Windows Media Player 12 Equalizer: Presets and Custom Settings

The EQ tool customizes the sound of your digital music

Screenshot of Windows Media Player 12 Equalizer layout


Windows Media Player 12 (WMP 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. Use presets in WMP 12's graphic equalizer to instantly change the sound of the music you hear or create your own custom settings to get the exact sound you're looking for.

Enable the Windows Media Player Equalizer

The graphic equalizer (EQ) tool is an option built into WMP 12. Use it when you want to enhance sound at the frequency level. You'll shape the sound that is played back by using a 10-band graphic equalizer.

By default this feature is disabled. To activate it, open the Windows Media Player 12 app and follow these steps:

  1. Select Switch to Now Playing in the lower right corner of WMP 12.

    Screenshot pointing to WMP 12 Switch to Now Playing button
  2. Right-click anywhere on the Now Playing screen (except the menu) and hover over Enhancements.

  3. In the menu, select Graphic Equalizer.

  4. The graphic equalizer opens in a separate window.

    Windows Medial Player 12 graphic equalizer
  5. Select Turn on in the upper left of the window if the equalizer is not activated already.

The Built-in Windows Media Player Equalizer Presets

Windows Media Player 12 has a selection of built-in EQ presets. This is sometimes all that you'll need 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. Select the down arrow link to open a list of equalizer presets.

    Screenshot showing Windows Media Player 12 presets menu
  2. Choose any of the presets to adjust the equalizer settings.

  3. The 10-band graphic equalizer instantly changes when you choose a preset.

  4. Try each to find the one that suits your listening preferences best.

Create Your Own Custom Windows Media Player Equalizer Profile

If you can't seem to get the right sound using the built-in presets, tweak the settings to create a custom setting.

  1. Select the down arrow link for the presets menu.

  2. Select Custom at the bottom of the presets menu.

  3. Press Ctrl+1 to switch to Library view.

  4. Play the song you want to enhance.

  5. Press Ctrl+3 to switch back to the Now Playing screen and the equalizer.

  6. Choose how you want the equalizer sliders to move. The options are:

    • Independently: Each slider moves on its own and doesn't affect the others.
    • Loose group: As you move each slider, others adjust with it but loosely.
    • Tight group: As you adjust a slider, others shift with it but tighter than in a loose group.
    Screenshot of Windows Media Player 12 EQ slider settings
  7. Drag each slider up or down until you get the sound you want.

  8. If you need to start again, select Reset to set all EQ sliders back to zero.