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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.