11-25-2011 04:56 PM - edited 12-13-2011 12:24 PM
Beats-Audio - Sound system Enhancement
dv7t – 6100 Quad / Windows 7- 64bit
Introduction - Cave Sound Caper
This is a re-write of this document.
Parts One and Two have been flipped. It's a work in progress.
The purpose of this Post is to provide a method to enhance the sound coming from your onboard beats-audio speakers. The quality of the sound should improve - more importantly, MORE sound should be available. This is important if your system is suffering from lack of enough sound from the onboard speaker system.
This process does not make use of the Loudness Equalization enhancement. I tested the Loudness Equalization enhancement (for a different purpose). Setting the enhancement on my test system and then switching the enhancement off resulted in the “Low Sound” syndrome. It took some amount of work to recover from that mess. The Loudness Equalization enhancement, in this author's opinion, is to be avoided unless its use is necessary.
The original intent of this procedure has been to provide a means to increase the amount of sound available from the onboard speakers on notebooks that are equipped with beats-audio IDT sound drivers. The “Pre-work” on my original post was overwhelming the intent. If your system is healthy, and the only reason to read this document is to enhance the amount of sound from the speakers, there is no need to hash through the work to fix your IDT driver installation. I’ve moved that section to the end – IDT installation and other work has become Part Two.
You must have your IDT HD driver successfully installed into your system. The proper IDT HD driver contains the beats-audio interface.
Where to Start?
If you have “No Sound”, the Enhancement process may not work for your system. Please take a look at Part Two and decide whether any of the steps in that section apply to you. It is not my intention that you waste your time trying things you’ve already done over and over to regain the sound on your system. There are many posts on the forum on how fix “No sound”. This post addresses only a couple of “No sound” issues. There is one slight possibility – see the section about the controls in iTunes – make sure your sound players volume controls are not mis-matched – and make sure you didn’t turn something OFF by accident. If you turned off the sound while watching a movie and now the HDMI sound is off - Poof! You might not have any sound – anywhere. It's just something to check...
If you have “Low Sound”, you might consider reinstalling your IDT driver to see if the issue can be corrected: IDT reinstallation is described in Part Two.
SideBar: As of 24-Nov-2011
If you have a dv7t: check on your HP Software and Driver website for a new IDT HD audio driver. Depending on your model, there may be a new version of the IDT driver, BIOS, and other important updates.
Some Setup Checks and on to the Enhancement
Make sure all basic Sound settings are set to “Default” to start.
Portions of this procedure are "not of my invention". Full credit will be given later in the Post. This section explains how to increase the amount of sound coming from the onboard speakers. It also attempts to give you a bit of control over the kind of sound coming from the speakers that you may not have at the present. Beats-audio is great; frankly, though - it's made for external powered speakers or headphones... what you get from the speakers on the notebook leaves something to be desired.
A while back I found a very interesting post on the topic of increasing the sound from the onboard speakers. The post was originally written for the HP Envy15. I believe the post has merit - Part One of this procedure is based on that original post.
I tested the suggested combined actions – it does work (at least on a healthy system). The sound quality showed improvement over the standard “out-of-the-box” beats-audio setup and the quantity of volume increased. In other words, this procedure makes the sound coming from the onboard speakers louder without the use of the Loudness Equalization enhancement setting.
I would suggest trying this “Enhancement” under the following circumstances:
- Sound Quality is Poor, or the amount of sound from the speakers needs improvement
- Sound is quantity “LOW”*
- Sound is absent AND you believe the absence is NOT due to hardware failure.** See note on iTunes.
* If your LOW sound issue is severe, it may ONLY respond to using the Loudness Equalization enhancement, in which case this procedure is not recommended for your use. The two are not compatible. See Part Two.
** If there is NO sound on your computer, it’s possible that completing this procedure may not result in any improvement. See Part Two.
Sound Controls – iTunes, Media Player
I would add to the emphasis on checking the volume on one’s iTunes setting. If iTunes volume is turned down, the notebook’s speakers will respond to that – turn up the volume in iTunes without adjusting the volume in the volume mixer and the sound on the notebook will not increase properly (or will suddenly jump). It’s a juggling act and one that must be taken into account when the sound is being reset. Additionally, if you have other audio players on your computer – in addition to those mentioned in the post – be sure to check them for volume controls: it is important during a sound reset that all the sound players be in sync. If you miss this, you may not get your sound back.
Check for this mismatch in sound volume controls if you do not have sound or if you did have sound and, at some point you turned OFF your sound while watching a moving, a DVD, a something on HDMI controlled audio - and suddenly - you do not have any sound. Sound controls get tangled up. Sometimes you just have to unplug it, but you do have to check the controls.
Sample Rate and bit Depth
I do not use the suggested Sample Rate and bit depth of 24bit 96000 Hz. My system cannot tell the difference and defaults everything to 16bits – my recording equipment cannot discern the difference. My ears lack sample rate sophistication. I’ve left my dv7t Quad sound, Default Format (sample rate bit depth) at 16bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality). Sounds fine and it’s where most of my crummy recordings are set anyway. Don’t lose sleep over this one.
Where’s my Taskbar ICON?
A couple of HP forum posts have mentioned the loss of the beats audio icon from the Taskbar tray – the icon should restore itself if one can force the IDT driver to reinstall. Without the IDT driver, beats-audio is not going to work. Assuming the driver has installed and one can reach the beats-audio panel from the Control Panel, THEN it’s possible that for some weird reason the Taskbar icon didn’t reset. It might be possible to try and force a reload of the beats panel controller into the Taskbar. I think this is the file.
For a 64bit system: C:\Program Files\IDT\WDM\sttray64.exe
The Original Post and Credits:
The original procedure and excerpts from that Post follow. Edits have been made to make it easy to read and to follow. The credits and original link are at the bottom of this page. My thanks go to JJ and JJ’s HP Envy15.
From the Original Post:
Originally Posted by bigcat400
I find the volume on this machine extremely low. Unless the room is totally quiet I can't hear a thing. Is this normal on this system, or could it be a driver issue? I am running the latest sound driver from HP's web site.
It took me awhile but I now have the sound level about 3x what it was to start with. Try these tweaks:
Sound Enhancement Procedure
Control Panel > Sound > Playback > (Highlight) Speakers and Headphones > Configure
New Window ‘speaker setup’ > Test (should hear sound L/R) > Next >
UNCHECK ‘Front left and right’ (if checked) > Next > Finish
Sound > Playback > (Highlight) Speakers and Headphones > Properties >
Enhancements > bass boost > settings > 80 Hz / boost 3db > Apply
Tone Controls > Bass +1 Treble +3 > Apply
Advanced > Default Format > 24 bit 96000Hz > Apply
After this DO NOT use the Beats control (Fn + B) or it will reset the tone controls.
Taskbar > beats-audio panel
Control Panel > Beats Audio Control Panel
Listening Experience > Graphic Equalizer > Custom
-1, +8, +10, +8, +9, +9, +9, +8, +9
Remember that these are suggestions – start here and re-adjust later as desired.
Make sure Beats Audio is CHECKED
Click the “Music” radio (round) button
65, 65, 85, 65, 65
NOTE: The Left Side settings are somewhat arbitrary. The “Center” setting is higher – this provides the most sound and should be set higher at least initially for testing, especially if your system has sound issues.
The next section is partially excerpted from the original Post – Remember: JJ’s post was written for HP Envy15 – please adjust your results accordingly. Edits have been made for readability.
Control Panel > Beats Audio Control Panel
Playback > Speakers and headphones > Arrow above Speaker symbol and Select Small Speakers
Select Equalization> Select 'custom'>
Adjustments for this are mainly to boost the signal level in the preamp so we get higher volume while not distorting the sound from the tiny built in speakers.
My setting values are as follows: left to right;
-1, +8, +10, +8, +9, +9, +9, +8, +9, +10
MAKE SURE TO CLICK SAVE WHEN DONE!
Note: Do not crank up the Bass (31hz) control or it will overload the speakers which can't reproduce this anyway, you can even turn down more if you have distortion at high volume.
Check that the slide controls for 'master' and 'speaker symbol' are all the way up.
This should make a big difference in sound volume and quality, and there is one last way to get louder sound. Depending on what you use to play back your audio you can adjust the program’s sound settings or EQ controls also.
In iTunes the EQ has a 'preamp' slider which I boost to about +6, this increases the output level while leaving the EQ settings alone (make sure to check the turn EQ on box).
Windows media player: you have to raise all EQ levels equally (not too much) to boost without affecting sound quality.
In general it is not a good idea to use more than one EQ system in an audio signal or you get more distortion, so don't adjust the EQ curves or bass/treble on more than one device. I chose the Beats / IDT EQ to make the tonal adjustments because it is the audio driver program and preamp that outputs to the speakers, so it should have the best sound quality.
Any adjustments before the preamp that add distortion will just be amplified, so go easy on adjustments in your play back programs.
Finally, when you play your audio,
Sound > Open Volume Mixer >
Make sure to click the Sound logo in the Taskbar so the slider pops up>
Click ‘mixer’ then you should see all the sliders for your devices;
You can independently adjust the levels for the right mix.
If you open the Beats panel and minimize it then a mixer slider also shows for this and you can dial in the effect of the EQ settings.
One last thing; When listening to headphones you will need to increase the bass EQ setting (since headphones can reproduce the low frequencies) in the Beats panel or I just change the drop down selector to the one with a flat curve (beats studio I think) -- the volume for my headphones was not an issue so I defeat the EQ for better sound quality.
Whew. I Didn't think it was this complicated when I started typing....
Hope everyone enjoys better sound with this.
ENVY 15 l i5 540M l ATI 5830 GPU l 8GB DDR3 1333 l 2 x 160 GB SSD l 1920x1080 glossy l Win7 Pro l 10,273 3Dmark06 Last edited by JJB : 12-27-2009 at 03:41 PM.
End of Excerpted Post
Credit belongs to the original author of the original procedure:
Loudness Equalization – and the LOW Sound Result
I was testing the system sound… CD playing in the background: Sting “If on a Winter’s Night” 02 Soul Cake playing through iTunes – standard speakers-headphones (beats-audio coasting along).
Sounds -> Playback Devices -> Speakers and Headphones -> Properties -> Enhancements
I have rewritten this part three times trying to get it right. Here’s the gist:
I switched on the “Loudness Equalization” enhancement. The sound jumped; it was loud and distorted. I switched the enhancement off – the sound dropped off and didn’t come back. I turned up the volume (with the slider) and down and up and down – and I was hearing Less and less sound from the speakers: “Low Sound Syndrome”: I was hearing what would be expected at setting of 7%. Well, that sucks. (Technical term.)
Based on this experience, I hypothesize that it’s possible to lose one’s sound entirely just by initially adjusting this one enhancement and then losing control over the ensuing ever diminishing returns. I didn’t continue to test this into a theory. It’s a hypothesis. If I had an extra dv7 sitting around, I might sacrifice it on such testing. I gave up right away and went into recovery mode while I still had some sound.
After the Loudness Equalization was turned off,
Recovery Attempts to recover normal sound levels included:
- Resetting all Sound to Default settings,
- Installing the driver from the webpage (standard load – download, double-click and install), reboot,
- “Hard Reset”.
- It was finally necessary to force load the IDT HD driver to recover the sound to its normal levels; that is, the driver was Uninstalled and allowed to reinstall at boot. (“Local” install from the Device Manager also works.)
I did not bother with a registry cleaning at this point - it may have made a difference, though it's unlikely since the driver needed to be completely reset by this time. I advocate registry cleaning! Bad things happen to good computers because of a dirty registry. Use your favorite or download CCleaner (free).
Try a Driver Update:
You can always check for Driver updates here – If the driver does update - you may be done with this part. Check the sound and proceed to "Enhancements".
At the Right-Click > Update Driver Software
Audio Driver “Uninstall”
Control Panel -> Device Manager -> Sound, video and game controllers
Right-Click IDT High Definition Audio CODEC -> Uninstall
You have a choice at this point
If you do not have the means to replace your driver,
- THEN do not delete your driver from the computer
OR - If you believe the driver is not working at all,
- And / Or you have tried the standard Uninstall/self-install method previously without results,
- AND You have the means to REINSTALL that driver from scratch*
- Then you may delete the driver -
*Driver Installation From Scratch Requires the following:
- You have your IDT HD driver on your computer as a sp*.exe file, for example, in Downloads
Reinstall with Boot:
- Shut down the system
- The driver may install itself at login as the system scans for hardware changes
Reinstall WITHOUT BOOT - Initiate the scan for hardware changes:
- Right-Click on the IDT driver , > "Scan for Hardware Changes"
--> Check your sound at this point. It's possible that the driver has in reinstalled itself.
Manual Driver Installation - Comments:
There are a couple of paths used to get the IDT driver onto your system. You can download it from your HP Software and Driver website. You may have been given the path to your IDT driver at the HP ftp softpaq site. The package is downloaded as a sp*.exe file. You may download the software as often as you need it. Make sure you have the package downloaded before you delete your driver.
Once you have downloaded that package onto your system, the original sp* file will stay intact. As long as you do not delete it, you can reuse it. Once you do install the driver onto your system, an installation directory is created in C:\SWSetup, named the same as the sp* file (without the .exe extension).
In C:\SWSetup\sp* are all the files necessary to reinstall your driver. If you install the software from the sp*.exe file in your Downloads folder, the new installation will ask you whether to overwrite the data in the SWSetup/sp* with the contents of the .exe package – do it. The reinstallation is just unwrapping and redistributing what’s in the .exe file into the same SWSetup/sp folder.
If the "Driver Store" is removed, that is, if the driver package is ever removed from C:\SWSetup, you can reinstall from the sp* file as long you you have it in your Downloads folder - it will recreate that SWSetup/sp* folder.
What about Versions?
Latest is Usually best. If you are concerned AND you think you may not be able to get another a copy of an older driver that is in C:\SWSetup\sp*, make a copy of the folder before uninstalling any driver or making any changes.
Installation from the Original sp* package
Find the sp* file on your system. It will be most likely be located in your “Downloads” folder.
Simple Driver Installation from the 'Saved' installation sp* file:
- Close everything that isn’t needed, browsers, games, windows…
- Right-Click on the installation package (the sp* file), Select 'Run as Administrator' and start the installation
- Answer any questions…and follow the instructions
Installation from the Device Manager
If the driver software is still on the system from a previous installation, it is located in C:\SWSetup
You can tell the Device Manager to access the package on the system:
Control Panel > icons > Device Manager > (Highlight) IDT High Definition Audio CODEC >
Right-Click > Update Driver Software > Browse my computer for driver software
Browse to C:\SWSetup\sp*
Be sure the “Include Subfolders” box is CHECKED
Audio Services Check / Restart
This section is not strictly part of the "Enhancement" procedure. It has been included because it is necessary that these settings be correct so that the sound can function properly. If you are not having sound issues, skip this part...
Check system Services to make sure that your sound related services are running as they should.
Restart each service (except as noted): Right-Click > Restart
Control Panel -> icon -> Administrative Tools -> Services > bottom of page > Standard (optional - makes it easier to column sizes)
Sound services must be showing as
Status = Started
Startup Type = Automatic
Multimedia Class Scheduler
Windows Audio Endpoint Builder
Power (check only)
RPC (check only)
It’s a matter of tweaking the settings to get results. Do not forget that that Left/Right Speakers setting is turned off in Speakers Configure. It’s not a big deal (assuming this works), but it’s DIFFERENT and it needs to be kept track of.
I hope this helps your sound work better!
Kudos are Earned!
06-29-2012 12:24 PM
Nice extensive research on reseting Beats Audio on the HP laptops.
Just bought the Envy 17t-3000 and I updated all the drivers via HP Support Manager.
BEFORE the update, the Beats Audio worked well..
1. Press the dial and the popup box comes up ~3 secs
2. Volume indicator swirl appeared to show volume level
AFTER the update, something changed the Beats Audio... had to re-install the latest driver from HP website (even after contacting HP Tech support via chat and email several times)...
1. Press the dial and the popup box comes up ~10-12 secs now!
2. Volume indicator swirl DISAPPEARED so volume level indicator is GONE
Sure the sound works but NOW I do NOT know or remember the volume level whenever I listen to music.
You can barely tell on the Windows Speaker icon on Icon bar since 2 sound waves indicate at least 50% sound level but that's it!
I have the following softwares and checked their settings and set them all at 50% and use the Beats Audio dial to control the volume whenever the programs are used:
2. VLC player
No matter what I try, it appears that the Beats Audio Volume Control Swirl Indicator is GONE! Worse, there's NO Windows volume control indicator unless leave the Volume Mixer open!
Anyone know how to fix this problem and bring Back the Audio Beats volume indicator??