You can connect multiple audio devices to a Windows PC. They can be wired devices like a set of speakers, or they can be wireless devices like a pair of Bluetooth headphones. By default, you can switch to any one of the connected audio devices on the fly from the system tray. You can also set a specific volume level for individual apps but what you can’t do is assign an audio device to an app.
If you want to make it so that a particular app like VLC player always plays audio through your built-in speakers, and another app like Groove always plays audio through your headphones, you’re going to need an app called Audio Router.
We’ve featured Audio Router before. The app lets you send output from one app to multiple audio devices.
Assign An Audio Device
Before you can assign an audio device to an app, you need to connect the different audio devices you have and make sure Windows sees them as separate devices. To check if Windows sees them as separate devices, click the sound icon in the system tray. Each device should appear separately e.g., your speakers should be a different device and your Bluetooth headphones should be a separate device.
If your sound audio device isn’t showing up, right-click the speaker icon in the system tray and select Sound. In the window that opens, make sure all audio devices that you want to use have been enabled.
Next, download and run Audio Router. Open the apps that you want to assign to an audio device and and make sure they’re playing sound, then switch to Audio Router.
Under the app you want to assign an audio device to, click the little arrow button and select Route from the menu.
This will open another smaller window that will let you select which device the app should play audio through. It’s a good idea to select the ‘Soft routing’ option in this window to avoid any complications. That’s all you need to do. Repeat for every app that you want to assign an audio device to.
It seems this app doesn’t work with UWP apps. We tried it with Groove and the TV & Movies app in Windows 10 and got an error with both. For desktop apps, it works without any problems but you do need to keep the app open. There doesn’t seem to be an option for saving the preferences so you’re most likely going to have to set this up each time you have to route your audio to two different devices.
The good news is that come the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, there will be something similar to this built into the OS and you likely will not need to use Audio Router, and you’ll have an option to save audio output settings as well.