I’ve always thought the sound volume on my Acer TravelMate 5530G has been very low even if I turned everything up to 100%. It has been ok and only a little bit annoying, but a few days ago we moved to another house for a month (we’re currently travelling in Thailand) with no TV so now the family have to watch movies on the laptop…

Anyway, I found the solution thanks to this post by brielle128 at Notebookreview.com. It seems to be related to Realtek drivers on Windows Vista.

The solution:
- Have song playing so you can here the difference.
- Right click on the speaker icon in the task bar and select Playback Devices (or find it in the Windows Control Panel) The Sound dialog box opens up.
- From the Playback tab select the Playback device being used, in my case Speakers Realtek High Definition Audio (marked with a green checkbox) and click the Properties button. A new dialog box – Speaker Properties – opens up.
- On the Enhancements tab make sure Disable All Sound Effects and Immediate Mode are both unchecked. Check Loudness Equalization (on my setup all other unchecked) and hit Apply.
- Bingo! Sound volume is up a lot, maybe 50%!

I actually think my wife’s Acer Aspire One (also Realtek Sound card) running Windows XP has the same problem but unfortunately I could not find any similar settings there.