Microsoft made calmer system sounds for Windows 11 dark mode

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,518   +132
Staff member
Why it matters: Windows 11 system requirements may still be a bit of a mess, but Microsoft has clearly put some thought into other aspects of the operating system. Updated system sounds aren't going to get everyone excited, but they are a small quality of life improvement, and highlight Microsoft's attention to detail with Windows 11.

Visuals aren’t the only area of design that Microsoft focused on when developing Windows 11. System sounds are changing, too, and there’s even a separate set of sounds for light and dark modes.

Microsoft told BleepingComputer that its audio team developed new sounds for Windows 11 with the goal of creating a calmer experience when notifying users that something needs their attention.

“Windows 10 sounds were sharp, literally created with sharp wave lengths. In Windows 11, we have focused on making the technology calm. In order to do this, we needed to reevaluate our sound scape to also be calm,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

As such, the new sounds have a rounded wavelength, making them softer without being overwhelming. And for the first time, Microsoft created different versions of system sounds for light and dark mode.

Light mode sounds are meant to be brighter and louder, the rep said, while dark mode tones are more subdued with a slight echo.

“We introduced light and dark sound options so that people who may have low visibility or no vision can still experience light and dark themes audibly. Themed sounds improve productivity by matching your working style through your theme. Dark Sounds help you stay in focus while Light Sounds ensure you’re always engaged.” – Microsoft spokesperson.

BleepingComputer has embedded the 10 new light and dark mode sounds on its website for easy comparison. The differences are subtle, as Microsoft alluded to, but the attention to detail is there and for some, that sort of thing is important.

Worth mentioning is the fact that sound files are still stored in the C:\Windows\Media folder, with dark sounds one folder deeper in \dm. And as always, if you aren't fond of Microsoft's creations, you can always replace them with something more suited to your style.

Permalink to story.

 

Nobina

Posts: 3,348   +3,439
You don't get scared anymore by the error sound yay!
My dad likes loud sounds. He would have it so that every click has a sound cause that's his way of recieving feedback I guess. He's not blind or anything but he might as well be. I don't get it.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 339   +320
More cosmetic changes and a pointless one in my opinion. In all my years of using Windows, I've not gotten a shock from the sound from Windows. If any, that is because the speakers were set too loud. Calmer sound is not going to resolve any unexpected loud volume set on your speakers/ earphones.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 397   +334
So W11 looks as cheaply made MacOS imitation without any actual improvements under the hood.

I wonder what would really take M$ to actually propel Windows to something new and exciting. Calmer dark mode sounds, that's not it!

I'll repeat this until Windows actually changes. OS dragging compatibility layer in the kernel which still remembers beginning of x86 architecture. Intel announced in 2018 that every CPU sold from 2020 will not support Legacy BIOS, only UEFI. So what the hell we need all of that ancient x86 baggage in the Windows OS too? At some stage there is a time to finally let go. Make radical change. I really want for somebody at M$ to finally say: from version say 12 Windows will abolish ancient technology/code because you can't move forward with compatibility stretching 40 years back. Who needs it on W11 for example? Focus on hardware released in last 3 years at most and move up from there. Older PCs will just fine run W10 or 7 and if people see something new and exciting, they will upgrade in droves.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 20   +20
I'll repeat this until Windows actually changes. OS dragging compatibility layer in the kernel which still remembers beginning of x86 architecture. Intel announced in 2018 that every CPU sold from 2020 will not support Legacy BIOS, only UEFI. So what the hell we need all of that ancient x86 baggage in the Windows OS too?
Well, that was what Windows 11 trying to do, no? Sadly, many people doesn't support your idea, seeing the uproar of system requirements that deemed to high, arbitrary, and choke full of conspiracy.
 

BSim500

Posts: 859   +1,978
I'll repeat this until Windows actually changes. OS dragging compatibility layer in the kernel which still remembers beginning of x86 architecture. Intel announced in 2018 that every CPU sold from 2020 will not support Legacy BIOS, only UEFI. So what the hell we need all of that ancient x86 baggage in the Windows OS too? At some stage there is a time to finally let go. Make radical change. I really want for somebody at M$ to finally say: from version say 12 Windows will abolish ancient technology/code because you can't move forward with compatibility stretching 40 years back. Who needs it on W11 for example? Focus on hardware released in last 3 years at most and move up from there. Older PCs will just fine run W10 or 7 and if people see something new and exciting, they will upgrade in droves.

All the "legacy" stuff (used by 99% of normal Windows apps...) makes up barely a few hundred MB but is used by the majority of Steam & GOG's catalogues plus a multitude of other software, some related to critical infrastructure). All the real bloat in modern Windows is coming from Software As A Service + "Modern UWP Apps", ie, an entire new secondary API. That's why "Windows 10X" (which scrapped "legacy" app support and went UWP only) ISO size is hardly any smaller vs W10-W11, whilst W7 ISO (x86 only, no UWP) was only 60% of the size of both:-

W7 SP1 ISO size (Win32/64 API only) = 3.1GB

W10X ISO Size (UWP API only) = 5.1GB

W10 21H1 ISO Size (Win32/64 API + UWP) = 5.4GB

W11 ISO Size (Win32/64 API + UWP) = 5.1GB

If you really want to slim down Windows, then rip out the Microsoft Store, Cortana, the telemetry, the whole UWP API, etc, and just keep the "core" improvements like DirectX 12, Freesync / GSync, improved Ryzen scheduling, etc. Congrats, you've just invented Windows 7 SP2 (with a probable ISO size of 3.4-3.8GB).
 
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JohnSmithESP

Posts: 69   +45
My dad likes loud sounds. He would have it so that every click has a sound cause that's his way of recieving feedback I guess. He's not blind or anything but he might as well be. I don't get it.
If you hate everyone send him a keyboard with kailh navy or something similar