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How Do I Change a Sound Playback Device

October 03, 2011  |  Difficulty: Medium

How to easily switch between sound playback devices you have installed in your computer

It’s quite common for a computer to contain sound devices. This is standard for workstations with HDMI output on the graphic card. Or, you can see multiple sound cards in computers where the user had a sound chip integrated and added another card to the PCI slot. This is done for better sound quality, because an integrated sound card is often outperformed by a PCI sound card. If you have installed drivers for all your sound cards you can easily switch between them as output devices. As mentioned above, this is typical for those using a HDMI output to watch movies and videos on television. The big advantage of this is that both sound and picture stream through a single cable.

Instructions for Microsoft Windows® XP:

  1. Click the “Start” then “Control Panel” then “Sounds and Audio Devices” selections.
  2. Switch to the “Audio” tab.
  3. In the “Sound Playback” section, choose the desired device in the “Default device” dropdown menu.
  4. Click the “OK” button.

Instructions for Microsoft Windows Vista® and Windows® 7:

  1. Click the “Start” then “Control Panel” then “Hardware and Sound” selections.
  2. In the “Sound” section, click the “Manage audio devices” selection.
  3. Switch to the “Playback” tab.
  4. Click on the desired device and click the “Set Default” button.
  5. Click the “OK” button.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Do not forget to set your default device back after you finish using the other one.

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