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Kevin Shroff's Modded Realtek Audio Drivers for Dell XPS 15 9560 (and more?)

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by shamuofficial, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. shamuofficial

    shamuofficial Newbie

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    Kevin Shroff's Modded Realtek Drivers (KSMRD v1)
    Release: 7-17-17, based on Dell Realtek Driver 6.0.1.8105

    Tested & Working on: Dell XPS 15 9560
    (Also seems to be compatible with XPS 13 9360 & Inspiron 7567, however untested)
    Should work on other XPS laptops too (i.e. 9550) with Waves MaxxAudio - you can try this out yourself, or give me the hardware IDs of your Realtek Audio (check second post) and I can verify this for you.

    About:
    This modded Realtek Audio driver disables the heavy post-processing sound effects from the stock Dell driver to allow for a clean, neutral, and flat audio experience. This is achieved by disabling Waves MaxxAudio throughout the driver, thus leaving intact only the essential core Realtek audio software.

    Waves MaxxAudio is immutable bloatware that is shipped with all modern Dell XPS systems. It is inherently flawed as it heavily manipulates any and all audio output, making it impossible to accurately produce or listen to music, and overall degrades the entire aural experience on any machine that it is present on.

    As Waves MaxxAudio is part of the Audio driver of Dell XPS systems, it was otherwise impossible to disable just MaxxAudio and its processing effects - even when MaxxAudio is turned off in its application's GUI, post-processing STILL occurs on any and all audio output. The only other alternative was to use the Microsoft default Windows High Definition Audio driver, but this driver has many problems on Dell XPS machines - it causes random loud pops and crackles, especially during usage with ASIO software (in my experience).

    My modded driver solves these problems as it uses the original Dell driver as a base (which has no pop/crackle problems), and additionally disables all post-processing and provides flat, clean audio playback just like the Windows High Definition Audio driver, but without its bugs. This driver also has some additional advantages:

    Advantages of KSMRD:
    • Completely flat & clean audio experience: no post-processing
    • No extra, unalterable Waves MaxxAudio bloatware (the driver doesn't even install it!)
    • Reduced power consumption compared to stock Dell Realtek Audio drivers - as there is no post-processing constantly going on with all audio, this may lead to increased battery life
    • No stupid GUI popups for Input/Output switcher (The prompt "What did you just plugin: Headphone/Speaker/Microphone" does not popup anymore)
    • Can prevent laptop speaker damage - some people had concerns that the Waves MaxxAudio software was pushing the XPS laptop speakers too hard, causing early speaker damage. As Waves MaxxAudio and its sound effects are removed, this concern should not be an issue with this driver.

    Installation Instructions:

    1. Disable Secure Boot: Secure Boot must be disabled in the BIOS/UEFI of your computer. This is required to install the driver, as this modded driver is not signed. After driver installation Secure Boot will be re-enabled in later steps

    2. Run Command Prompt with Administrator privileges, then run the following commands, pressing enter after each:
    bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
    bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON​
    3. Reboot

    4. Uninstall "Realtek High Definition Audio" from Control Panel, and uninstall "Realtek Audio" from Device Manager - do not reboot!

    5. Install Driver Sweeper and select Realtek - Sound, and then click clean - do not reboot!

    6. Navigate to where you extracted my driver zip download, and open the "RealtekHDAudio" folder. Run "Setup.exe" inside of it and install the driver just like a normal Realtek Audio driver. (Ensure that you have uninstalled old Realtek Audio & Waves MaxxAudio drivers before this!)

    7. You will get a popup that asks if the driver is safe and should be installed - click "Yes, install this driver" (or something along those lines) - this popup comes up only because the driver signature is not signed, as it is modified. Driver itself is safe and you can scan it with Antivirus for assurance.

    8. After the installation is done, reboot

    9. Run Command Prompt with Administrator privileges, then run the following commands, pressing enter after each:
    bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
    bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF​
    10. Boot back into your BIOS/UEFI and turn back on Secure Boot

    11. The testsigning watermark (some text in the corner of your screen, on your wallpaper) should be gone now. If it is not gone, run step 7 again and reboot, then continue to step 10

    12. Open task manager, go to startup tab, and disable both "HD Audio Background Process" and "Realtek HD Audio Manager", and reboot.

    13. Done! Enjoy your crystal-clear audio experience.​

    Optional: Install EqualizerAPO or Viper4Windows (do not install both!) application to be able to add & control sound effects or boost volume (if wanted)


    Note: Clicking on the Sound icon in windows will always show as "Speakers (Realtek Audio)" however this is just cosmetic. Audio is properly routed and works with both headphones and speakers correctly and as expected.

    Listen to my music: soundcloud.com/shamuofficial
    Support my work & donate: paypal.me/kevinshroff

    DOWNLOAD: https://mega.nz/#!E6xGWZQa!4UWhJ4oDcaVN3Y73cU9x8PEHt-8tblCu5yw9fbVsME0

    -------------------------------------
    Originally posted on reddit /r/Dell
    -------------------------------------

    Uninstallation guide:

    1. Run Command Prompt with Administrator privileges, then run the following commands, pressing enter after each:
    bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
    bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF
    2. Reboot
    3. Boot back into your BIOS/UEFI and turn back on Secure Boot
    4. Uninstall my driver from control panel & device manager, and reinstall any driver of your choosing (Dell Audio Stock drivers, Windows default drivers)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  2. shamuofficial

    shamuofficial Newbie

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    Do you have something other than a Dell XPS 15 9560 and want to test this driver? Do the following and I can check if your machine is compatible:
    1. Go to device manager - Sound, video and game controllers, and right click Realtek Audio, properties
    2. In the popup click on tab "Details", and then under the Property drop-down list select Hardware Ids
    3. Copy and paste each line and post a reply with it
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    chezzzz likes this.
  3. Fant

    Fant Notebook Evangelist

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    Wow very cool I'm going to try this. However if I uninstall the existing drivers and reboot won't they just get installed again automatically before I install yours?
     
    g.achrainer likes this.
  4. zarroc32

    zarroc32 Newbie

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    Do my headphones and speakers have 2 different volumes? As in can I have a volume of 36 for my headphones and when I unplug, my speakers are at 0?
     
  5. shamuofficial

    shamuofficial Newbie

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    Yes, don't reboot once you've uninstalled those drivers. After that you can install Driver Sweeper (old tool but it is good), clean the remnants of the old Realtek driver, then install my driver
     
  6. shamuofficial

    shamuofficial Newbie

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    No unfortunately
     
  7. ryanjdesalvo

    ryanjdesalvo Newbie

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    Does your driver support the xps 15 9550? (Hardware IDs below)

    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0298&SUBSYS_102806E4&REV_1001
    &
    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0298&SUBSYS_102806E4
     
  8. ryanjdesalvo

    ryanjdesalvo Newbie

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    Also, does this affect bluetooth headphones? Cheers.
     
  9. AceOfDaves

    AceOfDaves Newbie

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    This is great. Thanks!

    I had one issue, which was that Firefox didn't seem to be able to route audio to the sound card (no audio and no bouncing on the level monitor found at right click on audio tray icon -> 'playback devices'. Internet Explorer and Edge had no problems, neither did Foobar or Windows.

    I disabled all Firefox add-ons but that made no difference. Reinstalling firefox fixed it.
     
    shamuofficial likes this.
  10. mkubicki

    mkubicki Notebook Enthusiast

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    No, I also tested a BOSE bt speaker.
     

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