Categories
Headphones Windows

Restoring audio quality after Windows updates

If you have a Windows notebook, it might have been shipped with some APOs (Audio Processing Objects) by the vendor. Typical names are “DolbyDAX” or “MaxxAudio”. These APOs “optimize” the sound by introducing filters and compressors into the signal chain to make audio sound “better” through your notebook’s speakers. But they also mess with headphone audio and lead to a severe degradation of the audio quality in my opinion. As far as I know, there is no user-friendly way to turn them off. And even if you manage to turn them off, chances are that they are back with the next bi-annual Windows 10 feature update.

It is not straight-forward to delete them, because they are system files that Windows does not want you to mess with. You need to set yourself as their owner first. Here are some commands that help me do this and turn them off on my ACER and DELL notebooks. I execute them after each update.

There is no guarantee that these will work on your machine. Use these commands at your own peril. Of course I don’t take any responsibility if something goes wrong or your machine goes up in a huge ball of fire. 😉

ACER

Run cmd.exe as administrator. Replace YOUR_USER_NAME with your Windows user name.

TAKEOWN /F C:\Windows\system32\DolbyDAX*
ICACLS "C:\Windows\system32\DolbyDAX*" /grant YOUR_USER_NAME:(OI)(CI)F
TASKKILL /IM "audiodg.exe" /F
DEL C:\Windows\system32\DolbyDAX*

DELL

Run cmd.exe as administrator. Replace YOUR_USER_NAME with your Windows user name.

TAKEOWN /F C:\Windows\system32\MaxxAudio*
ICACLS "C:\Windows\system32\MaxxAudio*" /grant YOUR_USER_NAME:(OI)(CI)F
TASKKILL /IM "audiodg.exe" /F
DEL C:\Windows\system32\MaxxAudio*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.