Windows is one of the most popular operating systems for computers. Many experts say that the estimate made in April 2019 states that Windows has a market share of 79.24% for desktop computers alone, making it the top operating system. It is no surprise that many apps and devices cater to this operating system.
Many users not only use computers for work or school but also for entertainment, thus the need for the use of one or more audio devices.
Switching between audio devices in times of need is a necessary skill especially for those operating multimedia equipment for events. A method to easily and quickly switch audio devices is discussed in the succeeding paragraph.
Learning the Default Method
Before using shortcuts and helpful apps, it is advised to be familiar with the Windows way of structuring its options to deliver sound to your audio devices. For recent Windows versions such as Windows 7 and 8 (and 8.1) right-click on the volume button placed on the taskbar, then choose “playback devices”.
For Windows 10 desktop mode, right-click the speaker icon and choose “Open Sound Settings”. When in Tablet mode, search for “Sound” in the “Settings” menu. Doing this opens the Playback tab of the Sound menu. All connected and recognized audio devices are listed in this tab.
Once you see the audio devices, check for a green checkmark that indicates which audio device is currently used. For Windows 10, a dropdown list shows up. For the more common sound settings menu, open it from the Control Panel by pressing the Windows button then the R and typing “control” on the Run menu.
To change the audio device, simply right-click the audio device that you wish to use and click “set as default device”.
It is obvious that this method is inefficient and slow during times that one needs to quickly change devices (e.g. during a conference or a game live-streaming). So the next section will discuss an easier step.
Use an Application Made for Audio Switching
One app designed to allow the user to swiftly switch audio devices for Windows is the FREE AudioSwitch 2.0 app. It is compatible with computers running Windows 7 and up.
Once it is installed, an icon appears on the taskbar. Show your audio devices by left-clicking the icon and left-click the audio device of your choice. It is as simple as that.
If you wish to hide from the list a specific audio device, right-click the icon then choose Settings then choose Devices. Highlight the target device, and tick the box that states “Hide device from switch list” then click Save Settings. To swiftly change audio recording devices, hold Ctrl while left-clicking the Audio Switch icon.
The app also, upon setting-up, allows you to use its nifty keyboard shortcuts for easier audio device switching. These keyboard shortcuts are useful especially while using other applications, broadcasting full-screen applications, or for those who just prefer quickly pushing keyboard buttons than moving a mouse.
Some of the featured keyboard shortcuts include: switching playback and recording devices, toggling mute on audio devices, adjusting the volume as desired. Pretty neat for a small and easy-to-install free app, right?