'Error opening audio device' using WASAPI and usb headset

Hi all.

I recently wanted to record some audio through my speakers, and read countless guides on how to do that using the WASAPI loopback features in audacity. For some reason however, whenever I try to record through my headset, I get a generic ‘Error opening sound device’. I have tried all different recoding channel numbers and rates at all different quality levels but none seem to work, as well as other fixes that people have found online for similar, but not similar enough problems. I was able to record some loopback audio by changing my default playback device to SPDIF Interface and recording that, but the recording was very poor quality and skipped some of the sound that I wanted to record. I have read other methods to record computer audio using ‘Stereo Mix’ within windows but that never seems to have any sound going through it at all on my system.

I have check all my audio drivers and they are all up-to-date.

Does anyone have any idea as to what might be going wrong and how I might be able to fix it?

One thing that might help is that I found in the ‘Audio Device Info’ section, my speakers do not have any supported rates under WASAPI, whereas SPDIF and VIA HD Audio both support 48kHz:

Device name: Speakers (3- Plantronics GameCom 780)
Host name: Windows WASAPI
Recording channels: 0
Playback channels: 6
Low Recording Latency: 0.000000
Low Playback Latency: 0.003000
High Recording Latency: 0.000000
High Playback Latency: 0.010000
Supported Rates:
Device ID: 19
Device name: Speakers (3- Plantronics GameCom 780) (loopback)
Host name: Windows WASAPI
Recording channels: 6
Playback channels: 0
Low Recording Latency: 0.003000
Low Playback Latency: 0.000000
High Recording Latency: 0.010000
High Playback Latency: 0.000000
Supported Rates:

I recently wanted to record some audio

Which audio? Game audio and commentary?

You wandered several times in your question. Recording The Speaker may not work if you’re not using a speaker. Speaker sound is pretty simple compared to a USB device and it can get complicated if you’re using a USB HeadSet which is a managed sound device. It’s worse yet if you have a game running and you can get a tiny mushroom cloud if you also try using Skype or leave Skype running in the background.

Audacity doesn’t play will with others, so give us a push. What’s the show?


Based on your reply, I looked for background programs that might be restricting access to the headset and found that killing the process of the little piece of software that controls the headset’s simulated sound spaces (actually a really useless feature) allowed me to record some loopback audio from my headphones. So far so good.

However after I ended the recording and had some 6-channel sound (though only 2 of them actually had data in them), if I tried to repeat my actions and record some more audio in the same project I get the ‘error opening sound device’ again.

Are there any other things I could be doing that could be messing with the sound devices (e.g. watching a video in google chrome)? The audio I’m trying to record is from DECTalk, a text-to-speech program.

Stereo Mix can only be used for recording the built-in sound card.

Simulated surround sound or other processing might have turned itself on again. Try turning those off in any control panel that the headset has, if you don’t want them.

If you are playing 6-channel audio, then try setting the recording channels to 6.

If some application is running that insists on taking exclusive control of the sound device, such as a game, then WASAPI loopback recording will error. You could try right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Playback Devices”. Right-click over the Plantronics headset then choose “Properties”. Then click the “Advanced” tab and uncheck both “Exclusive Mode” boxes. Switch to the “Recording” tab and similarly uncheck both “Exclusive Mode” boxes for Plantronics recording. In practice there is no guarantee this will work if exclusive control is the problem, unless there is a setting for this in the application concerned.

I don’t think the Chrome browser tab should be a problem if the video is not playing.