Windows 7 Delivers Next-Generation Audio

Windows 7 Delivers Next-Generation Audio

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When it comes to optimizing and really advancing the personal entertainment experience on the PC, Microsoft and Dolby Laboratories share a history of improving the integrity of audio playback. The collaboration between the two companies started when they began working together to enhance audio delivery for the Xbox in 2001. After this design was completed, Microsoft extended its usage of Dolby audio technology in Windows Media Center. This work continued with Windows Vista, which was launched worldwide in January 2007. The evolution of these shared efforts is realized in Windows 7 today.

Dolby Digital Plus

Windows 7 builds on past collaboration by adding next-generation Dolby Digital Plus technology to offer high-quality multichannel audio. Available in Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate, Dolby Digital Plus brings home theater–quality audio to the PC, improving the listening experience of music, movies, and TV.

DD inWin7

When it comes to the small, discreet speakers built into a PC or laptop, how can audio really be optimized? Dolby Digital Plus, a multichannel audio standard for DVDs and select HD broadcasts worldwide, is a high-efficiency, next-generation audio codec that maintains the quality of Dolby Digital at a lower data rate and is fully compatible with all current Dolby Digital A/V receivers. From the movie and music producer point of view, this means that Dolby Digital Plus offers more channels and better compression, making it easier to create higher quality content at lower bit rates to experience on the PC.

Dolby Digital Plus is already the broadcast audio standard for HDTV services in Europe. France is currently using Dolby Digital Plus, with Poland and other countries following closely. Users in these countries watching streaming broadcast content on their computers get to experience next-generation sound.

Microsoft’s diligence in working closely with Dolby engineers to fully enable the PC to be a more sophisticated, dynamic entertainment device is evidence of the company’s broad vision and steadfast commitment to revolutionizing the role of the PC. The next generation of PC enthusiasts can enjoy their computers as their primary home entertainment device—and Dolby Digital Plus will play an important role in that experience.

Spinal Tap fans will recall the restaurant scene in which David St. Hubbins’s interfering girlfriend, Jeanine, informs the band that their album wasn’t “mixed right” because it wasn’t mixed in “Dob-l-ey.” We may be biased, but we tend to agree with that statement. Content is never quite right without Dolby audio technology. Fortunately, PCs with Windows 7 will never have that problem.

To check out the latest on Dolby Digital Plus in Windows 7—including Dolby videos and a dedicated Windows 7 web page—visit and For a complete Dolby PC demo and other PC videos, visit For press releases and news about Dolby technologies, visit

Robin Selden
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Dolby

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  • Thanaks for article, I thought that Microsoft already made a lot of efforts to built the PC as a HD audio system. Looks like not enough. We will see the real systems in near future.

  • kibar
    7 Posts thanks..

  • Hi noroom, I think your issue is slightly different than what is being talked about in this post.

    In regards to your issue however, I would suggestion heading over to Microsoft Answers and asking your question there as we have folks there who might be able to help:


  • noroom
    9 Posts

    Haha, funny you should mention this. Since I installed Windows 7 (32-bit) I've lost my microphone. The SoundMAX (AD1988) drivers (SupremeFX II card on an Asus P5E board) show a message at bootup saying the driver couldn't load, and to reinstall. Tried many different versions, even installing in compatibility mode for XP and Vista (I was desperate!) nothing. Not even sound! If I uninstall the drivers and let Windows use the supplied MSFT drivers then I have sound, but no mic, only line-in. And if I plug my microphone into the line-in jack, it still doesn't work.