You should suspend Windows Updates while doing this.

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.

 

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

5 Rhenium
219058

When someone who is a audio tech encounters Waves Audio, the result is not normally good.  For instance, advancements in sound reproduction have gotten away from discreet left and right channel outputs.  The sound on each channel contains some sound from the opposite channel which is actually more like nature than discreet sound.

The combined audio port is probably a second item which makes it harder to achieve your desires.  Waves has been modified so once you identify a device plugged in, you do not have to designate the device during follow on sessions.  If you change the device, then you are stuck until you identify it correctly.

The dimension audio component make my headset/headphone sound much better.  Many folks who just want to listen to music on their system probably appreciate this ability.  But for a audio specialists, it may be a problem.  Maybe there is some device you could add to give you the sound you want.  For instance, the USB/Bluetooth devices do not go through the Waves audio....

_____________________________________
XPS 9365, Inspiron 7567 Gaming, Inspiron 7779, XPS One 2720, AW3423DW
System fully Win 11 compliant
219063

If you're an audio pro, then you'd probably want to be using a USB DAC no matter what audio hardware or software is in the system, if for no other reason than to avoid the inevitable noise that will get added to the signal when running through the motherboard that was not designed with maximum SNR for its anlaog audio path in mind.


2 Bronze
2 Bronze
135238

Hi, you can just reinstall the system as the clear edition of windows if you want. How to do it?

1.: Open Windows Defender and go to Device performance and health tab.

2.: Select "Start again" option. It should be in the lower part of the window.

3.: Select "Begin", and now, I wish you the best luck :)

Note: Keep in mind that this option will remove ALL apps from your system, even the preinstalled ones. This option will also remove (in most cases) accounts, user settings, and sometimes, even personal data and customizations.

Good luck! :)

 

132934

Actually, the start again feature does not install a clean copy of windows, it reinstalls all of the OEM "enhancements" back to the OEM factory state. The only way to get a clean install is to install it from the Windows media creation tool.

As far as OEM software, Dell has gone from one of the worst in the early 2000s to one of the not-so-bads (I'm looking at you Acer, Lenovo and HP). Most of the malware installed in Windows 10 now actually comes from Microsoft (the King identity-mining software, Dolby Theatre, Customer Experience Improvement, Application Experience, Superfetch service, Edge Browser adware and click-bait, "Occasional suggestions" in start, Cortana, etc.).

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
212752

You can disable the Waves driver by:

  • Open Device Manager
  • Go to Sound, video and game controllers
  • Find Realtek Audio
  • Right-click, then click update driver.
  • Selece "Browse my computer for driver software"
  • Click on "Let me pick from a list..."
  • Find the device "High Definition Audio Device"

It should switch to the default Realtek drivers. On reboot the waves driver will be gone, along with the prompts. 

Headphone audio should be improved but speaker volume may appear lower due to the lack of compression.

132099

AT LAST! THAT DID IT!
Thank you.  I kept removing it, and it'd then find the driver, and reinstall it,over and over. manually changing it, (and then removing the waves software from program list) appears to have banished it for good and I don't get the surround sound dropping back to stereo 'with enhancements'.
Perfect, ta!

113200

Oh man... thank you for the instructions.  But alas, did not work.  I didn't have the option for "High Definition Audio Device" on my list.  In  fact, the only option was Realtek Audio Drivers, which is what I believe is already on there.  Bummer. 

Are you on a XPS 15 9560?

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