The secret was in the driver

Something to be very happy about today. In addition to several other happy things happening the last few days. Alhamdulillah. The sound on my 3-month old Lenovo ThinkPad i7 Ultrabook computer has improved tremendously. Before this the sound sounded really crappy, even on my top flight Shure SE535 IEM. What more on my day-to-day SE110 or Final Audio Design Adagio ii IEMs.

Audio Codec ChipsThe secret – the computer’s Conexant audio chip driver software. I had previously downloaded and installed what I had thought to be the latest driver, from Lenovo support website. Still the sound was trash compared to my previous HP EliteBook computer which had an IDT chip. Bass was muddled. Mids were so so. The highs were not showing their shimmers.

Lenovo_audio driver 6 Sep 2014_updated_before and after_annotatedThen it occurred to me to search wider in the web for a driver newer that the one I had got from the Lenovo site. I brushed aside some background fears that the “outside” driver would not be compatible with my computer. I found it at Softpedia. Followed appropriate steps to update the on board driver, pointing to the folder of my newfound driver. It took an uncharacteristically long time to finish. And when it did finish, and after a reboot, I was extremely pleasantly surprised with the sound. I think the sound is now 200% better than my HP’s. The only downside – my laptop’s bundled Dolby Home Theater was no longer working. And I had no regrets, I could do without the Dolby app. The equalizers on my favorite AIMP3 audio player and VLC media player were good enough for me.

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