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Get The Realtek Equalizer Back In Windows 7/Vista

Officially, since Windows Vista and 7, Realtek stopped supporting a multi-band equalizer for it’s HD Audio chips(present on many motherboards and in notebooks). All that is left are a couple of extreme presets (Pop, Classic, Rock etc.) and the environment presets that are useful to no-one (except for fun). However, together with some people on Tom’s Hardware forums, we came to a solution. Here it goes, it’s as easy as one-two…

Edit: according to user dimar on Tom’s Hardware forums, from R2.41 of the driver, the option to change to a graphic equalizer has returned. Looks like Realtek finally listened to its users.

  1. Download the AC’97 Audio Codecs from the Realtek website for Windows 7 (choose the ZIP-file)
  2. Extract ONLY rtlcpl.exe from the directory for your system (“Vista” for 32-bit Vista/7, “Vista64” for 64-bit Vista/7)
    I don’t think it will matter which one you pick actually, both are 32-bit programs, both work, but they’re not the same files

If you want to save the settings for later installations, the Equalizer presets are saved in the registry under the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Avance\AC97 Audio\EQ


I want to remind you that this is not officially supported by Realtek, who state that they dropped multi-band equalizer support since Vista altogether. Hence, even though it seems to work perfectly fine for some, you might expect some unforeseen problems.

Download Realtek AC’97 Audio Codecs

Tom’s Hardware forum topic

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