Windows

EarTrumpet review: Windows’ missing volume control?

EarTrumpet
Hear me now: EarTrumpet is the volume mixer Windows should have

EarTrumpet is an app that shouldn’t even exist. It’s brilliant, it’s small, it’s free – it should have been bought by Microsoft and integrated into Windows years ago. Hell, they probably don’t even need to buy it to replicate what it does.

What does this little marvel do? It’s the volume control app that finally gives you full control over Windows audio.

EarTrumpet features

EarTrumpet gives you volume controls for every app that’s running on your machine. Watching Netflix but still want to be gently nudged when an email comes in, without the full blang of the notifications chimes? No problem. Set the Netflix volume to 100%, lower the volume on system sounds and then mute the rest of your apps, to make sure a background tab in Chrome doesn’t burst into life midway through Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

EarTrumpet

Better still, if you’ve got headphone and speakers plugged in at the same time, you can adjust volume for each of those outputs individually. You can even assign certain apps to a certain audio output. Do you always use headphones when playing games? Right-click on the Steam listing in EarTrumpet, click the double arrows and you can choose which audio device is used by default.

EarTrumpet can be installed from the Windows Store, but when you install it you’ll find you have two identical speaker icons in your notifications area: one for the regular Windows Volume Mixer and one for EarTrumpet.

Time to vanish the now redundant Windows Volume Mixer. Right-click on a blank space in the Taskbar, click Taskbar Settings, select Taskbar from the left-hand side of the menu that appears, and then disable Volume, as shown below:

Windows volume settings

Version 2 of EarTrumpet, which was released this week, adds a few more clever touches, such as the ability to quickly mute your PC by clicking the scrollwheel on the EarTrumpet icon and multi-channel peak metering.

There really is nothing more to say about this ingenious little app. Just install it and thank me later.

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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