Hi, I've encountered a couple of problems with sound on my Windows 10 laptop. The original issue was very similar to the one outlined: sound would become much louder in all media after pausing and then playing. I followed the suggestion from that thread to install the generic Microsoft High Definition Audio Device instead of the Realtek one, which solved the issue.
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But then when I plugged my headset into the audio jack via an audio/mic splitter (I was using the correct 4 conductor 3.5mm version) my computer no longer recognized the headset's external microphone (only the internal one). I switched back to the Realtek audio driver, which in turn recognized my external mic. But I'm obviously now back at square one with the original sound problem! Is there a solution to this vicious cycle?
The Microsoft High Definition Audio Codec (Driver) is a generic, basic function, driver and should only be used if the sound chip hardware driver (Realtek in this case) is not available. Do you have any Sound 'Enhancements' set in the Realtek HD Audio Manager such as Loudness, custom EQ, etc? If you do disable those. Also, you should have Stereo Mix set as the Default Recording Device. Although this is a 'recording' device it will affect playback (it is equivalent to the old 'What You Hear' that Creative SoundBlaster called it). Thanks for the responses.