I noticed several weeks ago (after moving my pc) that when I listen to audio it is extremely quiet. I have listened to audio on youtube, in video games, and the audio test sounds in Realtek; they are all very quiet (almost inaudible). I have noticed the problem is the same whether I am listening through my external speakers or through my headphones plugged into the front headphone jack.
I have Realtek audio with the most recent drivers
(8.19.11). I have all the sound settings maxed out at 100. I have attempted to disable all sound effects under enhancements under speaker properties. None of these attempts have been successful at resolving the problem.
Also, I ran this application, "microsoft fixit" found here, and it found no problems: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Tips-for-fixing-common-sound-problems
Several observations. First, when I plugged my microphone in and tested it last night (my mic is attached to my headset), it was normal volume (loud) played back through my headphones and through my speakers. This tells me that my speakers and headset seem to be working fine.
Also, I went to my computer/program files/realtek/audio/installshield and i noticed the rtkupd64 application was updated 8.4.11, which may have been around the time i started noticing these problems. Just thought i'd mention that.
Please let me know what more information you need from me. I put my computer specs I know under my profile.