Essential free drivers for quality audio
Realtek HD Audio Drivers X64 are free drivers that will allow you to listen to high-quality audio on supporting 64bit PCs. It’s an essential piece of equipment and one that will transform the way you hear sound on your computer, but it’s not always easy to install, manage, or even find. If your computer supports Realtek audio, however, it’s something you’re going to want to have access to regardless.
Audio drivers that aren’t always easy to manage
Drivers are essentially pieces of software that allow other types of software to talk to the hardware on a computer. They affect different aspects, so you might have one set of drivers that talk to the keyboard drivers, another that talk to the video drivers, and a third to the audio set-up, etc. You need to keep them updated to ensure they're working effectively, which is why you might think of downloading Realtek Audio Drivers.
Downloading and installing the drivers
Realtek HD Audio Drivers are famously unpredictable to download and install. If you’re lucky, the whole process will be relatively straightforward - download, open, and follow the install wizard. Even in the best-case scenario, this is a little time-consuming - the old drivers must be uninstalled and the computer restarted, and the new ones must be installed, and the computer restarted again. You, as a user, will have to do relatively little, but you do have to let it play out. If you’re unlucky, your computer will also use this time to install other updates, delaying the process further.
Interacting with your Realtek drivers
Depending on your computer, interacting with your drivers will be more or less easy. Some users will be able to use a Windows Store app called Realtek Audio Console. Others will need to interact with the drivers by accessing the Realtek program files and opening RtkNGUI64, while yet more people will need to access the Realtek Audio HD manager via the control panel. This variety of options is confusing, and the fact that it is hard to know which one will work for you means that only users who are very interested in their audio set-up will bother following it through to the bitter end.
Making changes to your audio set-up
If you manage to access a graphic interface for your Realtek HD Audio Drivers, you’ll probably have access to a variety of options regarding the way you hear music. Chances are you’ll be able to edit both recording and playing options.
For the speakers, you’ll be able to configure where the sound comes from (left vs. right speaker), and how loud it is. You’ll also be able to choose default formats for playing both CDs and DVDs, choosing from between 16 and 24 bits, and then listen to the settings you have chosen.
When it comes to recording options, you’ll also be able to tweak the left/right balance, as well as enable or disable far-field pickup (this allows your voice to be picked up by the microphone even when you’re not directly in front of it) or to disable the microphone effect. Another available option is to boost the microphone by a variety of decibel levels, to enhance your voice on recordings. Finally, you can hit the information icon, where you’ll see full information regarding your drivers, including:
Some users report also having a sound effects tab, which provides you with a long list of available effects with loudness equalization to reduce perceived volume differences. There are various options to intensify the speaker/headphones with an assortment of effects. You can also use a native Equalizer and Voice Cancellation feature to set the sound effect to a level that suits you.
Why the drivers are complicated
The Realtek HD Audio Drivers have a reputation for being a little complicated. The main reason for this is that it’s very hard to predict what exactly will appear on your computer - if it appears at all. Not only are there a variety of ways that you might be able to interact with the software, even when you have a specific GUI, but it may also have different options enabled or disabled, depending on the computer you’re using.
If it works, this app will improve your audio experience
There’s no doubt that Realtek HD Audio Drivers X64 will really help improve your experience of audio on a 64-bit Windows computer - we just wish it wasn’t so awkward to use! Unfortunately, if you want your audio devices to be in top condition (and you’d like to have some control over how they perform), you have no choice but to dive in and see what and where you can access and modify.
For the rest of us, editing Realtek HD Audio Drivers will seem like a boring step too far. If you think that might be you, ignore them and cross your fingers your audio never gives you any trouble. You might get lucky, and be able to sidestep driver confusion completely.
The latest version of these drivers updated PCIe FE / GBE 10028 to version 10034 for Windows 10.