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Thursday
Oct172013

Fixing Muffled Sounds in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1  

For users of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, here's a problem you may encounter with your new PCs or when you upgrade your Windows versions.

Caveat Emptor: This tip will not solve all audio problems. It merely addresses a common one I've seen occur with several different PCs and I suspect many people will eventually encounter it.

 

The Problem

When playing audio (music, video, etc) you may hear the sounds as incredibly muffled or muted - as if you are hearing something in another room. 

 

A Note on My Hardware Setup

Look at this image of my (JBL Creature) speakers below. Notice that there are only two speakers and the subwoofer.

 

 

When the Problem Started

I've seen this occur in three separate scenarios

  • Windows 8 on a brand new PC
  • Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1
  • Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8/8.1

 

In the uppgrade scenarios, the sound was working correctly before the upgrade.

 

How to Fix

Right-click on your Sound icon in the System tray and click Playback Devices.

Snap00110

The Sounds Control Panel will open. Under the Playback tab, right-click on the active speakers and click Configure Speakers.

 

Snap00111 

 

 

This will launch the Speaker Setup wizard. Remember when I mentioned earlier that my speaker setup only had three components? As we see below 5.1 Surround is selected in Audio channels.

 

 

Select Stereo and click Next, Nexty, and Finish to get through the wizard.

 

 

 

Snap00115

 

Once the wizard is done, you should hear everything correctly in a few seconds.

 

 

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Reader Comments (7)

I was having all kinds of weird partially muffled sounds while playing a few games after I updated to Windows 8.1, and now I know why--my 2 speakers were set to 7.1 surround sound. Thanks much.

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMayor of Deviance

many thanks, fixed my problem!

October 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdazzler

muffle information is cool that is real great job that you share knowlegde is a holy job that you help people and people find this solution by you doing good job.

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteronlinenewspoint

thx a ton... will be prepared next time i hear that garbled mess

November 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommentersavedbyU

many thanks for this. it solved my issue perfectlty

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Thanks. This fixed it for me . I was really getting frustrated.

February 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I took the upgrade and now my playback is muffled as with other users.
My volume is set at 25%, but when I checked the volume mixer, it showed
green up to 25%, but also showed sound peaking in the speaker/HP above the green.
What would that be? Something simple I'm overlooking, I'm sure. :)

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSingnSally

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