An equalizer is a sound engineering tool, that helps to adjust the output of different frequencies. For music lovers (Audiophiles), EQ is definitely a useful tool to manage audio frequencies. If you’re looking for an equalizer for Windows 11/10, then this article will end your search here. Yes, Microsoft offers a few audio enhancement options, but that is not enough for everyone. With the default EQ, you get only a few options like Bass Boost, Virtual Surround, Room Correction, and Loudness Equalization. Definitely, these will give some basic tweaks to audio output. Though, if you’re using Realtek drivers, then you can get some good equalization options.
What is Audio Equalizer?
If you don’t know what equalizer or equalization is – Equalizers are software or hardware filters that allow to equalize or adjust the loudness of specific frequencies. In past, many hardware instruments were required to balance audio frequencies. But now the same work can be done, by using some equalizer software.
Equalizer also lets you cut or boost/enhance the levels of specific audio frequency ranges. Basically does provides more granular control of the sound volume. Yes, there are many equalizer Apps or Tools available for Windows that can help to perform equalizing tasks in just a few seconds. But first, you have to make sure that your audio drivers are up-to-date.
Instruction to check or update audio drivers.
1. First, right-click on the start button of Windows, then from the menu, click on Device Manager.
(Or you can press Windows+X hotkey to open the WinX menu)
2. Now in the device manager, double click on the “Sound, video, and game controllers” to expand all installed sound drivers.
3. To check whether the driver is updated or not – Right-click on the installed driver and select the Update driver option.
4. In update drivers setup windows click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
5. Done, Now windows will automatically search and update new sound drivers.
If you’ve built a PC recently, then go to the motherboard manufacturer’s site and download and install the audio driver manually. Similarly, laptop users can go to the laptop manufacturer’s site, to download audio drivers.
Free and Best Equalizer for Windows 11/10
1. Default Windows Audio Equalizer
Yes, as I mentioned earlier in the article Windows comes with few Audio Equalization options. So, before moving to some third-party apps, let’s get to know how you can access those. Though, the older version of Windows used to come with graphic Realtek EQ. But now you will get Microsoft’s Audio Equalizer. Because Realtek has created a distinguish App for Audio equalizers. But for Microsoft Equalizer, the Microsoft High Definition Audio driver should be active.
Follow these steps to access the default windows audio equalizer.
1. Right-click on the speaker icon and then click on Open Sound settings.
2. Windows 10 settings App will get open, make sure the correct audio output device is selected. And then click on Device properties.
3. Click on Additional device properties. (You”ll find the option under Related Settings.)
4. Speaker properties window will get an open click on Enhancements.
5. If the Enhancement provider is Microsoft then you will get only four equalization options. Select any enhancement of your choice and then click on Apply.
Though, If the Realtek driver is installed for your speaker. Then, you might get an equalizer by Realtek. That comes with ten band equalizers – pop, live, rock, bass, jazz, club, treble, vocal, classical, and country.
1. In the Enhancements tab, you can see a few sound effects lists.
2. From the list, mark the Equalizer option and then click on it once to select it.
3. After selecting the equalizer option, you will be able to see some setting options.
4. From there you can choose a different band equalizer. And, to access Graphic EQ, click on the three dots (…) button.
With this default equalizer, you can balance sound from 31 dB to 16k dB. The sound effect you will select or customize, manually will get applied to all system sounds.
But, the bad part about this default equalizer is, that every time you need to go through the whole process to make changes. That’s the reason, I suggest you check out other free equalizers for windows 10.
2. Realtek Audio Console
If the Realtek Equalizer option is missing in the enhancement tab. Then you can install Realtek Audio Control App from Microsoft Store. This App provides the best audio experience with Realtek Audio Codec. Basically, you can control all audio device settings in the App. Though, if you’ve installed the latest audio drivers, then this App will get auto-installed. The best part is there is a sound effect section in App. In which 13 equalizers are available to select.
2. Open App, and then from the left pane, click on “Realtek Digital Output”.
Here you will find the Equalizer section. From the drop-down menu, you can select any equalizer of your choice.
Even, you can manually control sound frequency. Also, you can select an audio environment as well.
3. Equalizer APO
If you’re looking for a global sound equalizer, Which can work system-wide. Then it is the best windows 10 equalizer, for you. This tool not only allows you to balance sound, but you can also enhance the quality of the sound. While installing the tool or software it allows to choose device and channel configuration. Also, the APO tool detects automatically, which device of yours supports APO and Which does not.
This tool also comes with the Graphic EQ feature, which comes with two bands 15 and 30. The software comes with an analysis panel, which shows real-time peak gain, latency, and CPU usage. The software comes with low latency and low CPU usage, which makes it suitable for interactive applications. It supports the VTS plugin and can be integrated into the Voicemeeter. The installation process of this software is basic and you can do it yourself easily.
But, One thing you need to know – is the software doesn’t create any shortcuts, to access software directly. You need to go into the installation directory to run the program. In the installation directory use Configurator to select the device. (reboot required after selecting the device) And you can equalize sound using the editor application, which appears in the installation directory.
Like the default equalizer, Windows 11/10 comes with DTS audio control or Realtek HD audio manager. Although you will get the same options that you get in Realtek Audio Console. This open-source equalizer allows the user to change sound settings for playback devices and recording devices. This equalizer also comes with ten bands graphic equalizer, you can also manually equalize sound. This audio manager also allows canceling of background noise, using the “adaptive noise reduction” feature.
As I mentioned before, it comes preinstalled, So you don’t need to download it. To access this sound equalizer follow this small instruction.
First, Go to this computer directory C:\Program Files\Realtek\Audio\HDA
Now, run the RtkNGUI64.exe file, to launch Realtek HD Audio Manager.
It comes with a 31 dB to 16L dB band range, Which makes it, the best equalizer for PC. The software comes with environment preset options, including underwater, pipe, forest, room, and many others. Like APO, speaker configuration is also available, you can configure speaker settings in stereo, 5.1 speakers, and Quadraphonic. This advanced option doesn’t come with a default HD audio manager, you need to download the updated version of it.
5. Viper’s Audio
It is another open-source best music equalizer for PC. The installation procedure of this Windows 10 equalizer is similar to equalizer APO. The software comes with three-mode – music, movie, and freestyle. You can also set Pre-Volume and Post-Volume from -120.00 dB to 15.56 dB. The surround sound option allows choosing room sizes from smallest, small, mid-size, large, and largest. The software comes with a compressor and equalizer option, an equalizer allows to balance of sound from 65dB to 20k dB.
Also, it comes with some preset equalizers – super bass, soft bass, rock music, classical, pop, jazz, and many more. You can also load an external presets and can save presets created by you. You can also find out some advanced options like 3D surround sound and convolver. After installing ViPER’s Audio, it asks to choose the audio device and to reboot the system. Once you reboot the system you can access the equalizer by going into the installation directory. To open the equalizer, run ViPER4WindowsCtrlPanel.exe, and you can start using the equalizer.
6. Voicemeeter Banana
Voicemeeter Banana is another free equalizer for Windows. It is basically Advanced Audio Mixer Application with Virtual I/O to mix and Virtual Audio Device. With Voicemeeter, you can manage any audio devices and apps. If you do lots of podcasts or upload videos on YouTube then you should definitely try Voicemeeter Banana Application.
Well yes, this App is not an equalizer only, it is an audio mixer to adjust audio output as well as input. So, if you’re using Discord, Twitch, or any podcast application, then with Voicemeeter Banana, you can make the sound less distorted and crisper. From the Master section, you can manage equalizer settings. This App is donationware, yes you don’t have to pay. But, if you like, then you can donate to developers.
It is the replaced version of “DFX audio enhancer”, but still provides the same audio experience. FxSound brings you crystal clear sound, bass effects, and real-time music optimization. Also, it provides a studio-quality music experience, without purchasing an expensive sound system. This audio equalizer tool also allows increased bass of your system, beyond your system capability. The installation procedure is easy like normal software installation.
The software run in the background and all you have to do is listen to music on Spotify. Or watch a video on YouTube to enjoy a good listening experience. It also comes with customizing equalizer tool and sound effects option. Overall, it is one of the best windows 11 audio equalizer Software.
DFX Audio Enhancer is the older version of the FxSound sound equalizer for Windows 11. The user interface of DFX gives an old Windows XP vibe. But, it gives so many options to improve sound quality. You can control audio fidelity, ambiance, 3D surround sound, dynamic boost, and hyper bass with it.
Yes, DFX Audio Enhancer also comes with multiple skins options. Like, Charcol, ClassicBlue, ClassicRed, and Universal. DFX installer might ask you to install additional software with it. So, don’t forget to uncheck it. It comes with a power button, that lets you turn on/off the audio enhancer with a single click. Moreover, it has an Equalizer, which is good enough.
But, if you want to enhance headphone audio then you have to buy the pro version. Else, you can use it for speakers for free. Also, you have to select your speaker first by going into the sound settings of Windows 11. Else, you will hear no sound in Windows 11. Although, I still suggest you install FxSound because it is completely free to use. And, yes, you can download DFX from a third-party website, because it is old software.
Summing – up
Still, many graphic equalizers are available for Windows 11 and Windows 10. But some of them come with the trial version and locked features. And, these mentioned equalizer is free and more than enough to balance sound. But if you’re still confused that, which equalizer, you should download FxSound. Then I suggest you try the default equalizer or Realtek Audio Console App. But if you need some advanced option then the best is ViPER’s Audio.