Normalize all sound output in Windows Vista (and higher)

One annoying thing in listening to audio / video streams on computer is that almost every stream, application or site has its own loudness. For some music files you might need to turn the volume up, but then your favorite video channel will just scream out loud.

It’s because with the volume setting you set the maximum possible volume for audio output. And not every source uses the full scale – sometimes there are poorly encoded MP3s, sometimes commercials want to be louder than everything else, and sometimes a ballad will be simply played quietly.

For a regular user it means he/she has to turn the volume up and down constantly. Luckily, in Vista, there’s a feature that will put and end to it: Loudness equalization. It will make all sounds sound with a similar volume. It will always run in the background monitoring everything you play and adjusting itself. Just turn it on, set your desired volume level and Vista will take care of the rest. And since it’s on the OS level, all sources are equal.

How to do it? Go to Control Panel | Sound | Playback | Properties | Enhancements and turn on Loudness Equalization. That’s it.
Loudness equalization

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  1. Croaker says:

    I was going deaf listening to streamed radio. My ears thank you!

  2. FisseKongenDK says:

    This works under windows 7 as well and is incredibly awesome. can’t believe in only just found this out now…

  3. MacK says:

    Thanks you!! It’s so useful

    Kind regards from Spain

  4. Dean says:

    This setting is not “a Vista Feature.” It is driver dependent and is not visible on all Vista/Win7 computers.

  5. Kumar says:

    Dean is correct. I have Windows 7 Home Premium and have an HP m6-1045dx – a recent purchase. Sound is really important to me, and I was pissed off at all the normalization happening when listening to a music track. The IDT High Definition Codec that is used in this HP laptop does not show me the enhancements tab when I go to Control Panel->Sounds.

    So annoying…I hate this normalization

  6. Ryan says:


    Hey I have the same problem!! I really need to turn off this normalization feature as it makes doing any sort of music editing impossible. Do you know a solution to this or are we HP users SOL?

  7. Sorry, I don’t know the solution if it’s not supported by the sound card drivers.

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