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CS:GO – Sound Settings

As you might already have noticed, one of the most important gameplay mechanics in CS:GO is the sound. The exact knowledge of what is hearable for your enemies and what not, can give you a huge advantage in competitive matches. In this guide we will help you to adjust your sound settings, explain some basic things and give you a handy overview what your enemies can hear ingame.



What you see above is the new sound spatialization in CS:GO. The graphic shows you the virtual speaker placement and cross-fading algorithms of the 3 optimized presets for headphones, speakers, and surround-sound setups. From our experience the locational sound algorithms for headphones are pretty good, so we highly recommend you to play with the “headphones” preset (windows_speaker_config “1”).


General advice

You have to understand that there are no “one perfect sound settings for everyone”. Every single headset and every soundchip sounds different, so we can’t give you specific recommendations or exact values to optimize your individual equipment. However, we can explain some basic things and give you more general advices how you could optimize the settings by yourself.

Boost high-fequency sounds (footsteps)

You can use the graphic equalizer of your sound card to boost the volume of footsteps. Please don’t forget to create a custom preset for your tests, so you can delete it anytime if you are unsatisfied with the results. We also highly recommend you to increase the sliders slightly and cautious.


You will find the higher fequencies on the right side of the equalizer (2K, 4K, 8K, 16K etc). The screenshot above shows you completely neutral settings, so don’t take it as a recommendation – we just want to give you an example how the graphic equalizer of your sound card could look like. We also prepared a short video for you, which shows the difference between the default and tweaked settings (+10dB to 2K, 4K, 8K and 16K frequencies):

Use the Audio Test Chamber to test your settings


Link to the Steam Workshop

Recommended Sound Settings

snd_musicvolume "0"
snd_mixahead "0.05"
volume "1"
windows_speaker_config "1"
dsp_enhance_stereo "0"
snd_legacy_surround "0"
snd_mute_losefocus "1"
voice_enable "1"
voice_forcemicrecord "1"
voice_mixer_boost "0"
voice_mixer_mute "0"
voice_mixer_volume "1.0"
voice_modenable "1"
voice_scale "1"
voice_threshold "2000"
snd_ducktovolume "0.55"

Explaination of the config variables

  • snd_musicvolume “0”
  • Deactivates the main menu music

  • snd_mixahead “0.05”
  • Reduces the sound delay to 50ms

  • volume “1”
  • General sound volume (adjust it to your personal preference)

  • windows_speaker_config “1”
  • Activates the sound preset for headphones

  • dsp_enhance_stereo “0”
  • (Default value – No information yet)

  • snd_legacy_surround “0”
  • (Default value – No information yet)

  • snd_mute_losefocus “1”
  • Mutes ingame sounds while CS:GO is inactive (window mode) or minimized

  • voice_enable “1”
  • Activates voice chat

  • voice_forcemicrecord “1”
  • (Default value – No information yet)

  • voice_mixer_boost “0”
  • Sets your microphone boost to 0%

  • voice_mixer_mute “0”
  • (Default value – No information yet)

  • voice_mixer_volume “1.0”
  • Forces your microphone volume to 100%

  • voice_modenable “1”
  • Enables voice communication

  • voice_scale “1”
  • Controls the volume of incoming voice chat

  • voice_threshold “2000”
  • Sensitivity of your microphone when using voice activation instead of “Push-to-talk”

  • snd_ducktovolume “0.55”
  • (Default value – No information yet)

Why you should change snd_mixahead to 0.05

snd_mixahead 0.05 changes the time length of the sound buffer in milliseconds (0.05 is 50 ms and the default value of 0.1 is 100 ms). This means you will reduce the sound delay from 100ms to only 50ms. 0.05 is pretty safe value and shouldn’t cause any crackling noises or sound distortions. Raise it if you experience audio glitches or noticeable sound delays. Generally you can say, the smaller the buffer, the lesser the delay, but also harder for your hardware to not mess up the sound.

There are also a few other config variables, which can change the crossfading values, but you shouldn’t mess with them, if you don’t know what you are doing. snd_debug_panlaw “1” is a interesting cvar, which will give you a visual representation of sound sources on the map along with your speaker placement and your current crossfade algorithm.

What your enemy can hear…


  • Djordje Simonovic

    Thank you for Article! Very useful! :)

  • Tom Schneemann

    Hey when i play csgo matchmaking i can’t hear my teammates speaking and that is pretty bad

    I see that they say something but i cant hear them @admin @clutchround

    Pls help
    My Headset Razer Carcharias pls help !!

    • Ross downey

      Hello, I believe that your voice chat is muted, try putting voice_enable 1 into your console, console is the button under esc however you have to enable it in game settings first. Hope this helps.

  • Jules Darnoc

    and what about drop down from something while walking?? cause i can hear steps, but i think the opponent can´t

    • Miau Frito

      It will make a global sound, but even if you take fall damage it will still make the normal sound for other players

  • Might it be possible to get this guide adjusted, regarding the latest sound changes? May the update changed some of the mechanics as well as the algorithms.

  • Hendi

    how to input those commands ? sorry i’m new here

    • Miau Frito

      Enable the developer console in the game options and then open it with the key to the left of 1 (should be a ~ | # or other symbol)

  • Alvaro Blasco

    hi, i need help. I can t hear my game with audio stats at maxim. I just can hear music game.

  • Miau Frito

    An important thing, especially for beginners, is the ten second warning music which most people turn off but is extremely useful when determining if you have time to defuse or not. It doesn’t need to be loud or distracting: snd_tensecondwarning_volume “0.1”

    Another useful command is snd_headphone_pan_exponent or snd_stereo_speaker_pan_exponent (depending on whether you use the “headphones” or “2 speakers” setting), which will affect the volume of sounds at the end of the hearing range. I recommend setting it to 2.5

    A question I have is if there’s a way to better differentiate between the sounds of a smoke and a flash bouncing, since I remember using some good headphones a while back and being able to tell them apart with ease. Is there a way to make one of them lower or higher pitched?

  • Betamoh Mohbeta

    Hi, you just can’t modify any of this commands any more :)