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. Hi,
    Can you show exactly what to write next to Source1 and Source2 in the .ini file with the above example?

  2. Hi,
    I am also getting the:

    “Error setting SwitchSpeakerCount to ^!{F9}.”

    I’ve tried changing the hotkeys, but I had no success.

    I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

  3. I love your program, simple and easy to use!


  4. Thank you so much for this little program. It works great and saves me loads of time. You did a great job!

  5. Awesome program. Really saves me from the headache of manually opening the control panel and changing the default device — and from coding it my self! I was right about too out of desperation after purchasing a Logitech G930 Head Set 😛

    You should talk to Logitech into paying you to include your program with their Logitech gaming Software 😉

  6. Another idea would be to create an optional sidebar gadget to automate ctrl-alt-f11. being a application for media i have more access to my mouse then my keyboard(living room) and a simple icon to activate it would allow me to be even more of a couch potato then i already am! :mrgreen:

  7. Switch speaker configuration between stereo and 5.1 using shortcut - pingback on February 11, 2012 at 7:55 am
  8. í’m having the same problem

    “Error setting SwitchSpeakerCount to ^!{F9}.”

    when i use the hotkeys i’m just getting the audio device screen pop up

  9. I have the same problem with the error.

  10. If anyone has achieved a working way of putting this on startup please post! 🙁

  11. First of all…awesum job on the app.
    Concerning the startup here’s what I did…

    1. Create a shortcut of the .exe (send to desktop fastest way)
    2. Drag the shortcut to “Windows>All Programs>Startup”

    Ty for the app! 😀

  12. For those getting a variation of the “Error setting SwitchSpeakerCount to ^!{F9}” error, I am on Win7 and got it to. I fixed it by commenting out all the hotkeys I didn’t want to use and changing the others to non-Function keys (e.g. ^#s for scroll). It now works.

  13. Hi, I have the “Error setting SwitchSpeakerCount to ^!{F9}” error. I don’t know how to “comment” out any hot keys, nor do I want to change things around since I don’t want to mess up my keys and change them around. I’m sorry but I have to remove this program because it is too hard to figure out how to install. I am not a software developer and have only basic knowledge of computers. Loks like I’m doomed to be frustrated with non-working speakers.

  14. Hi there,

    I have headphones that connect via 3.5mm jacks rather than USB. I have my PC speakers plugged in at the back of the P and the headphones plugged in at the front (presumably all to one sound card).

    I’ve not been able to get Windows to switch from one to the other (the headphones always take control when they’re plugged in).

    Can anyone advise if it’s even possible and, if so, how?

    Hopeful thanks in advance.

  15. I am gonna try this when i come home! if it works i´ll be the most soooooo happy!

  16. Trying it with XP. Tray icon sez script paused. Don’t know what to do or how to set up .ini

  17. HI,

    I have three set of speakers connected to one soundcard. The app changes between source 1 and 2, but not between source 1-2-3!

    This is part of my ini file:
    [Sound Devices]

    Set1 = Genelec
    Set2 = Creative
    Set3 = SaffireRec

    What to try?

    Can you also please explain what is the diff between the switch and scroll?


  18. Oi! I downloaded this software and my virus scanner detected the “ARTEMIS” virus. Nobody download this software.

  19. @99Troubles: Your virus scanner is faulty. This software is wrote with the AutoIt language.

    Inferior virus scanner products detect any AutoIT software as containing a virus.

    Read more here: http://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/34658-are-my-autoit-exes-really-infected/

  20. Beauty in simplicity. Thanks.

  21. After set up the “sound devices source” in .ini, I double click the sound_switch_v2.03.exe. Then the tray icon keeps showing “script paused”. I cannot do anything…

    what should I do?

    I’m using Win7 Home 64bit. I have 8 devices listed in my playback. In .ini I just set: source1=5, source2=8, source3=1.
    5 is my speaker, 8 is my headset, and 1 is my monitor speaker.
    And I did not change any other part in .ini other than above.

    What did I do wrong?

  22. Emperor Of Doom

    Awesome little program.

  23. Silke Juppenlatz

    Can’t get it to work on Win 7 64bit.
    Even after editing the ini file as above.

  24. I’ve tried this but the only thing it does with the hotkeys is opening the sound devices control panel. 🙁

  25. I have a 64bit windows lenovo with SSD that works great. But this 64bit asus does not. (it keeps saying can’t set this or that.

  26. I just wanted to say thank you! What an excellent little application and I really appreciate your enthusiasm and interest in making this available for the community!

    Keep up the good work! Double thumbs up 🙂

  27. Hi

    I’m a bit thick. I don’t understand the installation instructions above. How do I configure it?


    David Ashton

  28. Thx! Working like a clock.

  29. Hey Dustin, thanks for the program! Do you know what “Line -1: Error: Array variable subscript badly formatted.” means?

  30. Windows 7 x64. Any hotkey combination causes Sound applet to run, and nothing else.

    What’s wrong? Maybe, problem in using russian version of Win 7?

  31. @Harry: Only works with English Windows.

  32. dude this program is AWESOME, dling on 2012, i assigned the button configuration to a key on my macro keyboard and now i have 1-button sound switch.

    THis is a great way ro have a 1 button change of playback device.


  33. Will you develop this further so it works with Windows that uses another language?

  34. @Pontus: Yes. I’m working on a total rewrite with new methods and features. It will work across all language versions of Windows.

  35. when i go 2 control panel nd then in sound option then my headphones option do not comes….so what shud i do..?..plz reply me as soon as possible

  36. I thought I left a comment somewhere else on your site but I can’t seem to find it. Will there be a version of your program that works with Windows 8? I get this error message every time I use it.


  37. Nevermind, the 3.0 beta works fine with Win8.

  38. Dude you rock!!! I just got a wireless g930 headset and was able to use your script to switch between my speakers and headset by pressing a button on the headset. +1 * 1,000

    I’m donating a buck

  39. hi thx for the program it`s great but i have another problem now… i have my optic cable , my regular jack speackers and the headphones usb with microphone …. now i can use the usb headphones with this program but i can`t use the microphone … what can i do thx

  40. Doesn’t seem to work here… All hotkeys do the same thing: It opens Sound applet from control pannel…

  41. I can’t make it work… Please someone help me…

    The only things all hotkeys do is to open the sound device from control pannel and that’s it…

  42. @David: Are you using an English language version of Windows?

  43. @Dustin no it’s a french version… That could be the cause?

  44. Still looking for this to be fixed 🙁

  45. This works great, and is simple to configure. No more USB woes! Thank you so much! 😀 😀 😀

  46. When will the fix for different languages come out?
    Thank you in advance.

  47. Absolutely love this program!!!! what a genius of even thinking about it lol.. anyway just wondering if their is any way to change mics with speakers that I am unaware of. I switch between a desk mic/speakers and headset and this would be the iceing on the cake if it could do so. Anyway no problem if it cant. Thanks for the hard work!!

  48. It works perfectly and i barely read the instructions!

    Thanks Dustin, job well done!

  49. When I attempt to install the sound_switch_v2.03.exe file I get the following error:

    “Error setting SwitchDefault to ^!{F12}.”

    Any suggestions? I tried switching to a different function keys with no luck. Any suggestions?

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