Windows 8 Hardware and Sound – Sound

This applet manages the sound devices through which Windows receives or produces sound output.

It also manages sound themes which sets different sounds for Windows events. Besides that, it provides settings to reduce sounds when using PC to place or receive a phone call.

How to Launch It

  • Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
  • Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
  • Select “Hardware and Sound” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
  • Select “Sound”. This will launch the applet as a 4-tabbed small window.

The functions of the Sound applet are divided in 4 tabs.

Playback Tab

This tab deals with the sound devices that produce output from the system. They are basically the devices through which you hear sounds like music, system bells, etc., from the system.

It lists all the playback devices that Windows has detected till date. You can configure each available playback device from here. Also, you can view properties of each device.

The “Properties” window contains information like the device name, driver details, sound levels of the playback device, sound enhancements like bass, surround, etc., that can be applied to the device, default bitrate of the device, etc.

Recording

This tab deals with the recording devices, those that provide sound input to the system. For example, microphone is such a device.

It lists all the recording devices that Windows has detected till date. You can configure each available recording device from here.

Also, you can view properties of each device. The “Properties” window contains information like the device name, driver details, default bitrate that can be handled by the device, etc.

Sounds Tab

Windows can produce a specific sound when a Windows event or notification happens. This tab lists the sound schemes which dictate the sound that is produced on each Windows event.

You can create your own sound scheme by customizing the existing schemes, and saving it with your preferred name.

The “Program Events” section lists all the Windows events that may produce sound. You can test the current sound for an event. If you don’t like it, you can replace it with another sound.

Communications Tab

Suppose that you are listening to your most secretive music collection that you fear that others will hate. Suddenly, you receive a phone call through PC. Before attending it, you forget to turn off the music. Your music collection is no more secret now. The person on the other end has got it through the call, and as you had feared, he doesn’t like it.

To mitigate such a situation, Windows provides facility to reduce or turn off other sounds when you initiate a communications activity. This tab provides those options.

The following options are available.

  • Mute all other sounds
  • Reduce the volume of all other sounds by 80%
  • Reduce the volume of all other sounds by 50%
  • Do nothing

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