my laptop has very unsatisfactory sound. It has Realtek HD Audio and I remember that being much better in my previous laptop. I always use the same headphones with 3,5mm socket and can also compare it to my TV. There arethree 3,5mm sockets, and they all have slightly different sound, with one being particularly distorted (but also seemingly giving the fullest spectrum).
The others seem to be fine at first, but they never quite "shine" and seem to be smothered or veiled. It is hard to notice, but makes listning to music onthe whole unsatisfactory. Only when there is a particularly strong sound (say, piano forte), it sort of breaks through the veil in a noisy peak, proving that there is something wrong. The sound also doesn't seem to be evenly distributed, or seems limited to certain areas of the headphone as opposed to being symmetrically distributed along the surface.
So, there seems to be something wrong with the sockets or connections, or maybe even somthing internal. Ideas?
Open up the audio software, look at the EQ, speaker selection, mixer level controls.
If the mixer level is high, and the master volume is low, you will get plenty of distortion.
Select an EQ setting that works with you headphones. Turn off effects and audio processing. (so that you have a dry sound)
Download the entire computer manual from the manufacturer's website. Look in the audio instructions for the location of controls.
Double click the speaker icon in the lower right hand of the desktop, this will bring up the mixer, or single click to bring up the volume control. (may vary according to manufacturer)
But in case the volume is missing, corrupted, or the audio is otherwise non-functional:
you check whichever audio was installed:
click start, control panel, add remove programs, look at the list...
which audio software is shown on the list? delete it, restart the computer.
now visit the motherboard manufacturer or computer manufacturer's website
look up your computer drivers by model number
download the latest audio drivers, save on the desktop...
turn the antivirus off,
if you have multiple security programs installed, turn them all off
(your driver may not install if security systems are turned on)
now load your new audio driver, restart, turn the antivirus back on.