Create and Save Sound Profiles and Restore Them When Necessary

good
key review info
application features
  • Offers audio-related info about applications and devices
  • (2 more, see all...)

Windows’ Volume Mixer offers a good view over the devices and applications that currently play a sound on the system.

It allows easy access to volume management but there is no comprehensive rundown of the decibels pumped out through the sound devices on the system or the sound level of each application.

NirSoft‘s SoundVolumeView may be regarded as a sidekick application for what Windows provides as it displays more comprehensive details about all active sound components on the system.

As is the case with all programs from this developer, the application is free of charge, does not require installation and works on both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

SoundVolumeView works on all Windows operating systems starting Vista and ending with Windows 8 as well as Windows Server 2008.

The application has a simple interface that lists all the entries in a grid-like view that can be customized for a better view of the entries. You can enable grid lines or differentiate between even and odd lines.

As soon as launched, SoundVolumeView shows all the components generating sound on the system, together with specifics such as their type (application, device or subunit), the device used to pump out the sound or whether they are muted or not.

The list of details is extensive and includes decibel level in the case of devices, volume level in percentage, channels, ID and the path of the application process.

The context menu for each entry reveals a set of options for muting or un-muting the items, customizing the interface by choosing the columns you want to be displayed as well as setting their width.

Furthermore, the list of properties can be accessed, which shows the name fo the component, type, audio device used to render sound, current volume percent and number of channels available. All this information can be easily exported to a TXT file for later reference.

Viewing details about sound parameters guiding each of the listed entries is not too helpful for most of the users; only the more experienced ones will appreciate the main screen.

However, SoundVolumeView provides the possibility to save the current sound scheme locally and restore it at users’s own convenience.

Basically, this means that the specific sound level captured in the profile for all applications making sounds will be preserved and restored with all the particularities.

There is no limit to the number of profiles that can be created, but having too many can lead to problems managing them. That’s because the application allows access from the interface to only the ten most recent profiles. On the other hand, the average user should need much less than this.

Also, there is no possibility to switch from a menu to the other by using direct shortcuts in the application or global system keys. Facilitating this would greatly increase the functionality and usability of the program.

The keyboard shortcuts provided by SoundVolumeView are for controlling the volume level for each entry listed in the main application window. These are assigned for incremental values by 1%, 5% or 10%. Again, they are not allocated globally, hence they work only inside the program.

While the application worked fairly fine during our tests and it managed to accomplish its goals, it also showed that further tweaking from the developer is needed.

We noticed several entries that had absolutely no name, although they were accompanied by all the details specific to a valid item. These were the result of opening and closing programs that had the capability to issue sounds and a poor refresh operation; auto-refresh option, available under ‘Options’ menu, is turned on by default but you can also do it manually by pressing F5.

Also, you will fail to notice the expected result if you load a profile for a program that has not been launched yet. Although automatically launching the profiled programs would be nice when loading a preset would definitely complicate SoundVolumeView, it would also make for a very useful feature.

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The Good

There is no need to install the application; simply extract the archive and launch the executable file.

It automatically displays information about volume level of the the currently running applications that emit sound at one point or another.

The level of details displayed for each entry is quite impressive as it includes the decibel value for sound devices, as well as the current volume level.

The Bad

Lack of global hotkeys for increasing and decreasing sound or for loading certain profiles makes working with the application a bit more difficult.

Refresh option did not work properly in our case as we noticed nameless entries accompanied by information pertinent to valid items.

The Truth

SoundVolumeView is a very simple application that can capture the current sound scheme into a profile with all currently running applications that can make a sound and devices. It allows switching between the saved presets and provides quite extensive sound and volume details.

However, some users may consider it too simple for their needs as it can be further extended in terms of functionality and usability.
user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 3
pricing / value 3


final rating 3
Editor's review
good
 
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