Improving Inadequate Sound on the Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM

Imagine my surprise when I found that my new Sony VAIO’s speakers were less than outstanding. It’s a Sony. Don’t we have a right to be impressed?

The sound watching a blu-ray was hard to hear. Turning up all the volume sliders I could find in Windows didn’t help. And when I did push the volume to max, some songs and videos became distorted. What? How could this be?

I ran the unit back to Best Buy and the techno Geek walked through all the same Windows sound dialogs I experimented with. He came to the same conclusion.

“The sound’s kinda weak.”

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

He explained that that’s not all that unusual on laptops. Refusing to believe that my Sony was in the same realm as an Acer or an E-Machine, I sound-tested all the laptops Best Buy had (again) and came to a similar conclusion. While the Toshibas with Harmon Kardon speakers were awesome almost all the other units had less than ideal sound. In the end I left with the VAIO in hand since, even with sound issues, I couldn’t find a unit as pleasurable to use. I figured I’d just put up with it. Use bluetooth headphones or something.

A few days later, I did some more digging into the sound dialogs and tried this tab. The first time I had checked the boxes on it, nothing happened. I thought maybe I needed an upgrade (that I wasn’t going to buy). But when I tried it this time, they stuck.

Dolby Speaker Properties dialog

I had to make sure nothing was using the sound system to get this change to show up, I noticed. Once I restarted the music player, the improvement was immediately evident.

Thinking that the loudness filter would now become helpful, I enabled that, too.

Loudness setting

The sound was even better.

Now, I’m running the speakers at 80% and the sound on the video player/music player at 100%. The sound is great, with just the occasional distortion at really loud moments. And I can feel good again about choosing the Sony.

If only the techno Geek at Best Buy had known to enable these settings. Could have saved me a lot of grief worrying that I was settling.

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Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm  Comments (6)  
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