Switch Between Speakers And Headphones Windows 7

Posted By admin On 27/11/21

How to switch sound between Headphones and Built-in Speakers on Dell Laptops and Desktops. How to switch sound between Headphones and built-in Speakers witho. But nevertheless, from time to time you have to swap sound output from speakers to headphones or backwards manually. And in this guide we will explain several ways to switch sound output between speakers, headphones, HDMI, etc on Windows 10. Until recently, Windows 10 used the Control Panel applet for switching audio input and output devices.

Although a lot of people use sound chips integrated on their motherboards for playing audio in Windows, many users still like to have a sound card not least because of the amount of external connections they can offer. These days you can also get sound output through your video card as well, and some headphones will even set themselves up as an audio device.

The trouble with Windows is it will only let you setup one of these audio devices as the default player at any one time. For instance, if you want to switch the output of the audio from your PC speakers to perhaps a TV or external media device, you have to go into the Sound options in Control Panel and change the default playback device from PC speakers to the other device by right clicking on it. And when you’re done, you have to remember to go back into the sound options again to revert the changes back or there will be no sound the next time you want to use the PC speakers!

This has long been a problem with Windows and switching audio devices is not something that can be done quickly using the standard options available. Thankfully there are some useful tools around that can make it a lot easier and faster than having to go through the Control Panel every time you want to select a different audio playback device. Here’s a selection for you to have a look at.

1. System Tray Audio Device Switcher (STADS)

STADS is a program that allows you to easily switch between audio devices without going into the control panel by simply using a right click on the the tray icon. This will show the available playback devices and allows you to select one of as default, and if you click on “Show Recording Devices” it will let you select the default recording device. There is a drawback in that it’s compatible with XP only and won’t switch the devices in Vista or Windows 7 / 8.

Download STADS

2. Quick Sound Switch

Quick Sound Switch is a small System Tray tool which unfortunately suffers from the same issue as System Tray Audio Device Switcher (STADS), which is it only works on XP and won’t change the audio devices in Vista or 7. It is still useful for XP users though and includes its own integrated audio volume mixer and set main volume level in addition to a shortcut creator and a hotkey function to set an individual combination for a device. Default volumes and sound devices can configured for startup and shutdown.

Download Quick Sound Switch

3. Vista Audio Changer


Vista Audio Changer has a number of interesting features, one of which is a an application monitoring function which watches for a process name to be launched and then changes the default audio device on its startup and shutdown. Useful if you want to switch audio or video to another device when launching a media player etc. There is also a configurable on screen display to let you know what’s happening and individual hotkeys can be created for each device you want to switch to for quick access. Although it’s called Vista Audio Changer, it will work on Windows 7.

Download Vista Audio Changer

4. Audio Switcher for Windows 7

This little utility is a plain and simple default audio playback device switcher designed to work in Windows 7 and has been created by a member of Hardforum.com. Run the program and a small speaker icon will sit in your tray, left click on it and you will get a list of the currently available playback devices with the current default highlighted. Simply click on the device you want to make the new default. There are no options but it’s an ideal and portable tool to quickly switch between your PC speakers and your HD TV for example.

Download Audio Switcher for Windows 7

5. Win7AudioSwitcher

Win7AudioSwitcher is a neat and portable utility with separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions available. In addition to a tray icon you can right click on and change the default playback and recording devices, there is also a useful floating widget which displays volume level meters for each audio channel and hovering over each device and using the mouse scroll wheel can alter the device’s current volume. Right clicking a device in the widget will allow you to change the default playback and communication device. Verbose tray notifications will inform you of all changes and Auto Switch will change the audio device if the primary monitor changes.

Download Win7AudioSwitcher

6. SoundSwitch

SoundSwitch works with the intention of making it easy for you to switch between the audio playback devices by using a keyboard hotkey. On installing via the one-click installer, right click on the tray icon and select Settings. Then place a tick next to the devices you wish to be able to select and setup a hotkey if the default of Ctrl+Alt+F11 isn’t suitable. Then pressing the hotkey will cycle through the ticked devices or left clicking the tray icon will let you select them with the mouse. A tooltip will let you know what is currently being selected. SoundSwitch works on Windows 7 and 8.

Download SoundSwitch

7. SetSoundDevice

SetSoundDevice (SSD) is an easy to use and standalone tool that simply creates a shortcut icon of the audio device you want to select as the default. Run the tool and it will also open the Sound Control Panel applet because the program can also be executed from the command line by parsing the number of the sound device as an argument. To create a shortcut, all you need to do is select the device to create it for from the drop down list and then click the Change Default Sound Device button making sure the box is ticked which creates the shortcut in the same folder as the SSD utility. Obviously you need to make 2 shortcuts if you’re switching to one device and then want to switch back again afterwards.

Download SetSoundDevice

8. NirCmd

NirCmd is a multi functional Windows command line tool that allows you to perform a large number of simple and useful tasks from standard Windows shortcut icons or within batch files etc. One of its features is being able to set the default sound device on Windows 2008, Vista and 7 although unlike the SSD tool, you have to create the shortcut yourself, the syntax is:

Toggle Between Speakers And Headphones

nircmd.exe setdefaultsounddevice [Device Name (eg; speakers)]

To find your device name, go to Control Panel -> Sound and each device will be given a display name (arrowed above), which is what you enter as the device name in the Nircmd argument. If you have more than 1 device with the same name, click on it -> Properties and give it a different name in the box at the top. It’s best to change the name of fixed devices if you can as those you unplug will reset themselves to the default when inserted again.

To create a Nircmd shortcut right click on the desktop -> New -> Shortcut and enter the command into the box (nircmd.exe setdefaultsounddevice [Device Name]), then click Next and give it a name such as “Switch to Speakers”. Double clicking Nircmd will copy it to the Windows directory for you, so if you don’t do that, will need to supply a path to the nircmd.exe in the shortcut.

Download NirCmd

These last 2 tools give you the added advantage of not needing to have a program running in the system tray or background if switching sound devices is not something you need to do that often.

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Guerisso3 years ago

SoundSwitch does not work on my Windows 10. I can’t change the output device of a running program.


This article is the ultimate solution for my eternal dillema over managing between several sound sources.
Thank you very much.

Rhidium4 years ago

nircmd works on Windows 10 perfectly. I linked the command line macro to a hot key so now I just press 1, 2, or 3 for the different audio sound outputs I want.

Switch Between Speakers And Headphones Windows 7Reply

I recommend Sound Switch, it supports Win10 also and the developer keeps it always updated!

mplammers4 years ago

Today I created this autohotkey script, for people who don’t like to install a closed source solution.


Thank you so much!! (Nircmd Recommended)

lemane4 years ago

Nircmd & autohotkey


What a great article, thank you!
It helped a lot.

And the NirSoft solution is just what i needed.

Sean7 years ago

Another great alternative for Windows Vista/7/8 is Audio Switcher.

Details Here: sourceforge.net/projects/audioswitcher/


Have you tried Default Sound Gadget?

Natong7 years ago

Pc Speaker Headphone Switch

Thanks. You save my time alot..

I prefer nircmd + shortcut method. No RAM use.


PS: Jack dectection work only front panel and it has problem if we use extension cable plug in all the time, since our desktop is under the table.

Eugene Rosenfeld8 years ago

Great post, thanks! I used “4. Audio Switcher for Windows 7” for a long time, and it worked great, except it didn’t display properly when using zoomed font settings in Windows Theme. Then I tried “5. Win7AudioSwitcher” which also works great and works with zoomed Windows Theme fonts.


+ 1 Brian, LOL.

Brian10 years ago

I don’t understand how Microsoft can sell an OS in 2010 that does not have a built-in simple command to switch between headphones and speakers. Incredible. :(…..


I’ve written an audio changer for windows 7. I’m sure it’ll work for XP & Vista. It’ll handle up to five devices and hide in the system tray discreetly.

I found STADS and VistaAudioChanger wasn’t working for me under Win7 but it’s easier enough to replicate the functionality.

rob200911 years ago

good spot with that QuickSoundSwitch ! THANKS!



Patrick M12 years ago

Check this out:
AudioSwitchGadget ~ 11 kb
VistaAudioChanger ~ 76 kb
QuickSoundSwitch ~ 108 kb

System Tray Audio Device Switcher (STADS)
2 MegaBytes



Thanks for the post Raymond, useful stuff as usual. It is relevant to my interests.

In a related matter, I was just wondering, maybe you, or some other commenter, might know of a free solution for “Per-Application Volume Control” in XP? If anyone could help me with this, that’d be amazing.

I know it can be done in Vista; and I also know of the program called “indievolume” which does the job in XP, but IMO it’s overpriced, and I’m pretty sure the serial I am using will be blacklisted in the next release ;)

Anyway keep up the good work Raymond!

Alejandro12 years ago

Hi Raymond great post.


Very Useful.



Switch From Speakers To Headphones Windows 7

tuxplorer12 years ago

Windows 7 Switch Sound Between Speakers And Headphones

Wow…really useful and choice of 3 apps. Nice job Raymond.

Switch Between Speakers And Headphones


Thanks for the info raymond.You rock.

Switch Between Speakers And Headphones Windows 7 Wireless


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