Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

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Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:25 pm

I have an HD Radeon card that outputs via HDMI to my TV/Receiver and sends both a 1080p signal and HD audio (5.1). However, I also have my soundcard in my system (Audigy 2ZS) and at times like to use headphones (and not use the receiver for speaker audio). In Vista, under the "Playback devices" only one sound device can be enabled as the "default" device at a time - meaning that every time I want to use headphones, I have to go in there and disable the HDMI audio and enable the Audgiy card.

Is there a way to have both devices enabled at once to solve this annoyance of constantly switching devices?
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:48 pm

Not a direct answer, but IIRC you can right-click the Microsoft speaker icon (not a creative one or anything, I mean) and switch default output devices, rahter than diving into the control panel. Might streamline things a bit but I don't know of a way to make them both the "default device" unless one can piggyback onto the other somehow.
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:13 pm

Why not plug the headphones into the receiver? It's been a long time since I've seen one without a headphone jack.
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:42 pm

Why not plug the headphones into the receiver? It's been a long time since I've seen one without a headphone jack.


Sony HTS-S360
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... 1665793616

Sadly, I don't see a headphone jack on this thing.
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:46 pm

As far as I know you have to change the audio output device in each application, but after that it's possible. I do it all the time with Ventrilo. (Default device = speakers, Vent output = usb headset)
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:01 pm

rogelio wrote:
Why not plug the headphones into the receiver? It's been a long time since I've seen one without a headphone jack.


Sony HTS-S360
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... 1665793616

Sadly, I don't see a headphone jack on this thing.

Yeah, I started looking up random receivers. I guess the headphone jack isn't so popular anymore.
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:20 pm

titan wrote:Yeah, I started looking up random receivers. I guess the headphone jack isn't so popular anymore.

I think it depends more on whether you're looking at legitimate component receivers, or Home Theater In a Box systems. Comparatively, scroll quickly through this and there are plenty of headphone jacks.
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:35 pm

Yeah, that set sure looks like a HTIB to me. You get what you pay for I suppose :(
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:36 am

What I've done is create a shortcut to Sounds and Audio Devices and put it into my "quick launch".
It's the fastest way I've found to flip between devices.

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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:16 am

You might be able to make switching audio devices painless by using an AutoHotkey script like the ones in this thread.
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Re: Enable 2+ sound devices at once (vista)?

Postposted on Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:02 am

rogelio wrote:In Vista, under the "Playback devices" only one sound device can be enabled as the "default" device at a time - meaning that every time I want to use headphones, I have to go in there and disable the HDMI audio and enable the Audgiy card.


There's a lack of clarity here. I think your best solution is to right click the speaker in the system tray and change it there.

On the other hand, you seem unclear on what 'default' does. 'Default' does not mean 'only', and it doesn't mean that any app you open connects to the default audio device. For example, I have my current setup as DDL via optical output to my Z-680s for my default, and have a headset hooked to the front panel input/output. All system audio comes through the Z-680s, but all Skype output/input is via the headset.

This is one of the big things that Vista sold as an improvement. Under XP, sound control was much less fine-grained and more difficult to 'pipe'.

If you just want to dump ALL audio to one device or the other, with the other silent, then you need to change the default, mute the other, and/or restart any open apps.

Alternately, you can setup your system to output all audio to the headphones and the speakers and hit the main power on the HTIB when you use the headphones.
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