Is there a way to reset or restart the audio (stack) of Windows without logging off or restarting the OS?
Go to an elevated command prompt and type
net stop AudioSrv followed by
net start AudioSrv
or right click on
Computer, click on
Manage and expand
Services. Right click on
Windows Audio and click restart.
FWIW, I created a batch file that does the whole kit-and-kaboodle (including UAC prompting)
Tested on Windows 10.
Let me put my small tweak here... Restarting audio services helps sometimes but in my case the problem was that sometimes one channel ONLY (most of the time it's the left one) suddenly stops. Restarting audio services did not fix it. What i do with success is simply go into speaker settings - advanced and change the "default format" to something else (e.g.24bit 48khz studio quality) , apply the new setting and then revert to my preferred one and apply the new setting again. That fixes it every time.