Ready to change things up when it comes to controlling the audio on your Windows 10 devices?

The current default Volume Control/Mixer in Windows 10 gives you full control over the sounds emanating from your system.

WIndows Classic Volume Mixer
Windows 10 Volume Mixer (Default)

Access is gained through a speaker icon in the Taskbar System Tray but in order to control individual hardware, apps, or other software you must first right-click to bring up a context menu, then select Open Volume Mixer and at that point you can control your individual items using sound. The master volume control is available by just clicking on the speaker icon in the System tray.

So that means three clicks to exercise control over those things making sound on your system.

Well there is a new app which is aiming to give you quicker access to those volume controls on Windows 10 so that you can easily turn down just the app or program generating sound versus using the master volume to quickly quiet the entire system.

Ear Trumpet is that app and it is the brain child of self professed forward engineer by day, reverse engineer by night Rafael Rivera .

The Ear Trumpet project is on GitHub, which by the way if you had not heard – Microsoft recently acquired – GitHub not Ear Trumpet, and so it is all out there as Rafael told me for anyone to contribute to the software.

You can download and install Ear Trumpet from the Microsoft Store – the current release is Version 1 with Version 2 flighting in the very near future. Rivera and the team building Ear Trumpet have built this app so it is compatible with the x86/64 bit versions of Windows 10 but it also works on Windows 10 S and Windows 10 on ARM. According to Rivera the only device it is not ready for is Surface Hub.

Let’s take a look around the app.

Note: These screenshots are from the Version 2 beta release of Ear Trumpet.

Ear Trumpet for Windows 10
Ear Trumpet Volume Control App on Windows 10

Ear Trumpet gives you access not only to the master volume but to individual apps with just one click on the apps speaker icon in the system tray. As you open modern apps or classic programs that use sound that list will grow so you can control them individually from this flyout.  You can see that in the screenshot above.

You will also find the use of Microsoft’s Fluent Design system in Ear Trumpet – something that has not made its way to the classic Volume Mixer app on Windows 10 so far. Check out the subtle acrylic effect across the controls in the screenshot below.

Ear Trumpet for Windows 10
Ear Trumpet App (Expanded View)

A recent addition in the Version builds 2 is Dark Mode for the apps right-click context menu:

Ear Trumpet for Windows 10
Ear Trumpet Context Menu in Dark Mode

This app can also replace the classic volume control in Windows 10 because first it is part of the Startup Apps list in the Windows 10 Settings app:

Windows 10 Startup Apps
Windows 10 Startup Apps Settings

Using the Windows 10 Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Turn system icons on or off options you can remove access to the classic volume control by removing its associated speaker icon from the taskbar system tray.

Turn System Icons On or Off in Windows 10
Windows 10 Personalization Options for Taskbar System Tray

So go ahead and check out Ear Trumpet for yourself. I already installed it on all of my production devices running Windows 10 Version 1803 – aka the April 2018 Update – and will soon be throwing it on my three bare metal testing devices running Redstone 5 development builds.

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