Windows 10: How To Play Sound Through Speakers and Headphones At The Same Time
by Alex. Last Updated On July 8th, 2022.
SoundGearLab is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking on links on this page. Read our affiliate disclosure for more information.
Music is indeed something that most of us can’t live without. Not only does it make the most tedious tasks look enjoyable, but they also have several proven health benefits.
With most computer and phone devices allowing for two options that output sound specifically through speakers and headphones, it seems you can listen to music however you want.
But have you ever wondered if you can simultaneously play sound through speakers and headphones? And what about playing two entirely different sounds through your headphones and speakers simultaneously?
Playing music through your speakers and headphones at the same time can be achieved with Windows 10 and even on Mac devices in several different ways.
In this article, we will tackle the Windows 10 play sound through speakers and headphones feature, the different ways to play sound through your speaker and headphones at the same time, and many more.
Let’s get right into it.
Table of Contents
Understanding Sound Devices
Before getting into how to play sound in your headphones and speakers simultaneously, it’s better to understand how these audio devices work.
Each sound device is registered on the Windows 10 program, which means the sound card from your audio devices’ output and Bluetooth headphones are the same.
Even the GPU or graphics card in your computer, which counts as an HDMI device, is still considered by Windows 10 as an audio device because it can carry sound.
You don’t need to worry about registering these audio devices manually as Windows 10 does this automatically, even for USB wired headphones and speakers.
When you plug in your USB headphones and speakers, they will be registered within seconds, but the audio does not pass through the soundcards because they have a small digital-to-analog converter within the device.
Ultimately, this means that you can play different sounds to both of your devices at the same time if your computer has enough power to do so.
Playing Sound Through Headphones And Speakers At The Same Time
There are several uses for using varying audio stream types to play on multiple devices simultaneously.
For instance, if you are listening to music on your Windows 10 computer but your family members also want to listen to the audio you are listening to but don’t want to use headphones.
Another use for this feature is when you are a DJ and want to monitor the music you are playing on the loudspeakers through your monitor headphones. Another is maybe you want to play something on your TV connected to your computer for other people, but you also want to keep using your computer and listen to music while working.
And lastly, if you want to play sound through your Bluetooth speaker for your other guests but also want to keep working and listen to your own favorite tracks.
How to play sound on speakers and headphones on a PC?
There are several ways you can achieve playing sound through your headphones and speakers at the same time. Here are some steps you can follow along:
Assigning Apps To Specific Sound Devices In Windows 10
Using the above feature, you can specify specific applications for specific sounds. So a particular application can play sound through headphones while another is playing via the speaker.
This feature shows how to play music on a different audio device.
The first step to follow is by right clicking the speaker icon located in the notification area and clicking on open sound settings.
Once you are in, tap on the app volume and device preferences which will give you the list of apps, their volumes, and output and input.
If you want to play different sounds on two audio playback devices, simply click on the output dropdown menu to choose which output device your specific app should play music through. Now you can hear the app’s sound coming through an entirely different output device.
If you don’t see the application in the list, you should start audio playback; you can do this simply by playing a Youtube video on Google Chrome.
And if you still encounter problems with sound not being routed to the device you specified, you may need to restart your device for this to take effect.
Playing Sound on Headphones And Speakers Using Software Settings
Now you know how to play two completely different sounds on two other devices. You might also want to know how to play the same music simultaneously with both the speakers and headphones.
After this, hover over the taskbar and right click on the volume icon; this will pop-up several sound options; click on the sounds options dialog.
Or you can also do this by simply typing mmsys.cpl on the search taskbar.
Under the playback tab, right click on the speaker you are using and tap on set as a default device; if you notice that the set as default device option is greyed out, then your speaker is already the default device on your computer.
Go to the Recording tab, right click on your microphone, stereo mix, or your default recording device, and right click properties.
Under the listen tab, check the box labeled as listen to this device, and under the playback tab dropdown menu, select your headphones and simply click on the apply button.
Now you will be able to play music both in your headphones and speakers. This quick and straightforward solution can use multiple audio jacks. However, volume control can be quite hassling, and there will be some audio delays between the two audio devices.
Audio mixer app
Suppose you are a professional sound engineer or an aspiring DJ. In that case, the slight delay between the music output between the headphones and speakers can damage your performance in producing high-quality music.
In that case, simply using the software settings isn’t enough, and you can use an audio mixer app that will allow you to change the sound properties for better quality music.
Some audio mixer application you can use is the free Voicemeeter application that allows you to play sound on various devices, including speakers and headphones.
For older Windows versions like Windows 7 or 8, you can opt between CheVolume, a paid audio mixer app for $10, and the Audio Router app, a free mixer app.
Although audio mixer apps remove the sound delay between the two audio devices, provide an option for better sound quality, and are relatively easy to install, they present issues as this feature can only work when the audio mixer app is open.
Premium audio mixer apps also require payment to be accessible, and the free versions that can be downloaded online might be infected with viruses.
Audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter
All the solutions presented above require some meddling with your software setting, but what if you want to play music through your speakers and headphones simultaneously with no delay, with 100% reliability, and requires no technical know-how about your software settings.
Then the best solution is to use an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter.
You should purchase an expensive audio splitter as the cheap ones break relatively easily and affect your audio’s volume and music quality.
A y splitter allows you to play sound on two audio devices; the same splitters are used to connect two headphones at the same audio port.
The main difference is that you can plug headphones on one headphone port and a speaker on the other. If you want to play music on your headphones, then simply turn the volume level down on the speaker and vice versa.
Multi splitters are a variant of the standard splitter wherein you can plug in multiple headphones or speakers. And some multi-splitters even allow you to plug in a separate microphone.
If you are using Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speakers, you can opt for a Bluetooth adapter instead of an audio splitter.
Simply connect the adapter to your PC’s USB ports, and secure your audio device to the adapter.
While this plug-and-play solution can fix the audio delay felt by meddling with your software settings and can connect multiple devices simultaneously, you need to set a budget for it as you have to purchase them at your local store. In addition to this, they also need to be constantly plugged into your computer.
How to Play audio On Speakers and Headphones on Mac?
Like Windows 10 devices, you can also play music on speakers and headphones on a Mac computer.
The first step is to connect your headphones and speaker to your computer firmly; in the finder tab, open applications, select utilities, and the Audio MIDI Setup.
Once in, click the plus button, and tap on Create Multi-Output Device. On the multi-output device drop down dialog, tap on use this device for sound output.
On the right panel, check the appropriate boxes of the device you want to use, and select a master device on the dropdown menu.
On the drift correction, select a slave device, and open the sound panel on the system preferences tab. And lastly, choose the multi output device under the output sound tab.
This straightforward solution can listen to several devices at a time and can be utilized by wired headphones, Bluetooth headphones, and many more.
However, it still presents issues regarding volume control and audio delay between the two audio devices.
You can purchase a Bluetooth adapter or a headphone splitter to fix this.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I simultaneously play music with both speakers and headphones on an Android phone?
You can do this simply by selecting sound options by right clicking the speaker icon. Select a recording tab and select enable in the preferences menu. Select properties in the stereo mix, and finally go to the listen to tab and select it.
Can you have speakers and headphones on simultaneously as Windows 10?
Yes, you can play music through your 2-way speakers or 3-way speakers, or any speaker and headphones simultaneously in Windows 10 either by assigning specific apps on your computer, meddling with its software settings, downloading an audio mixer app, or purchasing an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter.
How to Use Bluetooth And Wired Headphones At The Same Time On Pc?
If you want to use your wired and Bluetooth headphones simultaneously, open the sound control panel and click on the recording tab. Once in, set the stereo mix as the default device, go to the listen to tab, and check if the two devices are playing sound.
How do I get sound to play through headphones and speakers Windows 11?
Suppose you’ve recently upgraded your operating system from windows 10 to windows 11. In that case, you can still play music through both your speakers and headphones at the same time by changing the default audio output, changing the default output option on each of your apps, utilizing the Xbox game bar, switching the audio device output using a sound switch, and many more options.
Now that you have learned about the different ways to play audio files on your speakers and headphones, you can fully control where your audio plays music.
We hope this article has helped you become more knowledgeable on the different ways to play music on your headphones and speakers at the same time.