Razer Blade15 Laptop Volume Issue – The Dolby Solution (Windows 10)

A few months ago I moved from my 2019 Razer Blade 15 to a 2020 Razer Blade 15. I had a couple of migratory issues that I’ve worked out and decided to do a post or two on the worst offenders.

Quick note: The changes on the new 2020 Blade are so minimal I didn’t even do a write up / post. It’s got a slightly faster processor, upgraded GPU and an SD card slot now. Wheee! The upgrade is so minimal that, in retrospect, I don’t think I would have made the switch. 

For my laptop migration I used an evil hack (I needed to get back in action ASAP). I opened up the laptops and swapped the physical hard drives. This really only worked because the laptop hardware is so close and Windows 10 is a rock star. After being a little confused, needing some upgraded drivers and a slew of reactivations the Razer was in business (I’m still planning to do a fresh Windows installation at some point).

The swap left me with some hiccups. One of the most irritating was that the volume on the new Razer 15 was impossibly low. I work in pretty quiet room (aside from some fan noise) and I was having trouble hearing dialogue on YouTube videos and it was impossible work in Premier without headphones (for whatever reason I don’t like headphones for work).

Normally the solution would be to pull up the device manager and go the “properties” window and navigate to the “audio enhancements” tab (you can increase the volume with “loudness equalization”). But that tab was missing and it wasn’t coming back. I spent hours trying to resolve this. I Googled everything I could think of with no luck.

And then, buried online, in a thread not even really related to my issue I came across a post from someone who said that his computer had come with the Dolby driver and “he thought that made it louder.” What? More Googling with no results. What was this “Dolby driver” 🤔. On a whim I typed “Dobly” into the Windows search box. Interesting.

This is the app that pulled up for “Dolby Atmos.” It’s even “Razer” branded. It’s obviously part of the software that’s automatically installed now by the Razer updater (for more recent laptop models downloadable drivers have been replaced by an update program). This was an exciting find.

With the Dolby Atmos turned “on” and using any of the presets the volume just about doubles. What a huge relief! I suppose this app completely replaces the need for the enhancement tab and, to its credit, it’s much more powerful and accurate. I would surmise that the program comes turned on when you buy the laptop and use it as configured. You run into problems when you reinstall the software, like me. Do most people even know about the Dolby app? I sure didn’t.

The summary version: If your new computer’s volume is ridiculously low check to see if you have the Dolby Atmos app installed and make sure it’s turned on ✔.