Low Sound Level on Hp DV2911US

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This is a new Vista system and I can still take it back but I'd like to
determine why the sound is so low under certain conditions.

The system passes the sound test with no problem and the test sounds are

All sound controls are maxed out.

When playing dvd movies or streaming movies from the hulu site, the actor's
speaking voices often sound like a very low whisper.  In other parts of the
movie, the sound is loud enough to be intelligible.

I have updated Vista, the Conexant sound drivers and will update the system
bios next but I'm just throwing darts at this point.

Is this poor performance typical of HP laptops??   Of all laptops?  Or is
the problem on the media or site end?

Thanks for any helpful suggestions.


Re: Low Sound Level on Hp DV2911US

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I presume you're using your laptop's internal speakers. If that's the
case, I'd say that the dynamic range of movies is too large for your
audio system, the laptop speakers. This means that while movies
originally are intended to be played with home theater systems that make
even the quietest sounds audible, you're using laptop's integrated
speakers. And (almost?) any laptop's speakers are only capable of making
the loudest sounds somewhat audible.

Watching movies (and hearing them) with laptop's integrated speakers is
still possible, if the DVD player software you're using has a feature
that compresses the dynamic range, amplifying quieter parts close to
louder parts. For example in PowerDVD 7, there's a setting called
'Dynamic Range Compression' in Configuration -> Audio -> Advanced, that
can be set to compress dynamic range more fitting for laptop speakers.


Re: Low Sound Level on Hp DV2911US

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Yes, I am using the built-in speakers.

It's possible the dynamic range is the problem and with hulu movies there
are no tweaks as it does not use a dvd player.

With the included dvd player, QuickPlay, the sound has 4 level modes in
addition to the volume control and that helps with dvds.

The system is capable of making loud sounds ( commercials)  but I don't know
over what frequency range.  TV clips are also  plenty loud so I am inclined
to agree that the movies' sound tracks are designed for theatre caliber
reproduction that won't happen with laptop speakers.

I flashed the bios but don't have an objective way of detecting any change
in the sound level.

I have not tried any of the other movie streaming sites and will try that

Thank you for your input.


Re: Low Sound Level on Hp DV2911US

JB wrote:
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I also have an HP notebook, a bit older than yours, but with vista. If
yours has a keyboard, backlighted volume control, it is the case with
mine that this volume control is not firmly bound to the other volume
controls.  The result is that I can set volume to max in both my sound
card and the volume control panel, yet the keyboard volume still
controls the sound.  It's as if the keyboard volume control sets the
global max volume, independent of what the other two controls will do.

What do you find when using headphones?


Re: Low Sound Level on Hp DV2911US

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I noticed that the screen said 100 when the sound level was 96 in the
control panel.

Headphones seem to work ok but the ones I was using did not fit well so I
did not do much testing.

Recording voice from the internal mic works ok on playback.

Using QuickPlay to make a video with sound also seems ok.

Thanks for your input.


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