Windows 10 1903 Bug List Increases: Latest Cumulative Update Also Introduced Audio Issues (Here’s How to Fix)
Microsoft's latest Windows 10 May 2019 Update has started to become the same bug-filled minefield that was the October 2018 Update (v1809). After the disastrous release of Windows 10 version 1809, Microsoft had promised to overhaul its testing processes and focus on stability and performance of the operating system.
Windows 10 1903 did prove to be a comparatively smoother update without any major issues. But, in its case, the monthly cumulative updates have done the job. Every update brings in some issues, the next update tries to fix those issues, but then ends up introducing a new problem. The only way out is to just uninstall these cumulative updates. However, these Windows 10 updates are also bringing patches for security vulnerabilities making them quite important. Tough choices...
In the latest of what seems to be an unending list of Windows 10 1903 bugs, some users have reported experiencing gaming audio issues on Reddit. Here's what one Windows 10 1903 user, who installed the latest cumulative update, wrote:
KB4515384 (September 10) caused significant decrease in audio quality in 3D games
Basically title. IDK what is wrong with it, but with KB4515384 my in-game sound lost all bass notes. It didn't affect video player, audio player or browser. Uninstalled it - sound in games went back to normal. Just leaving it here, maybe it will help somebody with the same issue.
Another user added:
I am experiencing the same issues. Both in PUBG and also APEX. Sounds in front of the player model sound normal, but everything coming from the sides or from behind, basically everything not in a roughly 90° wide area in front of you sounds muffled and quiet. Maybe 10% of normal volume. So far I have not found any solution except uninstalling the update.
In this thread, several other Windows 10 1903 users have confirmed experiencing the same issues, and some have also suggested some tricks that have helped them in addressing the problem.
Some workarounds to fix Windows 10 audio bugs (introduced by KB4515384)
While uninstalling the update solved the problem for many, there are some easier workarounds that are being recommended to address this audio bug. One user said the following trick worked for them:
Changing the Windows sound settings back to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD-quality) fixed the issue for me.
If the above trick doesn't work for you, you can also try the following suggestion of disabling all sound effects:
I noticed two different games seemed much quieter than browser/system sounds, and I think what fixed it for me was right click on speaker icon > sound settings > sound control panel > properties for speakers under playback device list > enhancements tab > check disable all sound effects. I don't know why that did anything as nothing in the list below that was enabled. I'm just using onboard realtek hd audio analog output and 2 channel speakers.
In the release notes of Windows 10 1903 cumulative update KB4515384, Microsoft still maintains that it is "not currently aware of any issues with this update" even though the company has itself acknowledged the Start menu and Search issues in a support document. The company will take a little more time to acknowledge this latest Windows 10 audio issue, which means a fix ain't coming anytime soon.
You can try the above two workarounds, and if nothing works, follow these steps to uninstall the latest cumulative update to avoid both the audio and the Start menu/Search issues.