Music playback knocked out by other sounds

Hello, hope someone can help me!

I've recently started using Windows 7, and am having an annoying sound issue.

If I'm playing music or listening to an internet radio station either through Windows Media Player or through my internet browser, if I then get another sound come through in anything else eg. a sound effect from a game, email notification, Windows Messenger alert etc. it knocks the sound of the music down to about a quarter of what it originally was. The music volume then gradually recovers once it realises no other sounds are going to be made. It's as if it's giving priority to the other programs.

I don't want this to happen at all! I'd rather choose a low background volume for the music, which stays rock solid and doesn't get altered by anything else.

I've tried adjusting various settings both within the audio control panel in Windows (Realtek HD Audio Manager) and Windows Media Player, but without any luck. I've noticed the setting about Windows automatically adjusting volume if it detects communications activity, and tried changing it to "do nothing" but this has absolutely no effect. Game sound effects aren't communication activity anyway! I've also tried ticking and unticking the "Normalise Volume" check-boxes in my Realtek HD Audio Manager control panel, but this doesn't appear to do anything either.

Please can anyone help me with a way to stop the sound keep getting knocking out. It's so irritating I've stopped playing music through my PC all together when multi-tasking :(

Many thanks in advance for any help.


Essential Member
Try checking for the latest Realtek driver updates ;)

Try checking for the latest Realtek driver updates ;)
Ah fantastic, looks like that's fixed it! I downloaded the latest Realtek driver (I had, and the latest is The installation process first removes the driver and then you reboot your PC before then installing the new version.

Although I haven't installed the newer version yet, my sounds are all working, and the sound issue is gone. Music playback in Windows Media Player doesn't get affected at all by other sounds kicking in.

Don't want to install the new drivers now!! If all my sounds are working, do I really need them? What do they actually do?!

Thanks again for the pointer!! :)


Essential Member
Newer drivers often times just have bug fixes/updated programs (like the Realtek CP for example).
If you say everything's working now, there's no need to install the newest ones (If I understand correctly?)
Glad to have been of assistance :)

Yes, thanks. I'll continue using what I presume are the default Windows system drivers, as they seem to be playing sounds perfectly, and without the issue I had before. I no longer have the Realtek Control Panel, but I didn't use it anyway so that's not an issue. I can just control any settings if I need to via the default Windows controls.


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