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Readers Questions.



Q.  No matter what I do on my computer, my sound stays low. It happens when I listen to music, when I visit certain Web sites and so on. What's going on? Please help!

A.  The low audio problem, as I like to call it, can be a big pain if it happens to sweep across your computer. No matter what you try to do, your sound just always stays at a low volume. As the reader stated in the question, this problem can interfere with a lot of things you may do on your computer. For example, listening to music, watching videos, listening to a radio show, viewing Web sites that have sound, etc. It's an endless mess of no sound!

Now, the low audio problem you're having can be caused by several different factors. Here are six of them:

         Non-amplified speakers

         Speakers are not connected or configured correctly

         Software settings for the audio are not set up properly

         Headphones are connected to the speakers

         Other software related issues

         Sound driver problems

You may be able to figure out which one of those your issue falls under, but if not, here's an explanation for all of them. The answers to your questions can be found in those.

1. Non-amplified speakers - If you've always had trouble with your speakers, you may want to pay close attention to this one. If your speakers have worked perfectly fine in the past, it's safe to say that you can skip on down to the next one. Okay, for those of you still with me, let me ask you this: are your speakers amplified? If your speakers don't have a power source of their own (they're solely connected to your computer), they could be set at a volume lower than a normal speaker.

2. Speakers connected or configured incorrectly - For this one, you'll need to locate your sound card. Once there, make sure that your speakers are connected to the line out section of the card. If they're connected to another part of the sound card, the result can be a very low volume or even no sound at all.

3. Wrong software settings - To check this, make sure the settings and the volume controls for your sound card are properly set up. The best place for your volume controls to be are around the middle. To check on this, double click on the sound icon in your bottom system tray and move the sliders to the middle or even a little higher, depending on how loud you want your sound to be. That should take care of that one.

4. Headphones connected to speakers - If you use headphones on your computer sometimes, make sure they're not still plugged in to the actual speaker. You may not realize that they're still plugged in and that can cause you to have no sound.

5. Other software issues - If your low audio problem is happening only in a certain program, such as a game, etc., you may want to check the settings in that program. It could be set on mute or something similar, causing you to have no sound.

6. Sound drivers - If you have gone through all of the above suggestions and you're still getting low audio, there may be a problem with your sound drivers. If this is the case, the best thing to do is reinstall them or even update them, just to ensure that you have the most recent drivers.

Let me know if you need anything else.

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