How to Set a Headset to Be at the Default Sound


Connecting computer headsets to the USB port on a PC can create several confusing instances of sound card capabilities in the operating system. Most manufacturers include a sound card with the PC, which is attached to the motherboard inside the case. This original card usually serves as the default sound processor in the OS. USB headsets also have a built-in miniature sound card that plays back and records audio, similar to the card in the PC. If you are having trouble using a headset, you might try telling Windows to use the headset's sound card for default operating system audio.

  • Click the circular "Windows" orb logo in the bottom-left corner of the desktop. Type "Sound Card" in the search box at the bottom of the "Start" menu. Press "Enter" to open the "Sound" dialog box.

  • Click the "Playback" tab.

  • Click to highlight the USB headset in the list of connected devices that use a sound card. The title of the headset usually includes the brand name, such as "Logitech" or "Plantronics." Click the "Set Default" button at the bottom of the tab.

  • Click "OK" to confirm that the USB headset is to now serve the role of the default sound device on the PC.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your USB headset lacks updated device drivers for the operating system, then navigate to Microsoft's "Windows 7 Compatibility Center" Web page to verify that the hardware is compatible. If it is listed on the website, then click on the "Support" link to navigate to the manufacturer's support page to download the drivers.
  • Run the "Windows Update" service while the USB headset is attached to the computer and the operating system might find drivers on Microsoft's servers.
  • If the headset is non-USB, but instead uses 3.5 mm connectors on the sound card, then you would select the computer's original sound card as the default device. The brand name of the headset will not appear in the list of devices.

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