Better switching between audio devices in Windows 7

Windows 7 might be the best Microsoft OS to date, but it still has some nagging quirks relating to the UI. One of my biggest gripes is how many clicks it takes to change the current audio device. I typically have no less than 3 audio devices on my system namely:

  1. Speakers
  2. Headphones
  3. HDMI (when connected to a TV)

At any given time if I want to change my audio device, lets say from speakers to headphone, these are the exact steps I need to follow:

  1. Right click on the speaker icon in the sys tray
  2. Click playback devices
  3. Right click the audio device I want to change to
  4. select “set as default audio device”
  5. Click ok to close the window

This demonstrates poor usability, clearly the Win 7 design team overlooked this. Luckily for us there are some emerging projects out that fixes what the Win 7 team overlooked.

I found an application called Coastal Audio Changer which solves the problem gracefully on Windows 7. You can download the application here. Be warned its not free, but if you have 5 dollars to donate the UK based developer, I think it might be exactly the program to solve the frustrations of having to click 5 times instead of once, each time you want to swop audio.

Hope this tip helps.