Originally Posted by DaverJ
It seems like something could be set up. I remember back in the day setting up my PC so my soundcard was the game audio, and the motherboard audio input/ (mic + headphones) was dedicated to TeamSpeak. Can Steam's chat be set up this way?
My HD audio device is my default communications
device in Windows and in Steam. My Audigy 4 Pro is my default device in Windows.
I have my microphone/headset set up in Steam to go through the onboard audio and then all my game sound go through my PCI Audigy 4 Pro. Works great with every game I can recall (that I own).
If you don't have a second audio device (internal or external sound card), you can also use a USB headset for voice communication and your onboard audio for game sound.
Sadly, Steam voice output defaults to the audio device assigned to handle voice input. So if you plug your MIC into the onboard audio, then that's where your voice output will come from - mixed with game audio. I don't know why they don't change it, but that's just how it is. So if you only have one audio device (just onboard audio or just a soundcard or just a USB headset), then voice and game will come from that device only. If you have two or more audio devices, then you can separate which handles voice and which handles game sound.
Of course, there will always be issues if game devs try to do their own thing. Steam can't control that.