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Sound Lock: watch movies on your PC, without disturbing the neighbours

30 August 2012, Mike Williams

It’s late at night, and you’d like to watch a movie on your PC – but there’s a problem. Set your system volume at a level where you can comfortably hear the dialog and quieter moments, and action scenes are often way too loud, annoying if you’re hoping not to disturb the neighbours.

You could try to adjust your volume down to some compromise level, of course, or perhaps keep altering it throughout the movie. But it might be easier just to install Sound Lock, which allows you to resolve this issue in a single step.

The idea is that you first set your system volume to a level where you can hear even the quietest parts of your movie (or music, or game, or whatever else you’re playing).

Drag the slider to choose your system's maximum loudness, and click "On" to activate Sound Lock

Click Sound Lock’s system tray icon and you’re then able to set your system’s maximum loudness, just by dragging a slider and clicking “On”.

From that point the program will begin to monitor your audio levels. And while quiet scenes will play as normal, if there’s a sudden loud soundtrack moment then Sound Lock will automatically limit it to the volume you’ve set.

What you’re doing here is effectively clipping the usual range of your speakers, and this won’t always be a good thing. Some movies use sudden loud noises to make you jump, for instance, and if your audio is all at a very similar level then they’ll probably lose a little of their atmosphere.

If you just need to occasionally exert a little more control over your system’s volumes, though, Sound Lock is a simple way to get the job done. Especially as the program is also free, has no adware or other hassles, and typically requires less than 4MB of RAM when running in the background: sounds great to us.

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