Windows 7 Sound Issue: Unwanted Reverb Stuck On

I had a strange problem with my little, Dell laptop (Inspiron 1318) the other day. I thought I'd put the issue and solution out there just in case anyone else encounters it. The issue was as if a reverb effect was stuck on.

I was about to work on a podcast that I edit in Audacity when I noticed that the source audio was dripping in reverb. If you have edited any audio yourself you'll know that you want the audio as dry as possible so that you can choose when and how to apply effects. At first I though the reverb had been added to source audio as it was recorded but then I noticed there was reverb applied to any audio I listened to - YouTube videos, MP3s in my music library, they all came through drenched in horrible reverb. Something was wrong with my machine.

The funny thing is that I wouldn't know how to add blanket reverb to all audio on my machine. I checked my audio driver from Dell and reinstalled it even through it was already up to date.That didn't make any difference.

To get rid of it I had to uninstall the audio driver and then reinstall it from scratch. To do this:

  • "Start" button and select "Computer"
  • Select "System properties" from the top menu bar of the "Computer" window
  • Select "Device Manager" from the left-hand "Control Panel Home"
  • Select "Sound, video, and game controllers" to show your audio device(s)
  • Select the audio device you are currently using then right-click and select "uninstall."
  • Reboot to complete the uninstall.
  • On startup, Windows will detect the sound card and re-install drivers.
  • It may require another reboot but your sound should now be clean
I hope this information is clear and useful to anyone else who encounters this weird problem.


  1. As a little bit of an Audiophile, this problem has been bugging me since I got my Packard Bell Laptop. Simple uninstall and auto re-install and I'm massively happy that the problem has now been solved!!!! Cheers!

    Marwood, UK :o)

  2. We have this problem on dee's computer and now gonna give it a try, will let you know results as we do radio broadcasting its been a pain ..

    many thanks for your blog Tim from Radio Gets Wild


  3. That was a great help dude. I first plain reinstalled the drivers over the older one but no good but your post helped me so much! Thanks brother.

  4. Pitty these damn Creative X-Fi drivers are such a pain in the ass to reinstall.... Is there any way to avoid this bug? I can't afford to reinstall drivers every time the computer starts.

  5. Thanks for the info... It worked on my laptop. :)

  6. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS TIP! I had the reverb problem in my speakers and couldn't figure a fix and it was still covered under a best buy warranty. So I dropped it off there....after a week, they had not been able to fix the issue. They started talking about clearing the whole system and reinstalling the OS....I took the computer back, got a refund and then spent some time this morning searching for reverb problem. Saw your post, applied the fix you recommend and in less than 5 mins I had fixed the problem. Sound is fine now. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I did this for my Dell Desktop.

  7. Worked!! This has been driving me crazy for months. Thank u for posting.

  8. Wow! I worked! I've been trying everything to get rid of the reverb, checking for 3rd party software problems, etc., and finally you gave me a solution that worked. Thanks!

  9. Can confirm. Ran into this using a creative x-fi card and this boggled my mind for a whole day. Worked perfectly. Thank you so much

  10. Yeh it worked but a fewdays later im having the same issue again this is really pissing me off !

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  12. Just to offer a third party update, this problem carries over into Win10 and apparently appears out of nowhere. My SoundBlaster ZxR is bathed in unwanted reverb that nothing, and I mean NOTHING has resolved.

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