This Hidden Windows 11 Feature Enables Better Sound Quality

Sound control can be a challenge on Windows platforms. As the default OS for PC users, Windows has to be compatible with a vast number of potentially contradictory peripherals and software plugins, providing seamless integration and easy control. As a free update on a huge number of widely differing setups, Windows 11 in particular has to work hard to balance all of the demands users make.

Unfortunately, among the constant tweaks and updates required to maintain broad compatibility, other priorities can get missed. In particular, sound quality can suffer when Windows isn't playing nice with onboard or external sound devices. In fairness to Windows 11, it offers a more robust audio toolset than many of its predecessors. In equal fairness, the company did stash one of the most useful tools under multiple menus instead of putting it out front in Settings. The feature is worth the hassle, though, as it provides a quick and easy way to improve the audio output of a Windows 11 PC.

Make Windows 11's Enhance Audio feature work for you

The Windows 11 feature that improves audio quality is called, aptly enough, Enhance Audio, and it is found within a menu box titled Audio Enhancements. For such a useful function, it's surprising that the menu takes a bit of work to find. In case you were wondering, it's not possible to quickly get to the feature using the Windows 11 search tool. Instead, you'll need to click through a couple of menus in the Settings app to find what you're looking for.

  1. Click the Start menu, then click the Settings app icon.
  2. In Settings, click the System menu, then click Sound.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click All Sound Devices.
  4. Select the audio output at the top of the screen, such as Speakers.

Depending on your setup, Sound Properties might display an option called Enhance Audio or a drop-down menu under Audio Enhancements. If you see the Enhance Audio option, simply click it and enjoy the improved audio experience. If you see the drop-down menu, toggle through the options until you find the most appealing mix. Speeding up your system can also improve audio that's stuttering or laggy.

What is Windows Audio Enhancements?

On a fundamental level, Windows Audio Enhancements is just a way to tell Windows to turn on audio presents already present on your system. Sound cards, speakers, and even some headsets and Bluetooth devices come with onboard audio tweaks that Windows can access and alter. Turning these enhancements on or off can make a massive difference in the quality of audio coming out of the machine (via Microsoft).

It all comes back to compatibility. Apple is very clear about what devices are and aren't welcome in its ecosystem. Windows tries to be more accessible to more manufacturers. In trying to play nice with every peripheral under the sun, the Windows OS automatically leaves certain functions disabled. Doing so keeps the system running smoothly, but can in some cases obscure tools a user might want to, well, use. The Enhance Audio feature is fundamentally just a button to let Windows know you'd like it to optimize the sound you hear.