NVIDIA High Definition Audio

There are usually too many cables to worry about when connecting video and audio between many devices. If you connect a computer to an HDTV display, the entire system looks disorganized without proper cable management. However, graphics cards that feature NVIDIA High Definition Audio can solve this issue!

NVIDIA High Definition Audio conveniently channels audio to an HDMI connection without extra cables. Graphics cards with this feature work as a sound controller by integrating an audio card with internal codecs. It supports multi-channel 5.1 audio and 16-24 bit sample sizes but does not support analog devices, like headphones and speakers connected to the computer.

What is NVIDIA High Definition Audio?

cable plugging into hdmi input

NVIDIA High Definition Audio uses internal codecs on a GPU-integrated audio card to provide high-quality sounds on an HDMI connection. As a result, you do not require audio cables when connecting a computer to an HDTV.

NVIDIA digital audio is better than analog audio because all data transfers between devices. It also supports compressed multi-channel 5.1 audio better than the Sony/Philips Digital Interface.

However, the codec is incompatible with analog audio used by headphones and speakers. It does support audio within 32-192 kHz, 16-24 bit sample sizes, and stereo or 7.1 speaker setups. Additionally, you can listen to multiple audio channels and Blu-Ray audio formats.

Computers with a GT212 GPU or newer include NVIDIA HD Audio. It is also compatible with Linux and Windows XP to 10.

NVIDIA HD Audio vs Realtek HD Audio

edifier speaker

Sound quality depends on connected audio equipment and audio bitrate, so comparing NVIDIA and Realtek HD Audio is challenging. Both deliver excellent sound quality, with different computer configurations and user needs.

NVIDIA High-Definition Audio routes digital audio from your computer to an HDMI output, whereas Realtek High-Definition Audio handles analog audio on a motherboard sound card.

Realtek High-Definition Audio

Realtek HD Audio provides a user-friendly way to detect headphones, speakers, and microphones on a computer. After installing its drivers, you can enjoy analog sounds and configure detailed audio settings.

It outputs stunning audio, but quality depends on the integrated or dedicated Realtek sound card. Newer motherboards with solid capacitors typically have great sound cards, but dedicated sound cards deliver studio-quality audio. Regardless of your sound card, you need to update your motherboard and audio drivers to the latest version to avoid issues.

The audio quality may also degrade if you have a small form factor system, such as a miniature HTPC, due to the headphone cable on the front. Some cables are also closer to internet components, making an induction screeching noise. As a result, Realtek HD Audio may not be best for cases without shielding.

NVIDIA High-Definition Audio

Unlike Realtek, NVIDIA HD Audio does not support analog audio. Instead, it uses internal codecs to process audio to an HDMI output without third-party cables. It also includes an integrated control panel to optimize 1080p displays so you can conveniently watch Blu-Ray movies on an external display. If you want to use headphones or speakers, you need to use a different built-in PC sound controller.

Do not use cables longer than 12 feet, and update your drivers to the latest version to avoid issues. You should also avoid using a KVM, audio receiver, or HDMI switch because it can worsen audio quality.

How to Setup NVIDIA Digital Audio in Windows

black headphones connected to laptop

To setup NVIDIA Digital Audio in Windows, follow these simple steps:

  1. Install the drivers for NVIDIA High-Definition Audio, according to your GPU.
  2. Right-click on the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
  3. Select Set up digital audio in the Display menu.
  4. Choose your audio output devices for supported connections, such as HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort, from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click Apply after configuring your digital audio settings.

How to Fix No Sound in NVIDIA High Definition Audio

headphones and audio equipment connected to laptop

Having no sound can be annoying, especially with a brand new NVIDIA GPU. This commonly occurs because of incompatible or corrupt drivers, but many other factors can interfere with NVIDIA HD Audio.

To fix no sound in NVIDIA High Definition Audio, try these solutions:

Switch the Audio Output

To change the audio output, follow these easy steps:

  1. Right-click the sound icon on the task tray and select Playback Devices. If you cannot find the sound icon, click the sound option from the menu bar and open the Playback tab.
  2. Next, right-click anywhere in the dialogue box and select Show Disconnected Devices or Show Disabled Devices.
  3. Right-click the device you want to switch to and choose Set as Default.
  4. Find an HDMI device, right-click it, and select the Disable option.

Reinstall the Audio Drivers

To reinstall, update, or rollback audio drivers, follow these simple steps:

  1. Access the Start menu, type “device manager”, and select the Device Manager option.
  2. Click the Sound, video and game controllers to expand the category.
  3. Double click on the driver used for streaming audio in HD quality to open its properties.
  4. Double-click the driver responsible for streaming HD audio to see its properties.
  5. Select an option to disable, update, reinstall, or rollback the audio driver.

Enable Onboard Sound Device in BIOS

  1. Reboot the computer and press the F10, F12, or Del key to open BIOS.
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab and select Onboard Devices Configuration or Integrated Peripherals.
  3. Find the Audio Controller option and enable the sound settings.
  4. Press F10 to save changes and exit BIOS.

Disable NVIDIA HDMI Sound Adapter in BIOS

  1. Restart your PC and press the F10, F12, or Del key to open BIOS.
  2. Navigate to Advanced > Onboard Devices > Configuration > NVIDIA HDMI Sound Adapter and press Enter to disable the adapter.

Troubleshoot Audio Problems

  1. Access the Start menu, type “settings”, and select Settings.
  2. Choose Update & Security and open the Troubleshoot tab.
  3. Select Additional troubleshooters, then click Playing audio from the Get up and running section.
  4. Select Run the Troubleshooter and choose the device with no sound. The audio troubleshooter should fix any issues automatically.

Clean Install NVIDIA Drivers

  1. Access the Start menu, type “GeForce Experience”, and select NVIDIA GeForce Experience.
  2. Download the latest NVIDIA driver.
  3. Choose the custom install option and select Perform a clean installation.

How to Update NVIDIA High Definition Audio Drivers

nvidia gpu in computer case

Update Using Device Manager

To update NVIDIA High Definition Audio drivers using Device Manager, follow these simple steps:

  1. Access the Start menu, type “device manager”, and select Device Manager.
  2. Click Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Right-click HD Audio Device and select Update Driver Software.
  4. Select Automatically search for updated driver software and install any updates it finds.

Re-download NVIDIA Audio Drivers

To download NVIDIA audio drivers, follow these easy steps:

  1. Visit the NVIDIA download page.
  2. Select the product and system information, then click the Search button.
  3. Click the Download button and select Agree & Download when prompted.

Update Using Driver Easy

To automatically update NVIDIA audio drivers using Driver Easy, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Click on Scan Now to find and recommend drivers to update.
  3. Select Update or Update all to download the latest versions of all drivers.

Frequently Asked Questions

plugging in audio cable to laptop

How Do You Enable NVIDIA HD Audio?

To enable NVIDIA HD Audio on your graphics card, follow these simple steps:

  1. Right-click the desktop and open NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Find the Display category and select Set up digital audio.
  3. Select the list arrow and choose the option you want as an audio device. Then, select Turn off audio for HDMI display or DisplayPort display.
  4. Click Apply to save changes and open Windows Sound Settings to configure audio output.

Should I Disable NVIDIA High Definition Audio?

NVIDIA High Definition Audio helps process high-quality audio on an HDMI connection but does not support analog audio devices, such as headphones and speakers. If you do not use HDMI often, you can disable NVIDIA High Definition Audio with these easy steps:

  1. Open the Windows Start menu, then search and select Device Manager.
  2. Click on Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Right-click devices with NVIDIA High Definition Audio and select Disable.

Why Is My NVIDIA High Definition Audio Not Working?

NVIDIA High Definition Audio typically stops working due to improperly configured audio output devices, incompatible or old drivers, and incorrect BIOS settings. To fix these issues, disable Digital Audio/Monitor/HDMI on Playback devices, reinstall all NVIDIA audio and GPU drivers, update BIOS to the latest version, and disable NVIDIA HDMI Sound Adapter in BIOS.


audio and hdmi cables

NVIDIA High Definition Audio allows your computer to play sounds through HDMI connections, supporting multi-channel 5.1 audio but not analog devices. If you want to use headphones, speakers, and microphones, Realtek High-Definition Audio is an alternative that makes it easy to customize sound settings. Nevertheless, always keep your audio drivers updated to enjoy immersive sounds without issue.

If you enjoyed this NVIDIA High Definition Audio guide, check out the best laptops for music production!

Liam Weissman

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on FancyAppliance.com.

Recent Posts