Control your PC’s ‘loudness’ with Sound Lock


Sound Lock is a free app that can impose limits on the loudness of your PC’s audio. Loudness is different from ‘volume’, and what Sound Lock does is actually turn down the volume that might accompany sudden loud scenes or the transition to another media file, and will hike it up when the loud segment dies down, so you get a uniform level of loudness without unpredictable hikes.

Sound Lock is designed for situations such as late-night video watching when you might not want to bother those around you with sudden volume spikes; Sound Lock will prevent these from happening.

How to use this program: play a media file, then double click on the Sound Lock icon in the system tray to get the program dialog. Toggle the ‘on’ button, the use the slider on the left to limit the loudness to an acceptable level, which you can gauge via the flickering loudness bars (it’s a judgment call, if you feel that the sound under the slider limit is acceptable, you can prevent it from going over).

Sound Lock Screenshot

Settings: the program settings provide some interesting controls, including the output device and filtering by channel; if you need to Sound Lock will let you hone in on specific channels, enabling or disabling them in Sound Lock. If you don’t know what channels are don’t worry about it; simply use the slider.

The verdict: a nice little program that can be very useful and is lightweight (at a mere 2 megs memory usage). It is a particularly excellent idea if you use an old laptop as a media center (in fact, I wish my WD media player came with a similar function).

Want more volume tweaking programs? Check out our volume tweaks page.

[Thanks go to reader Panzer for the tip about this program]

Get Sound Lock here (Windows).

  • Gonzo

    Does not work with XP; Vista and 7 ONLY.


    is there’s any alternate application for Windows XP??? Please Help!!!

  • Brandon

    Not sure if this is a stupid question, but will this app work in my car? That is where I tend to need something like a limiter on volume. Also, does the audio file matter? I mean, if I bought a song or download music online, would that matter when using the app?

  • Zeus

    @SAPLEX: There is, but it’ll cost ya: Breakaway Audio Enhancer. I’ve been using it for years and can’t imagine life without it. Random YouTube video 10x louder than the last? No problem. Get to a really quiet part of a movie where everyone whispers important plot points? BAE jacks the audio way up so you can hear them.

    Anyway, according to it’s XP compatible. And there’s a trial. 😀

    P.S. I haven’t tried Sound Lock so I can’t tell you how they compare.