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Running laptop audio through desktop

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Warning: this is an extremely petty quality-of-life question.


I have multiple devices on my desk, and I like to have the audio from all of them run through my desktop (to easily control relative volume levels) and then out through my speakers or headphones. I have a Surface Laptop connected to a Surface Dock, which runs to the microphone port on the back of my desktop, which is set to be listened to and played back. I have a similar setup for some game consoles. The audio goes to the monitor over HDMI, which I then reroute out the headphone jack into the line-in port on my desktop. I can cycle through the audio outputs with a macro I have, and pretty much every app on my desktop computer respects it immediately. However, the laptop and game consoles don't. I have to switch them manually as shown in the screenshot. While there is an option for using the default playback device, it doesn't seem to work properly.

Annotation 2020-04-03 130829.png

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I'll start by saying that I don't have definitive answer to this. Would be too much hassle for me to start testing things. The way I would do it, if needed, would be to use external amplifier/mixer. Currently I use BT speaker for tablet/phone, and speakers/headpnoes are run through small 3.5mm switching box connected to external DAC I'm using (thats the other reason why I would use mixer rather than software/OS solution).


Anyway, the two ideas I've got. I don't know if either of these will work for you. I'm guessing that using DisplayFusion would not work as I think its more like the macro you already have in place. Second idea is to use virtual audio solution. So VB_Audio is mainly known for free virtual audio cable. But they have other audio tools too https://www.vb-audio.com/index.htm maybe some of them will work for you?

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