Isn’t it always the smallest things that create the biggest irritations? Things like a dripping faucet, a creaking stair step, or Windows forcing you to send your mouse through a maze of menus just to switch audio output between the speakers and the headphones! Aren’t Windows’ developers smart enough to come up with a toggle switch between the two outputs? Apparently they’re not. But luckily for us, Dustin Wyatt is.
Wyatt’s the creator of Soundswitch, a free and simple program that lets you switch from one sound output to another by tapping a hot key or by clicking a tray icon.
Download Soundswitch at http://blog.contriving.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/soundswitch_v2.03.zip , and unzip the file into whatever directory you want. That’s all there is to installation except for going into a config.ini file with a text editor to make a few changes. One is to tell Soundswitch which sound devices you want to switch between.
But first click the loudspeaker in the Windows system tray and click open the playback devices’ dialog box. Right click on any of the devices listed there and make sure that both “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices” are checked.
Close the box that has those two options by clicking outside it. Now count your output devices, including disabled and disconnected, and remember the numbers of the two you want to be able to switch between. In the example here, I need to control a set of speakers in position 4 and the headphones at 5.
Add those numbers to the “Source1=” and “Source2=” lines, and that’s it. You can do more by assigning hot keys to switch the sound sources and set up a bunch of controls you’ll never use. Just save the .ini file, run switchsound.exe, and the icon you see to the left will appear in the system tray. Next time the family’s yelling at you because your speakers are too loud, just click the icon and don your headphones. When everyone’s gone, another click will bring you back into full-blast rock ’n’ roll glory.
Soundswitch works with Vista and Windows 7. There’s an older version for XP.