I am used to the nice feature of MacOS X that has separate volume control per device (Speakers and Headphones). Is this possible on Windows 10 as well?


When I mute the sound of my speakers, and plug in my Apple Earpods (3 connectors on the plug) via the 3.5 mm jack, the volume is set as it was the last time I used the headphones. And vice versa.

I hope that my example makes sense.


I have a MacBook Air (Early 2015), and I try to achieve the separate volume control on my Dell XPS 15 9570.

The Dell laptop uses the Realtek (R) Audio driver.


The audio playback device is called "Speakers/Headphones". So they are not two separate devices. I am plugging my headphones into the laptop directly. It looks like this:


  • What computer do you have (type, model)? Are you plugging in headphones directly into the computer, or into e.g. external desktop speakers? Is Windows using "HD Audio" or "AC'97" drivers (in Device Manager)? – grawity Dec 31 '18 at 19:39
  • Can you answer the question about sound drivers in Device Manager as well? – grawity Dec 31 '18 at 19:47
  • Hmm, the driver should specifically show up as either Realtek HD Audio or Realtek AC'97... And/or, maybe your firmware settings (BIOS) have an option to switch between the two? Also, do you have a Realtek control panel app thing anywahere in Windows? – grawity Dec 31 '18 at 20:14
  • Unfortunately, I can't find any information about this in the BIOS. According to the Dell website, the XPS uses Realtek HD Audio. – Matthijs Dec 31 '18 at 20:21
  • 1) When responding to a Comment, please click on edit and put the requested information in the question. All information about the issue should be in the Question where all may see it. Also, please click on the grey (x) and delete your Comments to make room for more. 2) Are your headphones Bluetooth, USB-connected, or using a 3.5mm multi-pole plug to attach? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Klinkenstecker_5-polig.jpg 3) If the latter, how many connectors are on the plug? – K7AAY Dec 31 '18 at 21:32

Try the free Microsoft Store app EarTrumpet, a Volume Mixer replacement.

A review of it can be found in EarTrumpet for Windows 10: A Better Windows Volume Mixer.

Judging by the screenshot below, it seems that it can do devices as well as apps:

enter image description here

  • Unfortunately, I have one device for both Speakers and Headphones. I only see one device in EarTrumpet. – Matthijs Dec 31 '18 at 20:48
  • It is possible that hardware-wise, one device piggy-backs on the other so you see only one. If that's the case, I don't see a solution. – harrymc Dec 31 '18 at 20:50
  • I am afraid you're right :/ – Matthijs Dec 31 '18 at 20:55

Since having multiple devices would resolve your issue, you could install a new device. In the answer from K7AAY the headphones are LOGITECH WIRELESS HEADPHONES. They would have to be installed as a device as opposed to simply plugging into the headphone jack of the soundcard.


First, let's enable the headphones as a separate device.
a) Click the Start button.
b) Type Sound in the Start Search Box.
c) In the Start Menu Options, choose Change Sound Card Settings.
d) Under the Playback Tab, right click and select Show Hidden Devices and Show Disconnected Devices.
e) Select Headphones and enable.

Then, we set up the device-specific output level.

Right-click on the speaker icon in the Tray and choose Playback devices.

Playback Devices menu

Then on the Playback tab,

Playback Tab menu

select one output device (e.g., Headphones, or Speakers). After selecting it, click on Properties.

enter image description here

Then, move the slider tab to adjust its relative volume level and click OK .

  • The volume keeps the same for both speaker and headphones. – Matthijs Dec 31 '18 at 20:03
  • Please try decreasing the speaker volume using the above instructions, but selecting your Speakers on the Playback tab. – K7AAY Dec 31 '18 at 21:06
  • I only have one device in the list (for both Speakers and Headphones). I've updated my question. – Matthijs Dec 31 '18 at 21:07

After some further research, I found the Waves MaxxAudio Pro software on the Dell XPS 15 9570 Support page.

After installing this software, the volume is now different for each device. So if I mute the speaker sound, the headphones will not muted and vice versa.

There is still only one playback device, however, MaxxAudio controls the audio.

Thanks for researching the problem.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.