Generally speaking when you purchase a computer it already has a sound card installed. Some computers utilize the motherboard to produce sound, but most computers have the default sound card, usually of low quality. It is only if you need a special sound card for special purposes, or you plan on using your computer as a sound system for elaborate games etc. that you would require purchasing a good quality sound card, which will not be included in your computer system package, and of course, you have to pay for it extra.
All good quality sound cards come with an installation CD that includes the most up-to-date drivers. These drivers, once installed via the CD on your computer will produce the best sound out of your equipment. The drivers also make sure that your speakers function properly, and if you have a microphone, that to is completely reliant upon your drivers. Listening to music, recording, and communicating via microphone are all usual functions of your hardware device, and are directly affected by the quality of the drivers installed on your computer.
Neglecting to install the drivers from your CD will result in a complete dysfunction in of your audio devices. You will be unable to hear music, the microphone will not function and all other applications that you intend for your sound card will be disabled until the properly updated driver is installed.
It is a common misconception that sound drivers can be installed only at the time of purchasing your sound card. Some drivers need to be constantly updated, as manufacturers keep releasing new versions of the drivers on a regular basis.
The new versions usually include bug fixes, enhancements and accommodations for new audio formats and current configurations.
Updating sound drivers can be performed manually by visiting the manufacturers website and checking for the exact version of the driver required. Usually if the driver has any updates, you will be redirected to the most current version.
Keep in mind that you must find the exact version of your sound card (this can also be done in downloads website like this on). Failing to do so may result in the device getting corrupt by the mismatch between the driver and the hardware. In these cases you must uninstall the driver you've mistakenly downloaded, and install the correct driver in its place.
There are several symptoms that can be traced back to an out dated driver. When no sound can be heard even though your computer shows that it's playing, that is a sure sign that your drivers need to be updated. If the sound appears to be distorted or scratchy, video clips tend to freeze up, and so do games and other applications, chances are that the now dated driver is at fault. If your computer suddenly freezes, requiring to be disconnected from the electricity socket in order for it to resume its activity, that is also a telltale sign that you need to address your drivers.
Sound drivers can be downloaded by utilizing Windows device manager. The device manager can be reached via the control panel -> system. Search for sound controllers and double-click the listing of your specific card. Choose the driver tab and hit update. Once the wizard pops up follow its instructions to complete the procedure of downloading an updated driver.
This is a good tutorial for the required procedure:
The third option would be to utilize the driver download software.
This is a pretty straightforward automatic process that needs no further instructions. Just follow the wizard and complete the download and installation within a few clicks. Good luck.