How to enable Windows Sonic virtual surround sound in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Hear, hear.

The Windows 10 Creators Update comes packed with all kinds of little surprises. This tip covers a new feature that audiophiles will want to know about, as well as those who want to try and get a little bit extra out of their headphones and speakers.

sonicforheadphones Ian Paul/IDG

The Creators Update sonic for headphones setting.

The Creators Update includes a feature called Windows Sonic for Headphones. It's a spatial sound format that is supposed to make audio more immersive and give even the most bland pair of headphones a more 3D Audio feel.

It appears developers have to enable this feature via some new APIs from Microsoft. To be honest, in my tests with a cheap pair of smartphone earbuds and then a pair of desktop speakers I didn't hear a difference. Both were routed through the headphone jack; perhaps a nicer pair of headphones would've made a noticeable difference.

Some users on Reddit report a better experience, while others are in the same boat as me. As the new spatial audio APIs get more use we should be able to judge the difference more accurately in the future.

spatialsoundrightclick Ian Paul/IDG

The spatial sound setting in Creators Update volume controls.

If you want to turn on the new feature today, however, it's very easy. First, right-click the speaker audio icon in your taskbar. The right-click context menu will show a new option that reads Spatial sound (none).

Select that option, and your current audio device's properties window will open at the new Spatial sound tab.

Now just click on the drop down menu and select Windows Sonic for Headphones, which will automatically check the box labeled "Turn on 7.1 virtual surround sound." Now click Apply and then OK

You're done! For even more goodies, be sure to read PCWorld's guides to the Windows 10 Creators Update's best features and hidden secrets.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?