In a world so consumed by personalized technology, headphones and other similar audio output devices have become some of the most sought after products on the market today.
From wireless to long cord, headphones, and speakers alike grant you the freedom to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want.
Now, if you are curious, there are several reasons as to why people may want to use two audio devices at the same time.
Maybe you’ve sat with a friend or a family member and you both want to listen to the same audio, but one of you feels more comfortable wearing headphones and the other prefers listening through the speakers. Or maybe you’re an audio mixing artist, and you want to play two audio files on different devices simultaneously.
Regardless, it is possible to play music through speakers while using headphones – and it is surprisingly easy!
So, if you’re in need of a simple solution to this problem, look no further! In this article, we will explore several methods of playing music through multiple audio outputs at once.
Can You Use Speakers and Headphones Simultaneously?
We know it might seem impossible, but yes, you can use speakers and headphones at the same time.
In fact, constant developments in technology now mean that this type of advanced technique is relatively common on PC and mobile devices. In this instance, you don’t need to download extra programs for your device to enable this audio function.
Instead, all you need to do is alter the settings on your device. There are also specifically designed products that will help you to play music through speakers while using headphones.
We have highlighted some of our top-rated methods below.
Using an Audio Splitter
If you prefer to avoid messing around with your device settings, you can use an audio splitter instead! It’s a great idea to invest in a good audio splitter, as cheaper alternatives can have a negative effect on the sound.
These feature multiple ports, so you can connect more than two pairs of headphones or headphones and a speaker at once. Some multi-splitters also allow you to plug in a microphone!
If you want to use Bluetooth devices, your best bet is to use a convenient Bluetooth adapter, which filters sound and works much like an audio splitter. To use these products, all you have to do is plug the adapter into a relevant USB port and connect the devices to the adapter.
Additionally, if you’re wondering whether you can play music through your headphones and speakers at the same time using your Android or iOS device, the answer is a simple ‘yes’. However, there aren’t any built-in settings for these devices, so an audio splitter will come in handy!
Adjust Your Windows PC Settings
On a Windows PC, the best way to play sound through speakers and headphones is to make alterations to the Sound settings. This can be achieved if you abide by the following steps:
- Connect your headphones to the computer. Make sure you check the speakers are also connected.
- From the taskbar, right-click the volume icon, then select Sounds from the options menu. This will open the sound dialog box.
- In the Playback tab, right-click the speaker and Set as default device. If the default device is ‘greyed out’ or missing, it’s highly likely that your speaker may already be the default device used for your system. Feel free to skip this step if you wish.
- Click on the Recording tab and right-click the empty space and select Show disabled devices.
- Choose the Stereo Mix option and enable this device. Then, select Properties and then proceed to the Listen tab.
- Check the box next to Listen to this device. From the drop-down menu, choose the headphone output you want to use.
- Click Apply.
That’s all there is to it!
Alternatively, if you are unable to locate the voice icon, you can utilize the Windows search box at the bottom left of your screen. Here, simply type the word ‘sound’ and then select ‘Sound Settings’ from the available options. Click on ‘Sound Control Panel’ located on the right-hand side of the screen to access the Playback tab. Proceed to steps 3-7.
Adjusting Settings on a Mac
On a Mac PC, you can simultaneously play sound through speakers and headphones by setting up a Multi-Output Device. This can be done by following these steps:
- Begin by connecting both the speaker and headphones to your device.
- Under ‘Finder’, open the Applications tab.
- Navigate to Utilities. When you have accessed this, click Audio MIDI Setup.
- In the lower-left corner, click on the + and choose the Create Multi-Output Device option.
- On the left-hand side, click Multi-Output Device and choose to Use This Device for Sound Output.
- On the other side of the menu, check the boxes directly next to the devices you want to use. If one is a wired device, check the box next to Built-in Output to have full access.
- In the drop-down menu, select a Master Device.
- Proceed to choose a Slave Device by checking the Drift Correction box.
- Then launch System Preferences and open the Sound panel.
- Under the Output tab, choose Multi-Output Device.
Hopefully, you’ll now be able to listen to your audio on two separate platforms. Though this method is relatively straightforward, it comes with some risks in terms of volume control.
Use an Audio Mixer Application
For your convenience, there are many free audio mixer apps available online that will help you to play music through speakers while using headphones.
Though adjusting your sound settings is probably the most simple solution, it does come with its own set of limitations.
Altering the settings could cause a short, but very prominent delay, in audio output between your headphones and speakers, making it a potential cause for frustration. There may also be a decrease in sound quality.
So, if you’re after professional-quality sound, simply changing the settings won’t be of much benefit to you. You should purchase an audio mixer which lets you adjust sound properties.
This helps to identify any audio devices that may be connected to your PC and lets you select the devices that you want to transfer the sound to. It also helps you to achieve a higher quality sound!
There are several methods that you can undertake to play music through speakers while using headphones.
Whether you decide to make changes to the internal settings on your device or purchase an additional product that will do the job for you, it is highly achievable.