Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an ASUS M3A78PRO motherboard with realtek 7.1 audio chipset onboard. I have also two speaker and a subwoofer with no external volume control. I'm on Windows 7. There is a way to control, separately from speaker volume, subwoofer volume?

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This isn't really an easy thing to answer. We would need to know some details about your "sub-woofer" to be clear.

Most 2.1 speaker sets (left/right + sub) typically do not have a separate subwoofer channel, but rather the left and right data are processed together, and there is some electronics in the inside that splits off a frequency range from the audio source and then passes that to the sub-woofer. An easy way to tell is by looking at the plug(s) itself(themselves):

1/4" Headphone Jack

You can clearly see that there's only 2 channels. In this case, the only way to amplify the sub-woofer's volume, is to use an equalizer and amplify the range that the electronics filter out for the subwoofer. Cheaper speaker systems frequently continue to pass that range onto the left & right speakers, so you'll also be amplifying them.

Some low-grade speaker systems have additional plugs for TRUE 3.1/5.1/7.1 configuration options, where you end up with 2/3 or 4 of those 1/4" jacks. For example, in basic 3.1 surround sound, you would end up with 1 plug carrying the left and right channels, 1 plug carrying the center and subwoofer channels. In those cases, you simply turn up the volume on the specified channel.

Higher-end speaker systems, rather than relying on 2,3 or 4 separate plugs will usually offer either an optical interface or digital interface where the channels are carried as a single digital signal and then the receiver interprets the signal and then sends the signal to each speaker. Their plugs look like this:

enter image description here


enter image description here

Your system, does indeed include a digital S/PDIF port for hooking up to a digital receiver... but I doubt your speakers would support it. (unless you paid quite a lot for 'em) The 6 "1/4 inch" jacks on your motherboard can be configured to have 4 of them behaving as audio out, giving you 7.1 audio. (left/right front, left/right mid, left/right back, center and sub) Usually there's a tool that pops up when you plug something in that asks you what you just plugged in.

share|improve this answer
It's a great explanation, but I didn't specified well the configuration. I have two speakers 2.0 (if I can say that) connected to front speaker output (on the mobo). The subwoofer is a single piece, taken from an old 5.1 system, and so is detached from the two speakers. It's connected to the subwoofer output (on the mobo). So the question is: can I select different volumes for different output channels? – MrMoog Jan 17 '13 at 21:17
The answer is a "most-likely". Different drivers behave slightly differently. Typically, you can find and adjust the levels independently if you right-click the sound-icon in the system tray and select Playback Devices, and then select properties of the output device, and finally go to the Levels tab. Sometimes you can only do such adjustments with an application for that sound device. – TheCompWiz Jan 17 '13 at 22:58
Thanks! I didn't think it was so simple! – MrMoog Jan 18 '13 at 11:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.