You can easily adjust the audio settings on your PC to increase volume or substitute sounds for visual alerts.
The obvious way to make your computer more audible is to increase its volume.
Rather than turning up the speakers every time, you can increase Windows’ default volume by clicking on the speaker icon in the Notification Area (bottom-right of your screen) and using the slider that appears.
This will increase the overall volume of Windows alerts and sounds on all the applications you use. If you only want to increase specific sounds, click on the speaker icon in the Notification Area and select Mixer, then raise the sliders for the alerts or sounds you want to hear more clearly, and lower or mute those you don’t.
Visual alerts and subtitles
It’s possible to substitute most of Windows’ audio alerts with on-screen visual cues instead.
Open the Ease of Access Centre (search ease in the Start menu to find it) then click Use text or visual alternatives for sounds.
Tick Turn on visual notifications for sounds and choose an alert type; Flash active window is a good option. You can turn on text captions for spoken dialogue here, though you may need to activate subtitles manually when watching some types of video.
For example, in BBC iPlayer, moving your mouse over the playback screen will reveal a toolbar just below the main image. Click the S here to turn on subtitles.
Captions aren’t always available for YouTube videos but if you have a Google account, sign in to YouTube using your account details, then go to your settings, click Playback and put ticks next to the Always show captions and Show automatic captions by speech recognition (when available) options to maximise the potential of being able to select subtitles where possible.