Fix MS teams suddenly defaulting to USB audio

1 minute read

Over the past week I’ve found whenever I use the Microsoft Teams app, the audio is blasting out of the monitor speakers instead of the default speakers.

In fact, it actually forces the monitor speakers (connected via USB) to become the default.

And what’s worse, the main volume control doesn’t affect the volume.

What’s going on?

This issue has been around since at least July.

I have two speaker systems on this computer, but they’re not labelled something descriptive like “Computer audio” or “Monitor audio”, no, they’re named named “NVIDIA High Definition Audio” and “Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)”. Because that’s totally clear.

This is a pet peeve of mine and seems to only serve to make things easier for computer techs and service people. It’s classic gatekeeping, something Apple did away with years ago. Microsoft has hung onto this for some bizarre reason.

When does this occur?

I have my monitor connected to the computer via a USB cable to take advantage of the additional USB ports on its side. The monitor speakers are therefore connected to the computer through this method.

How to fix this

I never use the USB speakers in the monitor, so the simplest thing for me is to disable them.

First, identify the speakers to keep using. In my case, “Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)”.

  • Play some music, get some sound coming out of the computer.

  • Click on the taskbar, then the ^ button.

  • Make a selection, and when the music is coming from the right place, you’re good to go.

Second, open the Control Panel sound settings.

  • Click Start then type “Control”.

  • Select Control Panel from the list of applications.

  • Enter Sound in the search field.

  • Choose Manage Audio Devices.

Third, set the default audio speakers.

  • Select the audio system you want to keep, in my case Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio).

  • Click Set Default.

Last, disable the offending speakers.

  • Select the other audio system, in my case NVIDIA High Definition Audio.

  • Click Properties.

  • Click the General tab, then select Don’t use this device (disable) from Device Usage.

  • Click Apply, then Ok