Question Does a software audio driver improve audio in any way or should I avoid drivers altogether (stick to Windows default)?


Aug 9, 2012
So, I recently bought a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones (they are analog headphones, not USB). The headphones sounded perfectly fine with the default Windows audio driver when I plugged them in, but I went to my motherboard's (MSI Z170A GAMING M7) and downloaded the Realtek HD drivers provided in the motherboard support page thinking it might make my audio sound even better.

However, I don't think I notice any difference in audio quality after installing the driver and I am kind of annoyed my the fact that the driver comes with a "HD audio manager" software that I cannot remove (without removing the driver). My question is, can a audio driver (other than the Windows default audio driver) actually improve audio quality in any way or is it all just placebo (assuming you don't change any added settings in the manager software or the device settings that come with the driver)?

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I am a audio newbie.

EDIT: My motherboard uses a Realtek audio chipset if that makes any difference to the outcome of the answer.
Last edited:


Yes you probably won't notice any difference with drivers, unless one was clearly bad sounding.

Since you did this, and did not see any difference, you really answered your own question before posting it.\

There "may" be some changes, but it could be just something you can't distinguish due to lack of experience with listening to many types of audio hardware or with just how your ears are.
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