According to this comment it seems that VLC could boost the audio volume up to 800% in the past versions. Today I installed VLC multimedia player version 2.0.5 and it is capable only to boost up to 200%! This is not much, considering that some youtube videos are very quiet. This is what I need VLC for - to boost up volume for quiet youtube videos.

So, where's the problem? Was it actually 800% in the past? Did VLC really limit this from former 800% to current 200%? Is it possible to somehow achieve more boost with VLC? Or with other software? I am using Windows 7.


Update: the previously suggested --volume argument no longer works.

In more recent versions of VLC, you may adjust volume manually via commandline parameter:

vlc.exe [file] --gain [value]

The value is documented in --help --advanced to be a float in range of [0.000000 .. 8.000000], but test show that higher, even much higher values are also accepted (tested up to few thousands).

The gain value is independent of volume value, eg. regardless of the gain value and effective volume, the in-application volume will show as 100% or any other preset value.

The argument is as of this moment not defined in the manual.


vlc.exe %HOMEDIR%\Desktop\movie.flv --gain 16
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    ...of course, the quality won't be any good. But if you have a really quiet file, you may try :D – Michał Sacharewicz Apr 4 '13 at 20:55
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    +1 This works, great!! I changed it directly on the Desktop shortcut to "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --volume 1024 – Tomas Apr 5 '13 at 8:06
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    @MichałSacharewicz,,, Doesn't work on the current version! – John Smith Mar 2 '14 at 23:50
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    I have ver. 2.0.4 and the above settings do not work. – Technext Sep 6 '14 at 16:49
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    This does not work. I get Warning: option --volume no longer exists. VLC version 2.1.5 here. – John Smith Optional Jan 21 '15 at 23:45

You can set maximum volume up to 300% in preferences.

  1. Tools -> Preferences (Show settings = All) -> Interface -> Main interfaces -> Qt

  2. Then at the very bottom of the right panel set the Maximum Volume option.

  3. Save, exit and restart VLC.


The VideoLAN forum has a good quote:

If you put up the volume to 200%, vlc will not correctly amplify the sound but apparently cap some frequencies which leads to distortions. Maybe someone used a too small variable and a factor 2 leads to a overrun? Stuttering would not appear from something like that AFAIK.

Also look at the following VideoLAN Ticket #6198 - Audio over 150% with VLC 2.0 sounds bad and distorted. The commentaries provide some insight:

Report is about 150% on 2.0 sounding bad while 400% on previous version was good. (I know that 200% is the old 400%)

On videolan forum a user suggested that maybe vlc cap some frequencies which leads to distortions.

So in effect, raising the volume over a 100% will cap frequencies that go beyond a set decibel (dB) range, whilst the others are raised - causing a flattening of the sound.

By ramping up your volume, you are degrading your sound to the point distortion as your reach the extreme end. I would recommend buying a better pair of headphones or speakers.

  • thank you, however is just an "excuse" for VLC, not a solution :-) Furthermore I don't get how this is any related to frequencies. Raising volume is about amplitude and is not even remotely related to frequency. – Tomas Apr 5 '13 at 8:02
  • Yes, I wanted to provide a graphical illustration of this, through a graphical equilizer - as to why the sound becomes distorted. Couldn't find any information on the internet, so I'll have to do some testing when I get chance. – wonea Apr 5 '13 at 8:17

The visual slider goes to 200%, but, I believe, if you use mouse wheel, you can go higher than that.

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    please describe how to do that. – Tomas Apr 5 '13 at 8:07
  • @Tomas: You USED TO be able to put your mouse in the VLC window and scroll up/down, or press Ctrl+Up to increase the volume past 200%. However I'm unable to do this in the version I am using! (I have done it on other computers previously, and am equally confused.) – user156329 Jun 14 '13 at 16:34
  • Oh, saw other comment: "200% is the new 400%" -- meaning when you've moved it up that high it's already AT the old 400%... – user156329 Jun 14 '13 at 16:37

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