How Can I Get More Speaker Volume ??

Hi. Thank you for your help :)

I have a desktop pc: AMD Athlon XP 2200 with 512 MB RAM. The motherboard is an ASUS (with the sound on the board), but I had the same problem with my old system where I had a sound card inserted in a motherboard slot

Both this system and my last (old) one did (do) not seem to provide adequate volume to my speakers (the speakers are attached to the sides of my Toshiba 17" monitor). To listen to most things I have to keep the system (systray) volume near the top setting, plus I often have keep the volume level of the media player (Windows Media Player, REAL Player, etc.) near the top setting.

I should make it clear--generally, I can hear whatever I'm listening to without straining. But it just seems the audio should have more "oomph" than it does. Must I get amplified speakers? Is my problem typical of many/most systems' audio?

Thank you for any assistance you might offer me :))

Marylyn    
marylyn27Asked:
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saoirse1916Commented:
Unless your speakers are damaged, it seems like you should get more sound out of them with the volume cranked up.  If you're running the sound through the PCI soundcard plugged into your system, did you disable the onboard (motherboard) sound in BIOS?  If that doesn't help, have you tried removing the PCI card and running the speakers through the onboard card instead?
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WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
Well...Part of the problem is that you are probably running UNPOWERED SPEAKERS.  You may try buying a new set of speakers with EXTERNAL Power.  Most built in speakers on Laptops and LCD Monitors or monitors in general have this problem.  As they are unpowered speakers.  So whatever the soundcard can dish out is as loud as it will ever get.  Which generally isn't as loud as most people want.  So my suggestion....Try a different set of Powered speakers...


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rustyrpageCommented:
I agree with Wakeup...it has little to do with your soundcard, and more to do with the fact that your LCD's "speakers" are probably only 2w.  But, if you have external speakers already, then it is possible that they are going out.  The best test would be to replace them with something else & see if they are louder.  You can get cheapy speakers for about 10 dollars...or you can get good ones for around 50 to 200
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Have you tried connection your computer to your home-audio system. If this gives you a better sound, decide what you want todo. Keep your existing speakers and live with it, keep it connected to your audiosystem or buy computer speakers. If you can affort it a good amplifier with good speakers will always sound better than computerspeakers. Just find out for yourself what you like most.

LucF
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rustyrpageCommented:
LucF...you're right a good amplifier with speakers sounds good...but there are some really really good sounding computer speakers out nowadays.  I have an Altec Lansing set, that for music is just superb!!  
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
I agree with you rustyrpage, most newer systems sound great. But I still have to say that most home audio systems still give better sound for a lower price. (And I still don't like the PMPO rating, you'll never know how much power they really produce) Personally I have a Rotel amplifier with two Wharfedale Valdus 500 speakers (2x550 Watt RMS) And I've never seen any computer speakers that sound that well (not talking about volume, but the clearness of the sound)

LucF
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Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
Is the speaker connected to the correct plug on the back of the sound card?  You may not get good sound levels if the speakers are plugged into the head phones plug.

But, if that is not the case, then I would agree with the other people who posted here: make sure you have powered speakers.  Unpowered speakers will never be very loud.

Alicia
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marylyn27Author Commented:
Thanks to all for your comments to date. Let me comment/clarify.

The present motherboard (an ASUS A7N266-VM) has the sound and video included on it. There is no sound card.

I definitely can hear whatever I need to hear. It's just that it surprises me that much of the time I need to keep the main volume control (systray) at or near the very top setting, and often I need to also raise the volume setting on whichever medium i'm using (Windows Media Player, REAL Player, etc.).

I had the very same trouble with my previous (old) system--which required a sound card.

It just seems to me that the audio should be louder than it is. That was the reason for my posting.

Thanks again,

Marylyn
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
> has the sound and video included on it. There is no sound card.
there IS a "sound card", it's integrated on your motherboard. It really doesn't matter if it's integrated or not. You should still use amplified speakers to get more volume out of your system.

LucF
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WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
As I stated earlier, it has to do with the speakers.  The ones on your monitor are MOST Likely unpowered.  Get some powered speakers.  And you will see the difference.  Most sound cards only put out like 2watts of power.  Which is not really capable of going louder than what you want.  Your motherboard which has the onboard sound or "Built in Sound card" Does not have enough power to make the audio "louder than it is."

Again...Try a set of speakers that are Powered....That plug in and need power to turn on etc.  See what happens.  And you should be able to get speakers that are powered fairly cheap.  Just all depends on the quality and how LOUD you want it.  Go to your local computer store like CompUSA or Fry's Electronics or something like that and check out the speaker selection.  See which ones can and would set the sound to a level you would like to have.  

Otherwise if as you say it is loud enough for you to hear.  But can't go any louder but you can live with it...then that is what you will need to do is live with it.  Because it will not get any louder.
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marylyn27Author Commented:
Thank you very, very much to all who offered me advice. As WakeUp first suggested, I purchased a pair of powered speakers. That did the trick. I just thought it strange that modern motherboards (which include the sound "card") would have barely adequate audio. Anyway, I now understand that to be the case.

Again, I greatly appreciate everyone who chimed in with a response :))

Marylyn :)
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