Problem after updating Win10 on HP laptop

I recently had to do a system update from HP in order to download Win10 updates. It looked as though the download went without hitch, and I was able to do the Win10 updates after that. However, since that time, I am getting a low frequency loss in my recordings, along with a slightly out of phase sound. The difference is very audible. I re-downloaded Audacity; that didn’t help. I then removed my sound card driver, and rebooted to reinstall, and that didn’t help. Has somebody had an experience like this? I don’t know where to turn for help.

Gordon Pfannenstiel

Windows 10 is not an update. It’s a whole new Operating System and your hardware and system drivers have to be written for it. If you install something, it has to explicitly say “OK for Windows 10.” Just “OK for Windows” isn’t enough.

Sometimes you can get away with it, but sometimes you get oddball actions and performance when your machine and Windows 10 don’t speak to each other.

So that’s one problem straight-away. I don’t know of any way around digging in your housekeeping and check everything.


My Win10 laptop has settings for “internal speakers”, “headphones”, “external speakers”, and maybe something else… If you set it to “internal speakers” the bass is rolled-off.

I don’t have the laptop with me at the moment and I don’t remember exactly how to find those settings, but I assume you start by right-clicking the speaker/volume icon.

Depending on your soundcard & drivers you may have some other “enhancements” such as EQ or surround effects and their may be a utility for enabling/disabling/adjusting those effects.

Right click the speaker icon ( not the Realtek one just the standard windows volume control one) and select playback devices or recording devices. For each active device ( recording and playback ) choose properties and under the enhancements tab tick the box for disable enhancements and disable sound effects. Please let us know if that helps.

I’ve tried right clicking on the speaker icon and making sure enhancements are off on the USB multimedia device. Here’s more information. The internal update I had to do to get Win10 updates to download was the BIOS. I had to do it, because the computer was just not loading the updates. I did the BIOS update directly from HP’s website, and everything seemed to go well. The Win10 updates downloaded (thought it took a LOT of time) successfully, after not being able to for almost 2 months. I’m giving this backstory because I need to solve this, and I need help.


Trying to take a logical approach to this, first can you confirm whether the recordings are wrong or its just the playback? Can you export to a high quality format ( such as 24 bit wav) and listen on another device which is connected to a decent amp and speakers? You can also take a region of your recording which you know is affected and analyse it using the Audacity analyse - plot spectrum option. For any given input device windows usually offers three different interfaces i.e. WASAPI, MME, Direct sound. It would be expected that WASAPI would give the best results but you can try each one and compare using analyse or using your ears. What input device are you using? It is possible that you can roll back the drivers and you may also be able to uninstall unnecessary additional software which HP have added to ‘enhance’ the laptops poor speakers.

I had the weekend to troubleshoot and know more about the problem. It is not in the recording process; only in playback. Also, all past recordings play back the same way: slightly out of phase and with low frequency loss. I know it would seem that it is in the speaker out stage, because there are filters and such available. But I have checked all that, and it’s fine. So I continue to be baffled.


One more thing. When I transfer files (like to a CD-R), they are fine. So it is ONLY in the speaker of on the computer, nothing else.


It is not in the recording process; only in playback…

…So it is ONLY in the speaker of on the computer, nothing else.

I know you said something changed, but you can’t expect “good sound” out of laptop speakers and you shouldn’t be using the built-in speakers to judge sound quality.

I don’t know what’s causing the “phasing” but those tiny speakers can’t reproduce bass. A phase inversion of one side will tend to kill the bass because the sound waves cancel out, but a software/operating system update shouldn’t cause that.

It is not in the recording process; only in playback…

And, you get the same issue when you play a known-good WAV, MP3, or CD through the computer speakers?

NOTE - A stage/studio microphone with an XLR connector (balanced connection) with an adapter into an unbalanced stereo computer-mic input can result in out-of-phase left & right channels.

I don’t use the laptop speakers. I use the headphone jack to run the laptop to my home sound system. I am an audiophile, so this I a serious problem which just started. I don’t do any studio recording on this laptop, so there is no usage of microphone. The computer is exclusively dedicated to recording and playing back my LP collection. Many I have transferred to CD, many I have not. I do use the output to use Audacity to add judicious EQ to some of my vinyl transfers, and of course I can’t do that with this problem. I am looking for solutions to a legitimate problem with the “speaker output” stage of my computer. I have isolated to that; I just don’t know how to fix it.

Also I only record WAV, but I do have some MP3 files that I’ve downloaded from Amazon, and I get the same result from them: thin bass and some “phase.” I know a phase problem results in bass loss, so I’m thinking that’s the case here, but I have no idea what, in the digital world, would case a phase problem.