Multimedia keyboards offer a lot of advantages over normal ones. Along with providing extra keys for navigating the web browser and controlling playback in music players like iTunes, Windows Media Player and more, many keyboards also let you control volume without having to do so from the options built into Windows or the hardware volume knob on your speakers. That’s why I always prefer and recommend a multimedia keyboard whenever a friend asks for suggestions or I myself need to purchase one. But if you don’t own a multimedia keyboard, or simply prefer a standard one, but would like to have volume controls on it, fret not! You can still do exactly that, thanks to 3RVX. I have been playing with this minuscule tool for the last couple of days and have found it very handy for what it does. This tiny app lets you change speaker volume output via hotkeys, and the great thing is that you can use a combination of keyboard and mouse shortcuts for the purpose.
3RVX is fairly easy to use and provides an intuitive solution for changing volume. Those of you who prefer sitting a few feet away from their display and use a wireless keyboard when watching movies are really gonna like it. Once installed, the app resides in the system tray and starts running in the background. Clicking its notification icon brings up a volume adjuster – an added feature that allows you to control volume via mouse.
But since it key feature is to let you adjust the volume via hotkeys, lets dig further into that. The application comes with preconfigured keyboard shortcuts for volume adjustment, but you can always jump to the settings window to modify them to your liking (more on that later). By default, Win + upward mouse wheel scrolling decreases the volume. Likewise, Win + an upward mouse wheel scroll increases it. You can also instantly mute volume by pressing Win + middle mouse button. An on-screen volume widget pops up whenever you tinker with the volume, letting you know about the current output level.
Another interesting bit about 3RVX is that it lets you open the Windows Mixer utility from the context menu of the app’s notification icon. In addition, you can exit the app or open up its settings from here.
The Settings window puts a ton of customization options on the table. Apart from configuring some generic parameters under the General tab, for instance, specifying the application language and auto startup behavior of the program, you can change a few display-related properties of the app as well, among others. For example, you can choose to keep the app widget above other windows, toggle its system tray icon, and specify full screen behavior. You can even adjust fade delay time of the widget as well as fade speed. Another parameter you can adjust is the position of the widget (the app supports multi-monitor setups).
Hotkeys Setup is something I found extremely handy. It simply gives users more flexibility, which is a good thing. Not only can you alter the existing shortcuts, but you can also add new ones for some additional actions, such as opening the app’s settings window or exiting the app. The Skin Chooser tab in Settings lets you apply cosmetic changes to the volume widget, and comes packaged with a few skins out of the box.
3RVX works on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. Both 32-bit and 64-bit OS editions are supported.