You fire up the ol’ computer and pop in your favorite CD. Why is it you are hearing poor sound quality from your PC? What has always sounded great on your stereo system is suddenly sounding a bit like listening to your music through a tin can. Or, worse yet, no sound at all. What could cause an inability to properly hear sounds through your PC’s sound system and how can you fix this?

What you may be experiencing:

There are several indications that something could be wrong with your Microsoft sound drivers.

  • No sound at all.
  • Audio starting but not finishing.
  • Distorted sound.
  • Errors or computer freeze upon playing sound.

Rule out the number one reason why you may be unable to properly hear sound!

The very first thing you should check and rule out is defunct hardware. Unplug your speakers or headphones from your computer and plug in a different set. If you are able to hear audio properly at this point, you can safely assume the issue is with the speakers or headphones and not your computer system.

Second avenue for checking sound issues…

The next step to follow when pinpointing sound issues is to utilize the Sound Troubleshooter. To start the Sound Troubleshooter, click on Start, choose Help and Support, then under Pick a Help Topic, click on Troubleshoot a Problem. The next window that appears will have several panes. Within the Music, Movies, and Video pane, select Music and Sound. Read through the listed problems and select which one pertains to your issue. At this point, follow through the support wizard until your issue has been resolved.

Check your media player.

If you have found that the problem does not lie within the hardware and the Sound Troubleshooter does not resolve your issue, you may need to check the media player you are currently using. More often than not, computers are equipped with and most people use the Windows Media Player. Ensure you have the latest version of this software by visiting the Microsoft Windows Media Player web site. Once an updated and current version is installed, check your sound again. If this does not resolve the sound issue, there is one more step you can try.

Update your sound drivers!

If all three of the above solutions do not resolve your sound issue, it may be that you will need to update your sound drivers. You have a few options with regard to updating sound drivers. You can use the Microsoft Update site or you can use a third party program that will enable you to download sound drivers and update them as needed. Our recommendation for the latter is DriverFinder, a handy tool that will help you determine which drivers may be out of date, allow you to download Microsoft sound drivers, and help keep these sorts of issues at bay in the future.


Discovering you have poor sound quality coming from your PC or even no sound at all can be a bit of a pain. However, following the above mentioned tips should allow you to determine the problem and discover if you need to download new sound drivers to alleviate the problem all with little or no hassle.

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