One of the best ways to enhance the gaming experience on your PC is to improve the quality of sound. Great audio not only improves the gaming experience, but it would also have an overall positive effect on all multimedia content on your PC. Dial-Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC.
The default audio on PCs, as most of us know, isn’t exactly the best. The factory setting on audio software won’t deliver world-shaking audio as users might hope. And the original speakers included in just about all PC desktops have a sound quality akin to cheap earbuds.
Gamers don’t despair over the sorry state of factory setting audio on your computer. There are plenty of ways to improve and enjoy IMAX-style sound from your PC. While some improvements may cost you a lot of money, there are plenty of minor improvements you can make that don’t cost any money at all.
If you are desperate to improve your gaming (or any) PC’s audio, there are several suggestions to consider:
Use a DAC
Did you know that you can get better sound on your PC by converting digital audio signals into analog? You may think analog is well and truly dead and gone, but not if you are an audiophile. A digital-to-analog converter, or a DAC, is a neat little device that can instantly let you listen to better sound. Dial Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC
Analog may sound eighties now, but it is the nature of sound. As humans, we don’t process digital audio signals. We can only hear the analog sound. The integrated sound card in your computer converts the digital audio signals into analog sounds we can hear. The DAC does the same thing, except that it’s plugged in externally and does a better job than the integrated audio system in your motherboard.
A DAC can act like a high-end external sound card that lets you listen to dynamic and detailed audio. When you plug in a DAC to your PC, it will act as the sound card, temporarily replacing the one already in your computer. A good DAC and significantly improve the audio quality over what’s already in your PC.
Some DACs allow you to directly plug in your headphones to the DAC so that the sound comes directly to your ears. Get a DAC and connect your gaming headset to it—this is by far one of the best and most affordable ways to improve the sound quality of your gaming rig.
Buy an Amplifier
Amplifiers improve the low-level audio from a source, and thus overall makes it sound better. Amplifiers are commonly used in sound mixing and studio settings. You can use an amp to vastly enhance the variety of sounds in games. If you want more booming sounds or lows with better clarity, an amplifier can get you there. Dial Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC
There are two types of amplifiers you can buy for a PC. One is an amp that is already built into a DAC. Most DACs you can purchase are around $100 or more and have built-in amps. These, however, are lower-end amps intended for home use.
If you want truly earthshattering sound, you can purchase a high-end amp separately. You would need to connect this amp to a DAC, and then connect the DAC to your gaming rig. The sound you hear through the DAC and the amp would be heavenly.
The only downside is that buying a separate amp is costly. You would most likely end up spending over $250 for an amp for a DAC. This is still a worthy investment if you are building up a high-end gaming rig.
Replace the Speakers or the Headset
It’s a no-brainer that you should replace the factory speaker sets that came with your computer. These days most gamers, however, are likely to use headphones. Whether you prefer a speaker set or a headset, there are plenty of improvements that can be made in this arena to improve the overall sound quality of gaming. Dial-Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC.
If you are reliant on a dirt cheap headset or a speaker set, think seriously about replacing these with better products. A better speaker or a headset doesn’t necessarily mean something that costs hundreds of dollars more. A headset or a speaker with better features would just do better. If you’re looking for top-quality budget speakers, then audioengine a5+ is just right for you? Pair this with a sony wireless subwoofer and you will really get the full sound experience.
You can find excellent headsets that cost less than $200. Moving on to a pair of high-performance headphones can definitely improve your audio experience for years to come. Keep in mind that making hardware improvements like buying an amp is useless if the headphones or speakers can’t deliver the improved sound. Therefore, if you are spending money on your gaming rig, spend it on headphones or speakers to listen to better audio.
A high-end headphone paired with a DAC and an amp combo would deliver studio-grade sound quality that audiophiles would kill them. You can alternatively purchase an amp just for your headphones as well. If a DAC amp is too expensive for you, you may be able to save money with a headphone amp.
Remember that better headphones or speakers mean more power consumption. Brace yourself for higher power demands when you switch to high-end accessories for better audio.
Use Audio Enhancer Software
Improving sound from the hardware side can be costly. One of the most affordable ways to boost the sound on your PC is to upgrade the audio rendering software. An audio enhancer program can improve the digital sound files on your PC so you can hear more detailed quality audio.
Most digital enhancer programs improve music files stored on your computer. But modern renditions also allow audio enhancement when streaming. If you are playing a game from an installed file or online, an audio enhancer could add clarity and accuracy to the sound you are hearing. Dial Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC
There are dozens of audio enhancer software that you can download. Some are available online for free. Installation is relatively straightforward and easy for just about all programs. For best results, choose audio enhancer software recommended for the version of Windows you are running. There are more available for Windows 7 than 10, but that is quickly changing.
When you are trying to improve the digital audio files, think about the type of music files you are using for playback. Most audio files are in the MP3 format. MP3 is popular because it compresses audio files and saves space on storage drives. The problem is, the format loses audio detail in the process. Therefore, if you want to listen to the best quality audio, switch to FLAC files. If your game installation files include FLAC audio, use those instead of staying with MP3 files.
Give Your Room an Acoustic Treatment
If you are listening to sound through speakers, the setup of your room also plays a major role in how sound travels. For example, the size of the room affects how sound bounces off the walls and create an echo. Obstacles like furniture in the room can also absorb or disrupt sound waves, thus affecting the sound quality you desire. Dial Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC
Not everyone can change their room setup to accommodate better sound. But if you can, you can optimize your room to enhance acoustics. Installing soft padding on the walls, like in professional studios, can prevent sound waves bouncing off walls and creating an unwanted echo.
This is, of course, if you are using speakers to listen to audio. If you are using a headset, your room size or setup won’t matter much.
What Not to Do
The above suggestions are for what you can and probably should do to improve the sound on your PC. On the same note, it’s important to know what not to do as well.Dial Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC
Let’s start with sound cards. Once upon a time, sound cards were a staple on PCs. These days, sound cards are integrated into computers. As a gamer, don’t make the mistake of mixing up the integrated sound with integrated graphics. The latter is better replaced by a graphics card with its own RAM. But it doesn’t work the same way with integrated sound.
You can add a sound card to your motherboard. However, there won’t be them. difference. The sound cards you can individually purchase are not too different from the audio chips integrated into motherboards. You are just paying more for the same thing.
It would only make sense to install a sound card if you have a lower end motherboard with a decidedly terrible sound chip. But you might just prefer to replace a cheaper motherboard with a high-end one to improve your gaming experience overall.
Sound cards might also be affected by electronic interference inside motherboards. That’s another reason why you should earth-shattering switch to an external DAC as recommended above.
Additionally, avoid spending on audio equipment with big brand names. If you are not familiar with audio hardware, research the topic or ask an expert before you make a purchase. An expensive price tag doesn’t necessarily translate into quality audio.
On a final note, take simple steps to improve audio on your gaming rig. Buying a better headset or using a DAC can do wonders to improve sounds. Do this before you try out the more expensive options, especially if you are on a budget. Dial Up the Sound Quality of Your Gaming PC