Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have looked into this and see that the volume of the speakers can be adjusted various ways. Assuming you agree that a CRT TV is also a "computer" somewhat (it has a microprocessor), specifically those from the 90s and 2000s, here's an example:

You can raise and lower the volume of the TV's speakers from either the cable box or with the volume controls directly for the TV. You can mix and adjust both of these ... but the volume from the cable box will go through different steps to lower the volume.

Basically, the same applies on computers like x86 and Windows. On Windows 2000 and up you can adjust the volume many ways, such as:

1.from the speaker itself directly sometimes;

2.from the system volume settings;

3.from an app's volume settings, etc.

All of these adjust the sound, but is this a difference of hardware and software sound? I do not understand.

share|improve this question
    
You sure you're not confusing this kind of "Volume"? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volume_(computing) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 2 '14 at 21:12
1  
The volume of sound is the same. Does not matter if it's controller by software or a mechanical switch –  Ramhound Apr 2 '14 at 21:15

1 Answer 1

Sound output can be viewed as a sequential process: App volume -> system volume -> hardware volume.

The app and system volume are both percentages of the maximum output volume. Since these are digital signals, they have an upper limit. You can only set it lower than the maximum volume.

Hardware volume knobs set the speaker's internal amplifier. They will amplify the line level signal out of your computer to an audible signal (normal line level only provides enough power for headphones (it's not recommended to connect headphones to a line output!)).

From this you can determine that if you put the app and system's volume both to 50%, you will have to turn up the amplifier 4x in order to reach the same volume (and possibly more to achieve the same loudness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness))

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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