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Windows 10 ignoring volume settings, playing audio at moderately high-ish volume

Squirminator2kSquirminator2k they/themNorth Hollywood, CARegistered User regular
I've been having a problem for a few months that I've been unable to Google and can't seem to resolve myself.

For whatever reason, Windows 10 has taken to ignoring the volume setting on my PC and is just sort-of outputting sound at a slightly-higher-than-I'd-like volume. The volume slider is where I left it last time, it's not set at whatever this higher volume is, but if I turn it up or down the volume will immediately reduce/increase to whatever the slider is set to. This is most noticeable when I use the Vol -/+ keys on my keyboard - the volume jump from whatever Windows has decided to sit at to the new volume the system has been set to is very, very noticeable. If I haven't done anything that requires audio for a while, the volume will invariably "reset" - i.e., will once again ignore the system volume setting and will output sound at that slightly-higher-than-I'd-like level.

It's also noticeable when I use my Steamlink - the sound being transmitted to my PC is waaaaay too high, to the point that it sounds distorted. The sound issue predates the Steamlink purchase, so the Steamlink issue is a symptom, not the cause.

Anybody have any suggestions? Again, it's not that the volume slider is moving, it's that the PC is ignoring the volume setting and outputting at that higher volume until I adjust the system volume at which point it jumps down/up to wherever the slider is.

Thanks!

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