What is Loudness Equalization in Modern Warfare 2? Controversial CDL audio setting explained

MW2 character in dark tunnelActivision

Call of Duty’s ‘Loudness Equalization’ setting in Modern Warfare 2 has created quite a buzz, especially within the COD League. But what is it, how does it work and why is it controversial? 

The dynamics of Modern Warfare 2 gameplay is constantly evolving, with everything from snaking to perk packages making a grand entrance. These new mechanics, along with alterations to some old ones, have certainly managed to capture the attention of players around the globe.

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Recently, however, it’s the ‘Loudness Equalization’ feature that’s been under the spotlight. While some gamers have embraced it, others question its implementation, leading to tense debates. But what exactly is this sound equalization MW2 feature, how does it function, and what’s the reason behind all the controversy?

Modern Warfare 2 Loudness Equalization explained

Loudness Equalization is a PC audio setting that players can enable in Modern Warfare 2. It is not an option for console players, so Xbox and PlayStation users cannot make the most of it. 

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When default audio is equipped, enemy footsteps and direction are naturally obscured by other sounds and some degree of subjectivity.

However, when Loudness Equalization is equipped, it balances audio direction and enemy noise. It makes opponent footstep audio much clearer and easier to pinpoint, so players can pre-aim and anticipate enemies as they approach. 

How to turn Loudness Equalization on in MW2

To enable the audio setting, it’s incredibly simple. As previously mentioned, it can’t be done on console. For PC players though, just follow the steps outlined below: 

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  1. Right-click the speaker icon on your taskbar and go to “Sounds”.
  2. In the “Playback” tab find the device with a green tick mark (Your default device).
  3. Right-click that device and go to “Properties”.
  4. Select the “Enhancements” tab.
  5. Make sure the “Loudness Equalization” setting is turned on.
  6. Click “OK” to confirm the settings.
  7. Head into a game with the enhanced audio.
  8. To turn this setting back off simply follow the steps and deselect the “Loudness Equalization”.

Why is it controversial? Loudness Equalization in the CDL

If it’s a legitimate way to reconfigure your audio, then why is it controversial? The answer is essentially because it is considered overpowered, making it incredibly easy to hear and anticipate enemy positions and movements. 

Casual players can use it to their heart’s desire but, in the Call of Duty League, it’s not that simple. 

At LAN events, players use uniform PCs with pre-determined and consistent settings equipped. However, the same can’t be said when it comes to online matches – like CDL Qualifiers. Here, there’s no way to ensure players are not using the beneficial audio setting and it is technically allowed as an optional audio setting. 

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call of duty league logo with al bagra fortress in backgroundActivision
Loudness Equalization can helps pros massively.

We’ve already seen OpTic Texas’ Scump and Shotzzy criticize the “scumbags” using it – and other pros like Scrappy have blasted pros that knowingly use it. 

Only time will tell regarding this setting’s controversy, but it’s clear many aren’t happy with it.