A hotkey to switch between headphones and speakers. Soundswitch.

I use USB headphones. I also use regular speakers connected to my sound card. Windows makes it a multi-step process to switch from headphones to speakers.

I tired of this, so I wrote a program to rectify the situation and I called it Soundswitch because I’m a wordsmith. You can find this program here:

Available here.

Basic Use and Installation

Unzip it to the directory of your choice.

Look in the Sound applet in control panel to see which two sound devices you want to switch between. In the following image, the two I switch between are labeled 1 and 4. Thus, in the ini file, I used 1 for Source1 and 4 for Source2.  Update:  Note that the number of items will vary based upon whether you have “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices” checked (Right click anywhere in the list to see these).  For the purposes of Sound Switch make sure both options are checked before counting the items. The screenshot below doesn’t reflect this.


The ini by default has the switch key assigned to Ctrl-Alt-F12. Edit this as you like.

Tested on Win7 x64 and Vista x32.   Update:  XP no longer works with the latest updates.  Use this older version for XP compatibility:  soundswitch

Any comments on this are welcome and I’ll try to fix any bugs reported.

Version 2 Notes

I’ve added a good number of features in the latest version. All accessible through the .ini file.

  • “Scroll” through each enabled item in your Sound panel.
  • Hide the tray icon
  • Switch between two speaker configurations for your current active playback device
  • Switch/scroll just the default comm device, default playback device, or both
  • Hotkey to terminate the program
Leave a comment ?


  1. All hotkeys except the terminate key (which works) do only open the sound dialog box. Nothing else happens. Using Win7 64bit and Realtek hd audio

  2. hi justin,

    2 months ago, I asked about the possibility of doing
    if hotkey= “x” go to source 1
    if hotkey= “y” go to source 2

    You mentioned that I should expect implementation within a month. Was that finally implemented?



  3. XP Pro 2002 SP3… I’m not seeing your “Playback” window so I can choose sources. How do I do that?

  4. @Jim: as mentioned in the post XP isn’t supported.

    @PJ: I’ve beenvtio busy to implement it. I plan on doing so as saint as I have the time.

    @ndrs: Are you using English for your language in Windows?

  5. I downloaded the old version which was supposedly XP compatible. When you did the XP version, how was each source determined?

  6. I have the same problem as ndrs.
    I am using dutch as language in Windows.

    • @TimVR: Yes, this is a limitation with Soundswitch. It appears it only works on English-language Windows. I hope to have a translation-aware version out soon!

      If anyone is interested in following development of Soundswitch you can follow me on twitter @dustin_wyatt. I’ll usually tweet about what I’m working on…

  7. Soundswitch… | Le Blogue d'André - pingback on June 7, 2011 at 8:23 am
  8. Soundswitch… | André's blog - pingback on June 7, 2011 at 8:30 am
  9. Thanks! You are awesome! 😛

  10. I’ve been running Version 2 for a long time. While running AdAware (I had a redirect virus) it claimed that SoundSwitch had a virus. My normal virus scanner (Avast) has never had an issue with your program. I have attached the line from the AdAware Report. You may want to find out why anti-malware programs think your software has a trojan.

    Description: d:\apps\utils\soundswitch_v2.03.zip::sound_switch_v2.03.exe Family Name: Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT Engine: 3 Clean status: Success Item ID: 1 Family ID: 0 MD5:

    • @Thanos: That’s because Lavasoft is a lazy company. The language SoundSwitch is wrote in (AutoIT), has also been used to write some malicious stuff, so they just flag all software that uses it.

      I’ve submitted false positive reports to them to no avail.

  11. Hi, I’d love to use your program in my German version of Windows 7 64-bit. Can I maybe help with the translation? If so, get back to me.

  12. Just bought a headset that is run by two input jacks, not USB. Does this program still work? I can’t seem to get it to. I am on Vista 64 bit.

  13. good application! thumbs up! thank you very much.. easy to use and customize… 😀

  14. How to make this programme run on startup? Cause it really hassles me to open each time I turn on my PC.

  15. Hi there,
    your script looks like a great idea!
    Since last postes are only a few days ago, I hope this is still alive…
    But I’m getting just the sound window (I think it’s because my Czech version of Windows) – so any chance of translation / international version?

    Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit CZE
    Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio
    Creative SoundBlaster Tactic3D Sigma

  16. I really like this program! Works like a charm.
    Is it possible to switch between 3 outputs(livingroom, headphones and bathroom).
    Maybe i am just missing something but i can’t get it to work, tried adding a source3 in the ini file.

  17. First off love the program, it’s a lifesaver. Wondering if it would be possible to add scroll functionality (or possibly even be able to setup hotkeys for specific configurations) for the speaker setup? I have situations where I need to be in stereo, 5.1 or 7.1…

  18. @jared: Yeah, I’ll add that to my to-do list.

  19. Microsoft’s Audio Antaganism « Eaten by Linux - pingback on August 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  20. Hi Dustin,
    It seems that in the older XP version of the software the letter “e” still causes the opening of the Sounds window. Is it somehow possible to fix/eliminate this dysfunction?
    Thanks in advance.

  21. It doesn’t set it to the right one … 😐

  22. This screenshot looks like it is Windows 7… can someone post Windows XP instructions? My problem is I cant get they numbering for the sources.


  23. I do not understand what I’m supposed to do, I’m using windows Xp I downloaded the zip file, the one that works with Xp I know that because it is written underneath the picture. I

  24. I do not understand what I’am supposed to do I’m using Windows Xp (I like original)I downloaded the right file the one that actually works with Xp because you said it does anyway I extract the Zip. I than got the sound switch application. I clicked on it and It became a little icon in the bottom right and that is please help me >.< !!!

  25. Would it be possible to post a screen of the ini file that goes with sound source screen at the top? I know it wont be the exact same but I have never been able to get this to work properly.

  26. This is the best software on the Internet. Thanks.

  27. This is an excellent tool. However, I’m using a 5.1 system with rear speakers. The speaker configuration option only sets it to 5.1/side speakers.
    How do I change that setting ?

    Thank you for the software.

  28. Thanks man for the wonderful app, going to set it up right away. I need some more help from you. Besides headphones and speakers, I also have a TV Tuner Box (INTEX IT-191). Here’s the current setup l
    A standard audio cable (3.5 mm jack) goes from the PC’s onboard sound card to TV Tuner audio input input. The speakers are connected to the TV tuner audio output (3.5 mm jack)

    TV Tuner specs: http://goo.gl/Ue1Pr
    Rear-side images, not too good quality: http://goo.gl/rqvBi

    How do I plug in my headphones between all this? Would soundswitch_v2.03 still work?

  29. I installed this on my XP Pro (the older XP version you note above). Now I can’t get anything but my internal speaker to work. So my desktop speakers and headphones won’t work. I’ve tried everything I can think of. Does your program make some change to the Registry I can undo?

  30. @Travis: This doesn’t do anything with the registry. The only thing it does is automate clicking the buttons in the Sound control panel applet. Check your settings there.

    @Manu: The only thing this program can do is switch between the sound devices listed in the Sound control panel applet. You’ll need to plug your headphones in to your sound card.

  31. Dustin, thx for your program. But can u make an international version of it? It would be great!
    Switch doesn’t work on RUSSIAN Windows

  32. Stupid question: My speakers are plugged into the green slot on the back of my CPU. Where do I plug-in my headphones. There are two vacant slots at the back (either side of the green where the speakers are plugged in) and 2 in the front panel.

  33. Excellent shortcut to switching playback devives.

    Is there any way to enable all as default? I have some great desktop speakers connected and an HDTV via HDMI. I would love to hear the sound coming through both sets of speakers.

    Vista Home Prem 32byt

  34. 😀 Many thanks for this! Works perfectly on W7 Pro through Eventghost

  35. How to get the software to start on start-up? Is there any option for this to work?

  36. @ Shaheire

    Create a .bat file that runs on start up commanding to open soundswitch.
    I think?

  37. First, this is DEF a tool that solves a HUGE ANNOYING PROBLEM, so THANK YOU!

    Second, on my Windows 7 64 bit, it only works when I set my INI to the positions with Disabled and Disconnected OFF.

    When those are checked, your tool actually unchecks them and then activates the positions from the INI.

    So, when I set the ini accordingly, it worked great. Thanks again.

  38. Anyway to switch between two microphones, one built into a webcam and the other in a headset.

  39. Wow this program is PERFECT!!!

    Very easy to use… THANKS~~~!!!

    More people should know about this. Such a simple program saved me hours and hours of hassle!!

  40. Amazing, thank you soooo much.. this is exactly what I was looking for… to a previous comment, I scanned this with MSE and SAS and nothing came back.. Thank you again to the author.. Is the donate button on the right for the author of this program..

  41. @dwarr26: Yes, the donate button is for the author.

  42. Hi! is there any way to make it work on spanish language? if the answers is no, is there any way i could help you to translate or something? the program looks awesome, but I can’t use it 🙁

  43. There’s another product named SoundSwitch on Microsoft’s CodePlex site: http://soundswitch.codeplex.com/

  44. @Enrique: It currently doesn’t work with spanish.

    The next version will support multiple languages. I’ll try to get that out within a few weeks.

  45. I have problem with my Xonar DS not automaticly switching between Headset/Speakers and thx to you i can now fix this issue!

    Many thx for this!

  46. I’m trying your older version with XP…I don’t see anything different in right clicking the sound tray icon…help!

  47. Don’t know if thisa happened to anyone else, but when I downloaded and extracted version 2 – McAffee came up and said it removed the trojan Artemis!D293B22499CF.

  48. 😀

    dude – this is highly favorable!!!!

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