Waves MaxxAudio on Dell Workstations

This post will be a bit of a rant. I recently got a Dell Precision M4800, a professional mobile workstation.

It comes with software preloaded called Waves MaxxAudio, it provides some of the same features other notebooks include that can “make audio sound better”.

I’ve been comparing the sound output with MaxxAudio enabled, and MaxxAudio disabled. And while it does sound somewhat better while on. The audio still sounds terrible for some strange reason.

I turned the audio enhancement off, and the audio that came out sounded like a megaphone. I  instantly knew something was up. So I stuck the audio from the headphone jack straight into a calibrated audio spectrum analyzer and found that:

1. When MaxxAudio is ‘off’, It isn’t actually off. The mids are boosted, and bass/treble cut off to make the audio sound much worse than it should be

2. When MaxxAudio is ‘on’ It boosts the bass and treble to levels where music begins to sound nothing like what it was intended.

So what I did next was uninstall the realtek driver, and rebooted my PC. Music sounds much better now, not distorted, and full of adequate sub bass that i’m used to hearing from a semi-decent DAC.


Now, I really expected better from Dell. I find this completely unacceptable in a professional notebook. Audio coming out of the speakers, when audio enhancements are “off” should not be tampered with at all.

My advice is, UNINSTALL THIS CRAPWARE the moment you get it. Use the stock driver provided by microsoft. Wave audio’s enhancement software is nothing but a scam and a battery/CPU hog.

This is the only way to make the speakers and headphone jack sound normal again.


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