the new volume mixer is officially being tested

After burying this feature at the bottom of a test build for the first time, Microsoft announced in late January that it was officially testing a new application volume control component for Windows 11. A welcome option … available for five years.

An upcoming Windows 11 update may improve the app's volume controls.  // Source: The Verge screenshot
An upcoming Windows 11 update may improve the app’s volume controls. // Source: The Verge screenshot

The new volume mixer is officially being tested at Microsoft. On Thursday, March 2, the developers of Windows 11 unveiled a new test version (build 25309) of its operating system through the Windows Insider program.

In the change log, Microsoft teams officially announce a new feature: a new interface to individually adjust the volume of each running software, application or game. And much faster than today.

An idea inspired by another software

Specifically, this new panel consists of a vertical list of volume bars placed next to the icon of the corresponding application. In addition to adjusting the volume, it also seems possible to click on this thumbnail logo to mute the sound completely.

This volume mixer takes the aesthetic codes of Windows 11 and is integrated into the quick access panel of the Windows taskbar. As with today’s sound output, just click the arrow next to the main soundbar. It can also be displayed via a new keyboard shortcut: Win + Ctrl + V (used by PowerToys for plain copy/paste).

A welcome new tool that simplifies these day-to-day settings, as you’ll need to go to the volume mixer settings page today…unless you’ve installed the unofficial software EarTrumpet. This tool, developed by two former Microsoft employees, is very similar to this new sound control panel. So Microsoft seems to have been inspired by this very popular program for five years now.

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A feature that has been tested before

This new volume mixer has been released before. As of January 2023, another version of the Insider program (build 25281) allowed it to be used even if it was hidden behind an experimental option. This is often a sign that Microsoft is testing features that remain uncertain.

We’re therefore more likely to believe it this time, although the changelog indicates that this new panel isn’t available to all members of the Insider program: the Windows team plans to review tester feedback before rolling it out to all developers.

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