I made my first real trip with the Surface Pro in tow this week. I’ve taken it with me since purchasing it, but not on a plane ride. As expected, you really have to proactively manage your power consumption for the Surface Pro, but I’ll get to that in another post. If you have no idea what I’m talking about concerning the Surface Pro power issues, take a read through: Surface Pro vs. Surface RT: An honest comparison. I’ll provide some power management tips soon.
During my first trip there was something that I noticed that I didn’t expect, though. Due to the noise of air travel (crying babies on board, plane engine sounds, passengers talking too loud in the row ahead and behind, and the whoosh of the stale air nozzle overhead, etc.) you really need a good sound system which includes powerful audio and great headphones. My headphones are great already. I use the Jaybird Freedom Stereo Bluetooth Earbuds. The Freedom provides excellent in-ear fit, great sound, and includes ear “fans” to ensure they don’t pop out during runs. After popping in the earbuds and tethering them to the Surface Pro, I could barely hear the audio from the XBOX movie I launched due to all the cabin noise. After messing with the volume on the earbuds and making sure that the Surface Pro volume level was at 100, I had to start digging further.
To find out, the audio level for the Surface Pro is set pretty low by default. This is not the case with the Surface RT. The Surface RT’s audio level is great out of the box, allowing adequate sound for drowning out any unwanted airplane noises. After working with the settings for a while on the Surface Pro, I finally came up with something that worked. If you’ve experienced the same issue, here’s the steps to improve the volume output for the Surface Pro.
1. Run the Windows 8 Control Panel app. You can get to his quickly by using the Search charm and typing in Control Panel.
2. Locate and access the Hardware and Sound Control Panel applet.
3. Move on to the Manage Audio Devices component of the Hardware and Sound applet.
4. Highlight the Surface Pro’s Speakers record and click the Properties button.
5. Jump to the Enhancements tab and click the Settings button.
6. Modify the Frequency and Boost values to meet your personal needs. As shown in the graphic below, this setting was the one I settled on and enabled me to enjoy my movie and not be bothered by the airplane sounds around me.