VLC Simple Audio Settings

The Audio settings divide into the following four subgroups:

  • volume
  • output
  • Effects
  • title


The two options in this subgroup are interdependent, but only one of them can be activated. The volume can be set between 0% and 200% or between the values ​​0 and 512 (not as shown in the quick info, between 0 and 1024). 100% corresponds to the value 256.

  • Save the audio level between sessions

    This option defines whether the volume level set in the control area should be discarded or saved when VLC is closed. Activating this option means that the last volume level set is adopted each time VLC is restarted.

  • Always reset audio start level to

    This option sets the default volume. This is only important if VLC is started and the volume level set in the previous session was not automatically saved.


The default setting for this option is Standard. With this, VLC tries to choose the best available method. In very few cases
this setting has to be changed. However, if the audio output does
not meet your personal expectations, you can try to achieve an improvement using one of the modules listed in the list.

The list can be reached by clicking on the small black triangle on the right edge of the button. Their content also depends on the respective operating system and the system equipment. The following settings are probably always offered, at least under Windows:

  • Win32 WaveOut expansion output

    This setting also offers the option “Use S / PDIF if available”. “S / PDIF” stands for “Sony / Philips Digital Interface”. So if you have this interface available and want to output via it, you should switch from the standard-setting to this.
    Even if AC3 sound files (Dolby Digital) and the available output channels are only output in stereo, you should try this setting.

  • File audio output

    This setting can be used to redirect the audio output to a file. However, there are probably only a few cases in which this option can be used sensibly.

  • DirectX audio output

    With this setting, as with the setting for “Win32 Wave Out Extension Output”, the option “Use S / PDIF if available” is offered.
    In addition, the device via which the output should be made can also be specified here. This is particularly interesting for all those who have an additional sound card in addition to the sound chip on board.

  • Audio memory output

  • This audio output module, like the “Win32 WaveOut extension output” or the “DirectX audio output”, belongs to the “test settings”, ie to those that should be tested in the event of problems with the standard output.
  • Dummy audio output

    With this setting, audio output is only performed “pretend”. In rare cases, this may be necessary to simulate a video without an audio track.


The following six options are summarized in this subgroup, which, in the opinion of the developers, are among the relatively large number of setting options for influencing the audio output that is most frequently desired and can also be used:

  • Activate audio tone time-stretching

    If this option is activated, the user has the option of influencing the tempo for the audio playback, i.e. playing it faster or slower without changing the pitch.
    The easiest way to make such a change is to use the shortcut keys (see there). However, you can also expand the toolbar for playback with corresponding switch icons.

  • Normalize the volume to

    With this option, you determine whether audio objects should be normalized during playback. If one decides to normalize, the target value for normalization must be set. VLC specifies a setting between 0.5 and 10 as useful for this. The greater this value, the more moderate the normalization will be.
    With this “loudness normalization”, the volume of the audio object is calculated according to the average deflection of parts that have already been played and, if this is higher than the target value, is adapted to this. It is thus possible to adjust the volume corresponding to the human loudness perception, for example, to match several pieces of music to one another or to avoid loudness jumps at program transitions in radio and television.

  • Gain Mode

    This option, like the previous one, is a form of normalization. You should therefore consider whether it makes sense to activate both options at the same time. At least one should carefully examine the effect of simultaneous use.
    This option allows three settings, None, Title, and Album. Depending on the setting, this form of normalization is not used or is used for all audio objects, a distinction being made again between an individual evaluation for each individual object and a joint evaluation and treatment for an entire album (the content of the playlist).

  • Dolby Surround

    There are three possible settings for this option: “Automatic”, “On” and “Off”. The default setting is “Automatic”.
    When set to “Automatic”, VLC normally detects when an audio source has been created with Dolby Surround and plays it back accordingly. If this is not the case, setting this option to “On” means that VLC will use the Dolby Surround settings when playing back all audio objects. This is usually also advantageous for audio objects without Dolby Surround.
    However, if you only have two speakers in your system, you should set this option to “Off”, otherwise when the Dolby Surround signal (AC-3 or A / 52) is reproduced,

  • Headphone surround effect

    Activating this option can lead to a significant improvement in sound quality, especially for headphones.

  • Visualization

    This option can be used to activate a window with a visualization of the sound playback for audio files. The following setting options are available for this:
    Standard: With this setting, there is no visualization.

    Visualization filter

    A sound spectrum with the individual frequency ranges is shown in the form of a bar chart.libprojectM effect: A very large number of different visualization effects can be activated with this option. VLC provides the necessary plug-in for this, but not the individual effect files. You can get these yourself, for example, from projecM .
    These effect files (of the .milk type) can be copied into any folder. The path must be entered in the advanced settings All – Audio – Visualizations – projectM . The projectM plug-in randomly selects a new effect for each next audio stream to be played back.Goom effect: An effect that is very computationally intensive and, if it can be shown at all, can very easily lead to disruptions in audio playback.

    Window Decorations

    Under Settings – All – Audio – Visualizations there are further options that can be used, for example, to define the size of the visualization area. If the visualization area is to be displayed without a window frame, the window decorations option must be deactivated in the simple video settings.

    The visualization should be deactivated for the output of audio-set videos, which should be the rule, otherwise, VLC will output the visualization of the audio stream in an additional window that is usually covered by the video window.


In this last subgroup, there are two more options.

  • Preferred audio language
    This option is particularly important for playing back films with multiple audio tracks, each in a different national language. By entering so-called country codes, you can determine which of the audio tracks should be played back with the video.
    Such country codes are the first two or three letters of a country. For example, “DE” or “DEU” can be entered for German and “EN” or “ENG” for English.
  • Send played song statistics to
    This option is only relevant for users of the Internet radio You have to enter your username and password here when activating so that VLC can transfer the music titles the user has heard to

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