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Independent volume control finally comes to Windows Phone 8.1

Independent volume controls is probably one of the most requested minor features for Windows Phone. Thankfully Microsoft has delivered. Windows Phone 8.1 introduces the ability to control your ringer volume separately from your media volume. Check it out on in our hands-on video.

It’s a highly requested feature and we’re stoked to see it in Windows Phone 8.1. You can now set the volume for ringer + notifications independently of that for media + apps. Or just silence everything all at once with a quick tap. All this can be done by bringing up the volume controls as you do now by pressing the volume button. The only difference is you tap a little drop down arrow on the right to expand the controls.

WP 8.1 Volume

We’ll be using this daily. How about you?

  • i actually dont like this :( first!
  • Love the way this has been added, fits in perfectly with Metro and functionality is right on the button. Oh yes, will be using this feature, lots :D
  • This was the number one missing feature to me. I need my phone to never ring because of work. However when I am at home watching a video I would put the volume up or when in car for music/recorded shows. So sometimes audio would not work then I would have to remmember to put the volume back up. Then I would forget and got in trouble at work.
  • I agree, I really hope you can turn independent controls off. I found them unhelpful on my android.
  • What about ability to save games on sd card...!!!
  • Why would you hate something like this? I mean you can make the 2 sliders match and have the same volume for everything winwin.
  • wow, that sounds like a reasonable work around for those few people that might not want separate volume controls. congratulations, however those in the grip of ideology are immune to reasonable ideas...    dkp23 JUST DOESN'T WANT SEPARATE VOLUME CONTROLS!    all hail dkp23's wishes... let it be accomplished, remove said feature Microsoft!!
  • I hate sliding my finger across glass. It is akin to fingernails on a chalkboard to me (if you're old enough to know what I mean!). I am happy with the volume controls as they are, so if we can choose to keep it this way and you can choose to use it the other way then that is best.
  • ok dkp23, that's wrong on both counts. 1.  Not wanting independent volume controls. 2.  Crowing about being the first idiot.
  • They were terrible on the iPhone, but at least you can see all the volumes in the volume menu in this implementation, so it's ok. It's just bad when you can only adjust media volume after media starts playing. If you want to see a video or play a game and you're in a quiet public area, that's not acceptable, so I was quite happy to leave the iOS implementation of separate volume levels behind.
  • ok...   I've never owned an iOS device, so that is interesting.  Yes, I can imagine that being able to change the volume only after the media or game started would be at times problematic.   I just imagine watching that porno flick at 2:00 AM only to have to scurry to turn down the moaning after it began.    Oh, not that I'd ever watch porno.... anyway...   I am happy to see MS split the volume adjustment.  They still may want to fine tune it, but I do think it's a step forward. ....mostly I was giving dkp23 grief.   A lot of people have been looking forward to separate volume controls and it's great that they were implemented in a more or less appropriate fashion.   Plus of course, it's always pretty immature to crow about "first".
  • I don’t get people. You were crying for this to be implemented, now it’s bad that they did?
  • You're generalizing; the people that wanted the independent volume controls spoke out louder before 8.1, but after the announcement, the people who didn't want this feature spoke out louder. I didn't cry for this feature. I didn't want it in the first place, and I still think it's bad that they implemented this without a way to turn it off.
  • I miss the silent/ringer button in the right corner. The best implemented silent mode ever (except for iphone with its hardware switch). On android it sucks because it's not under volume, but you need to hold the power button for it. Now WP is moving the button one more tap away, and I don't like it. I got really used to the volume as it is now on 8, I only thought I wanted separate volumes because everyone is so loud on forums about it.
  • one was crying for this.  It's a HUGE pain the arse and I wish it would go away
  • I agree. I hope its optional. I hated it on Android. One of the reasons I switched back to WP was for universal volume control.
  • ur statement full of lies especially the last one.
  • I too like to be hardcore
  • I hate this too. I either want my phone to make noise or not. With this, now I have to adjust multiple things just to tell my phone how loud I want it to be. At least give me the option to have a single unified volume control.
  • I will use it every second. I like messing up with volume.
  • I can't believe how excited I am about a minor feature that should have been there from the very start.
  • Finally
  • Wow, this is incredibly useful, and my fears of cluttering up the interface has also been alleviated
  • Shame they didn't seperate ringtone from notifications... So that you'd have volyme controlls for Ringtone, Notifcations and Media.  Other than that its perfect. 
  • yes, might have been nice... more fine control is usually good  
  • Or media from apps...I listen to music while I'm driving with GPS...Nokia's Here drive cuts the music completely without pausing it and the navigation voice is always too loud because my music is loud...I hate this! GPS Copilot will voice over the music but the voice is too loud over the music because again my music is loud...the best implementation is Navigation (turn by turn) which has an individual volume control in app so that I can set the voice to speak just above the level of the great! But the navigation sucks compared to the other two...I asked Nokia for an in app volume control but then they just decided to cut the music...wish that Microsoft could figure that I don't want my apps the same volume of my music!
  • Oh god in this case I'd never update to 8.1.
  • I love microsoft
  • Awesome. But still no vibrate toggle...?
  • That's what I was thinking too. Please tell us we can toggle vibration mode without going deep into the settings.
  • I think being able to toggle vibration is even more important than the separate volume controls. It's a basic feature that is missing.
  • Exactly!
  • You can toggle vibrate on WP 8, so I am assuming you can on WP 8.1
  • Not without going into settings. It would be nice to be able to do it from the volume display.
  • I'm not sure if your refering to WP 8.1 or WP 8, on WP 8 just tap the volume button and on the right side it says "ring+volume", tap that and it toggles to vibrate.
  • You can toggle between loud and silent. If vibrate is enabled (in 'deep' settings), it will vibrate in either mode, if it's disabled, it wont. What would be a perfect implementation would be a toggle between 'ring+vibrate', 'vibrate only' and 'silent (no vibrate)'. This is what's missing.
  • Exactly. Don't know why that was never in the toggle. I don't want to have to go into the "deep" settings to toggle vibrate.
  • Finally,I can blast my music without my notifications sounds deaf the hell outta me
  • Ya
  • yupp
  • When will be 8.1 is available for us?
  • Joe said in the next few months in guessing June or July.
  • And Elop said "This Summer".
  • I wonder which category does the keyboard clicking sound falls under?
  • Falls under "turn it permanently off so you don't look like a soccer mom" - although, soccer moms are so damned hot...
  • Ringtones + sounds.
  • That phone is a lumia 630 with a case on.
  • A slider for the audio yet not slider for the seekbar in the music player? Before I get thrown-in about Moliplayer, Moliplayer doesn't read music in the phone so I hold-off from buying it.
  • You can fast forward by holding down on the next button. If you want a slider, go to the music hub.
  • The Fast-Forward button and Rewind button sometimes don't respond and act as if I am just pressing the button, so it goes to the next song or the beginning of it. This occurrance happens all the time. That's why I want a slider to get to an specific point without hassle. If only Moliplayer could read music in the phone.
  • Only one problem. I'm on Windows phone 8.
  • Is there a way for this to be turned off? I don't want to use this. It seems to be forced on my Android phone and I don't like it. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Does this mean music and game volume is always tied together, or is there a way to separate that? I've been looking forward to being able to listen to music and play a game without going into the settings for every game and turning off all audio.
  • If you're listening to music when opening a game then it automatically asks if you want the audio disable anyway. No toggling should be required.
  • Once I can turn off my Whatsapp sound and at the same time keep my ringer tone/volume up I'll be happy as a pig in shizz
  • Will this also stop music natively without need for apps to stop music?
  • Finally! I often missed calls because I played a game, I had to shut up the phone, and then I forgot to turn the volume back up. This will be most useful! This is a feature that's 3 years late. But well, as they say, better late than never.
  • +1020
  • +920
  • Me too. My number 1 pet peeve with WP is now being fixed. Now I wonder what I will be able to complain about now? I guess I can still fuss about not having HBO GO, that's still a good one.
  • I've still got sketchy WiFi connectivity to moan about, and then there's always the half assed Facebook app.
  • Why is Cortana here? WPC App for Android- Lenovo IdeaTab A3000
  • Yes!
  • Nice. Only took them what? Three and a half years? Glad to finally have it.
  • Finally.
  • Finally....!
  • FINALLY !!! Man, even Windows Mobile had this feature, it only took like 10 updates to get it on Windows Phone.... This is a feature that I will use all the time...
  • Great, the always intelligent "general public" screamed for it and now we've got a million different volume controls just like Android. That's what we need, more time being consumed by tedious tasks.
  • a million... nice job on overstatement frat boy.   I shall take your "reasonable" assesment of the number of options presented and your characterization of now having two volume controls as now a "tedious task" in consideration while I disregard your opinion. done....
  • I have kind of wanted this.
  • F I N A L L Y ! ! ! ! !
  • When will it be available?   Check for updates... none Check for updates... none Check for updates... none
  • YES! Vibrate when silent. Perfect.
  • yes, finally It's a good step forward.   Perhaps there may be more to do in this regard, with even finer control, but this is a giant step forward.   YEA!!
  • What about configuring nightmode where you can set volume to wanted level in time period.
    Was hoping that this kind of feautures would be there.
  • Yeah, it seems like such a no-brainer, and the app thing like "Volume" or apps in android also don't work very well. Schedules are for people who run on schedules, yet I can never remember to. I do know that I want to hear my phone ring after I am done watching a movie or a meeting though. Maybe Cortana can remind me?
  • Looks good. Nice and simple
  • Yes!!!!!!!
  • I need Bluetooth Equalizer please!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Now an EQ for all listening modes (internal, BT or headphone jack) would be great.
  • What happens when you use the hardware volume controls without tapping the dropdown? In other words... what do the hardware volume control keys control by default in WP 8.1?
  • I'm also curious of this. He presses the button and it just seems to bring up the media controls then a tap is required from there.
  • I SO don't care about independent volume controls.  I just can't conceive of a situation where I wouldn't want all volumes controlled simultaneously.
  • +1
  • Here's a perfect example - I usually keep my ringer volume on 1 at the office, but if I try to listen to a voicemail, it can't be heard, because the earpiece volume is on 1. It has to then be cranked up to like 2/3s of the way up to be heard. At that point, if you forget to turn it back down, your ringer is on 20. Very annoying.
  • At last!!!
  • Needs Left-Right Fader (balance) control for those of us who are partially hearing impaired. iOS and some Android has this.
  • Looks like there will be lot of complaints based on the implementation that is shown in this video. Ringer/Phone
    Media (Music + Videos)
    Games I think the above 4 should be the levels that Microsoft should have gone with rather than just 2.
    I am however more concerned about the (Ringer/Phone + Notifications) getting tied up together.
  • This is definitely needed and I'm glad it's included in 8.1. This is very usual at work.
  • Move the sliders onto the notification center please.... Why do we have to press the volume rocker, then press the tiny down arrow in order to reach the sliders? We now have the action center don't we? All actions should be there!
  • This was a most waited feature.... But when all the features coming in the preview?
  • This is the one thing I'm really missing having come from a BlackBerry BB10 device. Windows Phone 8.1 looks great so far.
  • Maybe I can finally use my phone as Media Player.  Did they update the media player in 8.1 to the one from the infamous youTube app?  
  • "" so cool!
  •   It's about time. Though it won't get all the headlines like Cortana, it will probably be the most used feature.
  • I hope silent restricts all api access to vibrate for apps.
  • I just picked up a 1520. Really enjoying it, still learning my way around the OS. My Blackberry was tweaked just how I liked it and I hope that 8.1 will allow that kind of setting personalization.
  • damn...notification center what ios6 offeres, if this is progress in18 months than what to say.....+ .1 release cause MS couldnt built anything faster in 18 months....its not about building something new its about copying what other already bluetooth/chromecast/airplay type switch to switch audio/video while playing to phone or vice versa.....I am MS fan with 3 x W8.1 tablets but phone 8.1 is like decade behind in widi/airplay/chromecast/tv control on top of that nokia removed front facing camera from lumia 630.....w8 phones will do fine with number increasing just because of price and basic tech advance user (early adaptor) can justify liking W8.1 phones and yes i had bought lumia 1520 on first day just to sold it off in a week  
  • Running WP 8.1 preview, today, my settings are different. I do not have a vibrate while in silent mode option in the ringtones + sounds settings. As well, when I bring up my slider bars, I do not have a silent mode option. Instead, I have a vibrate button. Any idea why this is so different than the video?
  • Having two volume controls is just as awful on Windows Phone as it is on Android anyone know how to relink them?
  • This not the right way Microsoft. The Volume and Notification volume need to be different. I wan to leave my ringer on when I go to bed but I don't want to hear a tone every time I get an email.   Jim
  • Well , I think some people just doesn't like to see Windows Phone better, Windows Phone users said it before, we want seprate volume controls & now we got it in 8.1   that is really cool, and that improves will be translated to figures in market, where Windows Phone shares will grow more and more
  • Hello. Maybe someone here can help me. Formerly, using android I could connect my phone to two simultaneous connections when in the car. A bluetooth receiver to stream music through my car stereo and a bluetooth headset with which to receive calls. This was fairly easy with android; I simply had to go to bluetooth settings, long press each device (once connected ) and select or deselect "media" or "voice." Once done, the settings were remembered for each device. I am unable to figure out a way to do this with my windows phone, any guidance?
  • Yeah this is kinda great also kinda crap, now the ringer only goes to 10, can hardly hear the phone, it used to go to 30 the same as the media volume.  
  • Now... if we could only access the volumen menu without touching the volumen keys. Good luck to anyone like me who their keys don't work anymore. Not even the volumen apps work now.