The little speaker icon in the system tray on Windows 10 lets you access the volume mixer, change the audio device to a different one that’s connected, and access the sound settings. It’s a good, useful button but it’s for managing your audio devices and convenience is a somewhat second thought. Audio Switcher is an app that lets you assign keyboard shortcuts to audio devices and you can use them to switch audio devices without having to go through the speaker icon’s menu.
Switch Audio Devices
You need to first connect the devices that you will be switching between. If it’s a Bluetooth device, you need to pair it and connect it.
Download and run Audio Switcher. Make sure all your devices are showing up in the Playback and Recording tabs. Head over to the Hotkeys tab.
Click the plus button at the bottom right of the Hotkeys tab. On the Add Hot Key window, open the Device dropdown and select the audio device you want to set the keyboard shortcut for. If it isn’t showing up, check Windows’ sound settings to see if it’s listed there. If it isn’t listed, it means the device isn’t connected.
After selecting the device, click inside the Hot Key field and type the keyboard shortcut you want to assign it.
Minimize the app to the system tray. It needs to be running in order for the keyboard shortcuts to work. Record a shortcut for each device that you have. The shortcut can only switch to the device. You can’t use it to toggle between a device and jump back to the previous one.
The shortcut allows you to switch audio devices on the fly though there will be some exceptions. For example, some apps need to be restarted before they can switch over to the new audio device. That, or they have a built-in setting for switching audio devices on their own so the change might have happened on an OS level but the app might not pick up on it. An example of some apps that might act like this are Skype, the desktop version, or Audacity.
Audio Switcher doesn’t do much else but you can go to the Settings tab and have it start when you boot your system. It also has its own Playback and Recording tabs which mimic the Windows 10 system sound settings perfectly. You can also use it to open the system sound settings. The app is light-weight and if you use multiple audio devices, you’ll probably add this to your must-have list.