Are you looking to enhance the audio quality of your headphones and improve your gaming or music experience? Look no further than Peace and Equalizer APO. This Ultimate Guide to EQ in Windows will take you through the step-by-step process of installing and configuring Peace and Equalizer APO to ensure you get the best audio quality possible. Whether you are a seasoned audiophile or a beginner in the world of audio engineering, this guide will provide you with the necessary information to optimize your headphone performance.
What is Peace?
Peace stands for Peter’s Equalizer APO Configuration Extension. It is essentially an interface for Equalizer APO. What is Equalizer APO? It is a parametric/graphic equalizer for Windows, effectively allowing you to filter your audio output.
Why do I need these programs?
These two components work together, allowing you to fine-tune the bass, mids, and treble frequencies of the sound produced by your headphones or speakers. This lets you eliminate unnecessary noise and emphasize the frequencies that matter most for an immersive audio experience. Most importantly, though, it allows the ability to use AutoEQ.
What is AutoEQ?
AutoEQ is a repository of equalization profiles for various headphones. This is THE reason to have Peace and Equalizer APO installed in Windows if you plan to use headphones to listen to music, play video games, or watch movies and YouTube videos. Not every headphone has an equalization profile available, but odds are yours are on the list.
To proceed, you’ll need to download two files.
Next week can proceed with the installation.
Step 1: Install Equalizer APO
Double click the EqualizerAPO EXE file. Proceed through the installation prompts until you reach this window:
This is where you will select your audio output device. In my case, it’s the Headphones connector on my laptop, but it could just as easily be a soundcard for your computer or USB DAC.
Once you select the device, click the “Troubleshooting options” checkbox, and make sure “Install as SFX/EFX” is selected. This is the default option for Windows 10 and Windows 11, but we are making sure it is chosen correctly. Click Ok to finish the installation of Equalizer APO. You will be prompted to reboot your computer. Proceed to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, proceed with Step 2.
Step 2: Install Peace
Double click the PeaceSetup EXE file. The following window will appear. Click “Install.”
Next, click “Yes,” and you’ll have a window confirming that Peace is installed.
And that’s it! Now that the installation is complete, we can configure Peace and Equalizer APO.
Step 1: Launch Peace
Launch Peace using either the shortcut on the desktop or from the Start Menu. When first launched, Peace will ask you to overwrite the config file in the Equalizer APO directory. Click “Yes.”
Next, Peace will ask you to select an interface. You will want to do two things:
- Click the checkbox “Don’t show this window at startup.”
- Select “Full interface.” It’s the box on the right side.
Step 2: Peace Settings
After selecting the interface type, the Peace main window will open.
Before we start to do anything in Peace, let’s check the settings and configure them to what we want.
In the main Peace window, click the “Settings’ button.
In the “General settings” tab, you’ll want to make sure that all the checkboxes look the same on your screen as they do on mine below. Feel free to change anything to fit your needs, though.
Next, I want to show you the “Debugging and Testing” tab.
This is where you can access the Equalizer APO configurator. You may need to access this section because sometimes Microsoft releases an update for Windows that breaks or resets the Equalizer APO configuration. This can also happen if you install a new audio device or update an audio driver. Clicking on the “Equalizer APO’s Configurator” button will bring you to the same audio device screen that appeared when installing Equalizer APO.
Click Save or Cancel to go back to the Peace window.
Step 3: AutoEQ
In the Peace interface window, click the “AutoEQ” button.
You’ll be presented with a list of headphones and a search box.
It should be straightforward from here, but let’s go through an example. Let’s say I want to find and use a profile with my headphones, such as the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones we reviewed not too long ago.
In the search box, I would start typing the name: Sony WH-1000XM5. As we can see, there is a profile available. Click on the line showing your headphones, then “Use” on the bottom left of the window.
The Peace window will open, and the profile will be loaded. But we are not done yet. We need to make sure the profile is saved. So click the “Save” button, and click “Save” again to complete the process.
Now the profile is saved and in the equalizer list.
And that’s it, we are done. Now you can start enjoying your headphones to their fullest potential!
If you want to hear the difference between the equalizer profile you selected and the stock sound from the headphones, click the power button on the top right of the Peace window to turn Peace off or on.
Additional Notes for Using Peace
Multiple AutoEQ profiles
When searching the AutoEQ list, you may notice that some headphones have multiple equalizer profiles. If you want to hear the difference between them, you can easily select them one at a time, save them, and switch between them to see which one suits your listening needs. You can also visit the Auto EQ website and use the provided web audio player to do the same thing without the hassle of having to import them into Peace.
Peace supports the ability to import profiles from text files. This can be done by clicking the “Import” button and selecting the file you want to import.
If you encounter any issues during the installation or configuration process, here are some troubleshooting tips:
- As mentioned before, if Equalizer APO stops working after a Windows update or audio driver update, try running the Configuration Editor to repair it.
- In the Configurator for Equalizer APO, try selecting different options in the “Troubleshooting options” dropdown box, such as SFX/EFX, SFX/MFX, or LFX/GFX, depending on your Windows version.
- If you don’t hear any audio changes while adjusting the PEACE GUI sliders, ensure you have installed version 0.9.1 or higher of Equalizer APO. Additionally, check the audio enhancement settings of your device and uncheck the “Use original APO” checkboxes.
- For Bluetooth headphones or headsets, ensure you have only one Bluetooth connection per device and turn off unnecessary Bluetooth services in the device settings.
By following this Ultimate Guide to EQ in Windows, you can harness the power of Peace and Equalizer APO to optimize the audio quality of your headphones. With the ability to fine-tune the bass, mids, and treble frequencies, you can create a personalized audio experience that enhances your gaming and music enjoyment. Enjoy the immersive soundscapes and crisp audio that equalization brings to your audio devices.