Best audio settings for Modern Warfare 2: How to turn Loudness Equalization on

Modern Warfare 2 Operators in Mercado Las Almas mapActivision

In Modern Warfare 2, hearing and understanding enemy footsteps and audio cues is the key to dominating multiplayer and Ranked Play so here are the best audio settings you can use to ensure you’re hearing footsteps as clearly as possible in Season 3 Reloaded.

In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 using your ears is more important than ever, with Infinity Ward opting not to include the traditional minimap, removing the fan-favorite Ninja Perk, and including detailed footstep audio in 2022’s multiplayer.

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This means that using the best audio settings is key to having map awareness, so we’re breaking down the best sound settings for Modern Warfare 2 Season 3 Reloaded, including how to enable the controversial Loudness Equalization setting and counter the powerful Dead Silence Field Upgrade.

Best Modern Warfare 2 audio & sound settings

When trying to find the best audio settings for Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer, we recommend players use a pair of headphones instead of a TV speaker or soundbar. Having the sound directly in your ears massively improves your spatial awareness, so even a cheap pair will probably be better.

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  • Audio Mix: Headphones Bass Boost
  • Master Volume: 65
  • Music Volume: 0
  • Dialogue Volume: 50
  • Effects Volume: 100
  • Hit Marker Volume: 50
  • Speakers/Headphones Game Sound Device: Default System Device
  • Mono Audio: Off


  • Subtitles: Default
    • Campaign: On
    • Multiplayer: Off
    • Coop: Off
    • DMZ: Off
  • Subtitles Size: Default
  • Subtitles Background Opacity: 0

Voice Chat

  • Voice Chat Device: Default System Device
  • Microphone Test: Off
  • Microphone Device: Default System Device


  • Auto-connect At Match Start: Off
  • Mute Yourself When Connecting: On

Audio Advanced Settings

  • Juggernaut Music: Off
  • Hit Marker Sound Effects: Classic
  • Mute Game When Minimized: On
  • Reduce Tinnitus Sound: On
Modern Warfare 2 lets you fine-tune your audio settings.

Best Modern Warfare 2 audio settings explained

We found that Headphones Bass Boost gave the clearest footstep audio in Modern Warfare 2, so enabling this setting is key to pinpointing enemy locations around the map.

While we have the Master Volume at 65, it all depends on your headphones and preferences. If you find the game too loud and can’t hear your party members chatting, turn down this slider and it’ll lower the volume across the whole game.

While Modern Warfare 2 delivers an excellent score, we recommend turning Music Volume down to 0 when playing multiplayer. It’ll only work as a distraction, so turning it down will allow your ears to focus purely on the gameplay.

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Similarly, turning down the Dialogue Volume to 50 means the characters shouting won’t cover up any vital audio cues but you’ll still be able to hear them. And you don’t need super loud hit markers so you can turn Hit Marker Volume down as well but it’s all down to personal preference.

Subtitles can help players pick up more information from the announcers and other Operators mid-match, but they can sometimes be a distraction. We have multiplayer Subtitles turned Off but feel free to experiment and see what you prefer.

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Unless you enjoy talking to other players in the lobby throughout a match, we recommend setting Auto-connect At Match Start to Off and muting yourself while connecting to a lobby.

The Hit Marker Sound Effects are down to personal preference, but we found Classic to be a bit more punchy than Modern Warfare 2’s default mode.

Infinity Ward have included a Reduce Tinnitus Sound option, which swaps the flashbang’s high-pitch ringing sound “with a more dull, murky sound.” Enabling this setting will ensure Modern Warfare 2 isn’t so harsh on your ears, and you can also make it less harsh on your eyes by enabling Dark Flash Grenades.

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How to turn on Loudness Equalization in Modern Warfare 2

Loudness Equalization’s power has made it controversial.

Loudness Equalization is a controversial PC-only setting that drastically improves the loudness and quality of enemy footsteps, allowing Modern Warfare 2 players to pinpoint enemy locations with ease.

Here are the steps you need to follow to turn on Loudness Equalization in Modern Warfare 2:

  1. Find and right-click the speaker icon on your taskbar.
  2. Select the “Sounds” option, then select the “Playback” tab.
  3. Find your default audio device.
  4. Right-click the device and go to “Properties.”
  5. Find the “Enhancements” tab and select it.
  6. Turn the “Loudness Equalization” setting on.
  7. Click “OK” or “Apply” to confirm the settings.

Loudness Equalization is such a broken setting in Modern Warfare 2 that CDL players are banned from using it in competitive LAN matches. However, you can turn on Loudness Equalization to dominate multiplayer matches, especially in Season 3 Reloaded Ranked Play matches.

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Loudness Equalization is a PC-only setting, meaning players on Xbox or PlayStation cannot take advantage of it. Loudness Equalization is not a setting in Modern Warfare 2, instead, you can find the setting on your PC.

How to counter Dead Silence in Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 player and Dead Silence field upgradeActivision
The Dead Silence Field Upgrade is a top option in Modern Warfare 2.

Unlike Warzone Caldera, Modern Warfare 2’s High Alert Perk doesn’t counter the Dead Silence Field Upgrade so instead, players should listen out for the sharp noise as another player activates it.

Using the audio settings above will make hearing this loud audio cue even easier, so you’ll be able to know if a nearby player has just popped the Dead Silence Field Upgrade.

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For more Modern Warfare 2, be sure to check out some of our other guides:

Best Modern Warfare 2 PC settings | Best guns in Modern Warfare 2 | Best Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 2 |  Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play rewards | Best SMGs in Modern Warfare 2 | Best Modern Warfare 2 controller settings | Best mouse & keyboard settings for Modern Warfare 2