If you want to keep going up the ranking ladder in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you need to have everything working to your advantage. This is especially true when it comes to sound settings in CSGO. Games can be decided by what players can (or can't) hear during the match. Sure, playing with default sound settings is doable, but why stick to that if you have the option to improve the game's sound experience? Join us in this guide to the best audio settings in 2020 for CSGO.
Optimizing for the best sound settings in CSGO boils down to three steps:
- 1: Using Better Headphones
- 2: Configuring Your System’s Audio Settings
- 3: Configuring CS:GO’s In-game Sound Settings
You have the gist of what's needed. Now it's time we take a closer look at those three steps to optimize your game's audio.
Best CSGO Audio / Sound settings for 2020
1: Using Better Headphones
Trust us when we tell you that you won’t expect much from a cheap set of headphones. While generic cheap headphones do let you hear in-game sounds, switching to a proper gaming headset will greatly improve your audio experience when playing CSGO.
You need to look for something with adequate noise cancellation so you can stay focused on the game. Ideally, your headset must have support for virtual surround sound (preferably 7.1) to help you find out where in-game sounds are coming from. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options out there that are available for a fairly reasonable price.
We recommend Steelseries Arctis 7, find out why in this article.
2: Configuring Your System’s Audio Settings
Configuring your system’s audio settings takes more than just setting the volume up or down, although you’d want to have the system’s volume set to max. Depending on the headset you’re using and your system’s sound card, you may have to use third-party software to get the best results.
Make sure you check your system’s playback device configuration.
- Go to sound settings, highlight your headset → then click “Configure” to open a new window.
- On the new window → make sure you select 5.1 or 7.1 Surround (whichever is better that your headset can support) → click “Next”, and apply the settings by clicking “Finish”.
This is definitely one of the best ways to optimize your sound settings in CSGO.
WARNING – Do not select a configuration that your headphones can’t support! A non-surround headset will not be able to play sounds coming from specific channels in a 5.1 or 7.1 surround configuration. In some cases, this will also cause your game to sound muffled or “hollow”!
You also have to check your system’s sound format settings. Make sure that it’s set to “44100 Hz 16 bit” because CSGO (and other games using the Source Engine) uses the same format for its sound. This will give you the best level of sound quality when playing the game and reduces instances of popping, cracking, and other audio anomalies.
3: Configuring CS:GO’s In-game Sound Settings
Audio Output Configuration
CSGO also gives you a lot of control over how the game plays audio. The first thing you need to check is "Audio Output Configuration", which is set to "Stereo Headphones" by default. You can leave it as is if you're using regular stereo headphones. Otherwise, make sure it's set to "5.1 Surround Sound". This will work together with your system's surround sound configuration in helping you hear the sound coming from different directions.
Advanced 3D Audio Processing
You will also notice that there is a setting called “Advanced 3D Audio Processing”. This setting is supposed to enhance virtual surround sound further, but it could cause problems if you’re using other 3D sound emulators like DTS or Razer’s emulated 3D Audio. It’s usually best to leave it off if you’re already using a different form of 3D audio emulation.
Lowering the unnecessary sound
Sound levels are significantly subjective, and setting them right requires a bit of balancing. For example, voice chat should be loud enough to make sure you hear callouts right without drowning out important sound cues such as footsteps, weapons reloading, or the bomb being defused. While you can set most of the music settings to zero, you should keep the “Ten Second Warning” set to at least 10 - 25% to keep you on your toes for a last-moment clutch.
There is also a setting called “VOIP Positional” that allows you to hear your teammate’s voice based on their location. With this option on, you’ll know where your teammates are the next time they say, “I’m here!”. It’s perfectly fine to leave this setting off in higher levels of play where players tend to make proper callouts.
That’s about it for optimizing your CSGO audio/ sound settings 2019! We hope this will help you gain the sound advantage that you need to improve your game! Check out our guide for even more optimization tweaks for the game, such as higher FPS and much more!
1. Use Better Headphones
2. Configuring Your System’s Audio Settings
3. Configuring CS:GO’s In-game Sound Settings
4. Update drivers
Some might do, but since the sound in CSGO is fundamental, the most commonly used sound system by pro players is 2.0 Stereo sound.