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Improve the sound quality of your PC

What is the quality of the sound like on your Windows PC? It probably sounds OK, but is it really OK or does it sound OK because you don't have anything to compare it with? It is easy to compare audio quality when you have two sources you can listen to, but it is hard to assess the quality of one on its own.

There are some simple tweaks you can perform that will enhance the sound quality on your PC and it is easy to compare them before and after to hear the difference. You might be surprised by how much the audio can be improved and how poor it was before.

One simple way in which you can enhance the audio quality is to install a special sound processing utility like DFX Audio Enhancer. Start Windows Media Player and click Tools, Plug-ins, Download plug-ins (if the menu is hidden, press Alt to display it). A web browser window opens and displays a list of plug-ins. Scroll down the list and click Get Plug-in next to DFX.

This opens the DFX Audio Enhancer home page. There is a free version and a Plus version you can buy for $29.95. If you get the free one you can always upgrade later if you like it, so download it and install it.

DFX Audio EnhancerDFX has a column of sliders on the left for fidelity, ambience, 3D surround effects, dynamic boost and hyperbass. On the right are two music modes and a speech mode. There is an option to select speakers or headphones.

DFX works with almost any media player and online music streaming service, so you can use Windows Media Player or iTunes, Spotify or YouTube, and so on. It just works.

When DFX is switched on you will notice that the sound is much richer and it really makes a difference. Set some music playing in a media player and click the DFX Power button on and off to see the difference it makes. It's really quite clever.

There are a few irritations with the freebie that are designed to get you to upgrade. One is that you can't minimise the DFX program window and the second is that it switches off after four or five minutes and you have to switch it back on again.

However, it's enough to see what it is like and you can listen to a whole track, switch it on again and listen to another track.

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