How To Normalize and Balance Audio Volume Levels in VLC Media Player

VLC media player is a popular, free, and open-source cross-platform media player that allows you to play most audio and video files. One issue that many users face is inconsistent or overly loud/quiet audio volume levels when playing media files in VLC. Fortunately, VLC has built-in audio normalization and volume balancing features that can help resolve this.

Enable Audio Normalization

Audio normalization in VLC analyzes the volume levels of your media files and adjusts the output volume to a consistent, normalized level. This prevents files with very loud or very quiet volumes from being too distracting.

To enable audio normalization in VLC:

  1. Open VLC media player and go to Tools > Preferences
  2. Go to the Audio tab
  3. Check the “Normalize volume” checkbox
  4. Set the maximum amplification level in dB. Between 10-20dB is recommended.


  • Consistent volume across all media files
  • No more loud or quiet files
  • Can amplify quiet files to boost volume


  • Can reduce overall sound quality
  • Doesn’t allow manual control of volumes

Use the Compressor Audio Filter

The Compressor audio filter in VLC allows you to manually adjust and balance the audio dynamic range. This gives you more fine-tuned control compared to normalization.

To use the Compressor filter:

  1. Go to Tools > Effects and Filters
  2. Click Add Effect > Audio Effects > Compressor
  3. Adjust the Threshold, Ratio, Attack, and Release settings until desired


  • Full manual control over volume range compression
  • Can target specific volume levels
  • Allows balancing quiet and loud parts


  • More complex to use
  • Can take trial and error to get right

Adjust Individual Audio Track Volumes

If you have a video file with multiple audio tracks, such as different language dubs, you can adjust the volumes of each track individually.

To adjust per-track volumes:

  1. Right-click the video and select Audio > Audio Track
  2. Click the wrench icon next to each track
  3. Adjust the track’s volume slider as desired
  4. Click Close to save changes


  • Separate control over each track’s levels
  • Allows balancing dialogue vs background tracks
  • Retains volume differences between tracks


  • Only works for videos with multiple audio tracks
  • Can be time consuming for many tracks

Use Volume Normalization Before Converting Files

One good workflow is to normalize the audio volumes first before converting media files to other formats. This will bake in the normalization to the new files.

To do this:

  1. Add files to VLC’s playlist
  2. Go to Tools > Effects and Filters
  3. Enable the Compressor filter as shown above
  4. Tweak settings until volumes are balanced
  5. Go to Media > Convert/Save
  6. Convert files to desired format

Now the new converted files will have normalized volumes without needing to reapply the effects.