I'm only going to be using laptop speakers and headphones, so is there a point to install the Realtek High Definition Audio Drivers? The sound already works fine and if I install the driver I'm going to have the Realtek Audio Manager full of useless audio filters (bathroom, hall, underwater etc). Not to mention when that thing runs it takes up like 40MB of memory.

Will there be any improvement in audio quality from the current Microsoft drivers that came with Windows 7?


  • Been thinking the same thing about audio and video. – Unfundednut Dec 15 '09 at 20:03

No. Don't.

If it works fine, then leave it. There is no way a driver will "improve sound quality", especially if you have low demands (ie. not using data-banks, sampler, etc.)

It could even very well be that those driver you install do more wrong than good! Fewer apps, fewer headaches.

Just don't.

  • Surprisingly enough, that's not actually true. The driver that he's using is the in-box HDAudio driver which is a generic driver and should work on all HDAudio audio solutions. It's possible that the hardware-specific driver may have customizations that are tailored for the specific hardware. For instance some OEM drivers contain speaker compensation software that can dramatically improve the quality of the sound when played on a specific piece of audio hardware. You should always be able to uninstall the OEM driver if you don't like it. – ReinstateMonica Larry Osterman Dec 17 '09 at 22:04

Video drivers often give improvements on NVidia and ATI cards, they are always trying to add new optimizations. If your audio works, and does everything you need it to, there is no reason to install the custom drivers/apps.


I agree with the other comments- probably not necessary, and I can't see how the quality would improve, only the features/control. However, you could create a restore point, install the driver and see if there is anything you think you will use or find useful. If not, restore to before the checkpoint.

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