Reducing latency on your Windows 10 for smooth audio playback

Having problems with stuttering sound on Windows 10?

I just assembled a new computer (details of that in another blog post) for work from home and playing games – and I was excited to listen to music from it using my new Tidal subscription (review of Tidal coming soon!). I played music and it was great, but when I opened a ton of webpages, especially sites that had a lot of things to load, the music would groan and the mouse would slow down and it was crazy – it was driving me crazy!

I knew it had something to do with latency because it was like something was keeping the computer from speeding through. There could be a number of issues with my computer particularly since, for example, I only have 1 ram stick and maybe thats causing a bad communication of data instead of there being 2 (I’m saving up for the other!). But it was way worse than my expectation – and I’ve been tinkering with computers since I was in elementary so I have some sort of sixth sense with these things.

Online there was a lot of different ways to solve it none really worked. During the old days in the 1990s when you wanted to add peripherals like video cards or sound cards you had to be mindful of IRQs and I remember looking at the BIOS and fiddling with them and with Windows 1995 and your computer could really lock up if you got them wrong.

Now if you search online just for the key words: stuttering sound, sound cracking when loading, and the like – you might not get solutions that talk about IRQ. But if you include IRQ in your search string, then you get many solutions that work better than those others proposed online.

But first, in order to test my theory on latency, I downloaded LatencyMon here:

LatencyMon reported that i was having problems with latency on HDaudbus.sys aside from networking related (tcpip) and power configuration problems. I didn’t want to touch the power configuration yet since I don’t want to pay a hefty electric bill and I had no choice with my networking issue since I really had to connect to the internet using a USB wifi dongle. So I researched about the HDaudbus.sys.

Luckily, and also hours of searching, I stumbled across this website:

A user named PowerFulls gave a really powerful (tada!) answer and it worked! It was simple enough, you just need:

  1. go to the registry editor (control+r > regedit [enter])
  2. Find the branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI<<YOUR HD AUDIO PARENT>>\DeviceParameters\Interrupt Management\MessageSignaled\InterruptProperties\
  3. Where, <<your hd audio parent>> can be found by going to Device Manager (right click windows start button > click on device manager > go to sound video and game controllers > right click on your audio device, for me it was Realtek(R) Audio and choose properties > click on details tab > click from pulldown menu ‘parent’.)
  4. Then once in the correct regedit branch look for the string “MessageSignaledInterruptProperties” and change the value of “MSISupported” to (modify Binary) ‘1’.
  5. Restart your computer!

So based on the forum thread, what it did for other users is provide a separate IRQ for HD Audio.

My LatencyMon report looks much better after (granted its just for 15 seconds or less, after that it says latency due to power configuration and tcpip (network) but in practice no more stuttering sound!

Hope this post helps anyone out there who had the same problem as me!

#sound #latency #latencymon #hdaudbus.sys #tidal #stuttering #cracking #popping #audio #windows10

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