Windows Media Player 12 Equalizer: Presets And Custom Settings

Use the EQ tool to help shape the sound of your MP3s for better playback

Windows Media Player 12 Equalizer
Enhance audio using WMP 12's 10-band EQ tool. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Why Use The Graphic Equalizer in Windows Media Player 12?

As you might already know Windows Media Player 12 packs quite a few features for manipulating your songs during playback. This includes options such as crossfading, volume leveling, and altering the playback speed.

The graphic equalizer (EQ) tool is another option built into WMP 12 that is great to use when you want to enhance sound at the frequency level.

It allows you to shape the sound that is played back by using a 10-band graphic equalizer.

In this step-by-step tutorial discover how to use presets in WMP 12's graphic equalizer to instantly change the sound of the music your hear. We'll also cover how to use your own custom settings to get the exact sound you're looking for.

Enabling WMP 12's Graphic Equalizer

By default this feature is disabled. So, run Windows Media Player 12 now and work through these steps to activate it.

  1. Using the menu at the top of WMP's screen, Click on View and then select the Now Playing option. If this menu bar is turned off you can quickly re-enable it again by holding down the CTRL key and pressing M.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the Now Playing screen (except the menu) and hover your mouse pointer over the Enhancements option to reveal a further menu. Click on the Graphic Equalizer option.
  3. You should now see the graphic equalizer interface pop up on the screen. You can drag this around on your desktop to a more convenient location if you need to.
  1. Finally, to enable the EQ tool click the Turn On hyperlink.

Using The Built-in EQ Presets

Windows Media Player 12 has a selection of built-in EQ presets that you can use without having to create your own. This is sometimes all that is needed to enhance the playback of your songs. Most of the presets are designed to go with a particular genre.

You'll see presets for different types of music such as: Acoustic, Jazz, Techno, Dance, and more.

To select a built-in EQ preset, do the following:

  1. Click the down-arrow next to the Default hyperlink. This will display a list of presets to choose from.
  2. Click on one of them to change the equalizer settings.

You'll notice that the 10-band graphic equalizer will instantly change as soon as you select a preset. It's best to try them all to see which one fits the best -- so, just repeat the above step.

Creating Your Own Custom EQ Profile

If you can't seem to get the right sound using the built-in presets above, then you'll want to tweak the settings yourself by creating a custom one. Follow these steps to see how:

  1. Click the down-arrow again for the presets menu (just like in the previous section). However, instead of selecting a preset this time, click on the Custom option; this is located at the end of the list.
  2. At this stage it's a good idea to play the song you want to enhance. You can use the keyboard to quickly switch to Library view by holding down CTRL and pressing 1.
  3. Once you are playing the song, switch back to the Now Playing screen by holding down CTRL and pressing 3.
  4. Move the sliders either up or down using your mouse pointer until you get the sound you want.
  1. If you want to move the sliders in groups, click on one of the radio buttons on the left-hand side of the equalizer screen. You can choose loose or tight grouping of frequency bands which can be useful for fine-tuning.
  2. If you need to start again, simply click on the Reset hyperlink which will set all the EQ sliders back to zero again.