Increase audio volume beyond 100% in Windows

In general, the audio volume control for Windows has plenty of range for quietest and loudest volume you ever need, especially on PC with stand alone amplified speakers. However, there are cases where you have to work with what you have and you’re just not getting enough loudness even when you already have volume set to 100%. Like for example laptop speakers or bluetooth earphones. Which was exactly my case.

I have a hybrid netbook that often lacks volume even when at 100% and I had the same problem with AirPods 2. On iPhone, I can get plenty of volume from them, but on my laptop, even at 100% volume, they were just too quiet.

There are some audio “enhancers”, but the problem is they mostly refuse to work with bluetooth earphones as they simply ignore them and other tweaks with Windows Loudness Equalization which doesn’t even appear for bluetooth devices. Until I found Equalizer APO. I’ve heard about it before, but never thought it might resolve this. And it has.

Basically, you need to install it, select which device you want to apply it to like so:

APO_Device.png

There might be more devices listed in your case, only select those that you want Equalizer APO to apply to. My other laptop had Realtek device and AirPods 2 listed when I had them connected. Since I wanted volume boost to only apply to AirPods 2, I only selected those. So laptop speakers work like before, but AirPods 2 have boosted volume. In example above, it’s the hybrid netbook that needed some extra boost in volume.

Then you fire up the Configuration Editor which allows you to control the audio:

APO_Preamp.png

Since I only need volume boost, I’ve removed the rest of features using red minus button. And then cranked up the gain to +20dB (you can use less if you feel desired volume has already been achieved or if you can hear audio distortion). The neat thing about this pre-amp is that it works along Windows volume control. So you can still make things very quiet or very loud using regular Windows volume controls, hardware buttons or hotkeys just like before. But you can go beyond original volume when at 100%, depending on boost you set. Equalizer APO also offers other settings like Equalizer so you can maybe boost highs or bass if needed, but that’s for some other topic.

Right now, we solved the low volume when it could play louder. And that’s all we needed here 🙂

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