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Microsoft is testing a redesigned Windows 11 audio mixer

And finally adding a dedicated keyboard shortcut for accessing the feature.

Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

Windows has frequently made managing multiple audio devices a hassle. Over the years, Microsoft has tried to improve the experience in a few ways. In 2021, for example, the company simplified how Windows 10 categorized Bluetooth devices. In spite of those efforts, it often feels like the OS doesn’t make switching between audio outputs and managing sound levels as easy as they should be. For instance, I wish Windows 11’s Quick Setting panel would allow me to adjust audio levels on a per-app basis.

Thankfully, Microsoft is finally preparing to solve that minor annoyance for Windows users. This week, the company detailed the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview and it just so happens to include a redesigned Quick Settings volume mixer. The updated interface element not only allows you to switch between audio devices but you can also use it to enable spatial sound and adjust volume output on a per-app basis, two things you can’t do with the current design. What’s more, Microsoft has added a dedicated shortcut to make accessing the feature faster. Once you have access to the volume mixer, press the Windows, Ctrl and V keys on your keyboard at the same time to open it.

"With this change, you can now tailor your audio experience with more control and fewer clicks to better manage your favorite apps," Microsoft says of the redesigned interface. As Bleeping Computer points out, the new volume mixer is reminiscent of the popular EarTrumpet mod. There’s no word yet on when Microsoft plans to roll out the latest Windows Insider features to regular users, but here’s hoping this one doesn’t take long to make its way to the general public.

A screenshot of Windows 11's redesigned volume mixer, currently available to Windows Insiders.
A screenshot of Windows 11's redesigned volume mixer, currently available to Windows Insiders. (Microsoft)