(Last Updated On: July 22, 2020)

With a few quick fixes, you can easily send music to your speakers and headphones at the same time.

Is it possible to play music through speakers while using headphones at the same time?

It may sound like a problem best left for audiophiles, but it’s actually not difficult to share music or videos between two or more people using different devices.

In fact, there are a few ways to play sound via headphones and speakers simultaneously without tearing your hair out trying to figure it out.

Whether you’re using a PC or a Mac, there are a few different things you can do to make dual listening possible with speakers and headphones.

The methods we mention below are also useful if you want to play music through two headphones at once.

Man listening to headphones
Photo by Wes Hicks (From: Unsplash)

Quick Links

How to Play Sound On Speakers and Headphones on PC

There are three ways to output sound to both headphones and speakers if you’re using a PC.

The fastest way is to adjust your PC’s sound settings using the Control Panel.

If this doesn’t work, you can use a third-party audio mixer software to send sound to multiple devices.

Lastly, you can use an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter to send the audio to two or more devices.

Adjust your Windows settings

The following steps let you play sound through both speakers and headphones if you’re using Windows 10.

  1. Connect your headphones and speakers to your PC.
  2. Right-click on the volume icon in the taskbar and click Sounds. This opens the Sounds settings.
  3. Under the Playback tab, right-click Speakers and choose “Set as Default Device”. If the option is grayed out, that means it’s already set as the default device.
    Choose Speakers as default device (From YouTube.com)
    Choose Speakers as default device (From YouTube.com)
  4. Under the Recording tab, right-click Stereo Mix and click Properties.
    Right-click Stereo Mix and choose Properties (From YouTube.com)
    Right-click Stereo Mix and choose Properties (From YouTube.com)
  5. Under the Listen tab, check the box that says “Listen to this device”.
    Check the box 'Listen to this device' (From YouTube.com
    Check the box ‘Listen to this device’ (From YouTube.com
  6. Under Playback through this device, choose your headphones.
    Choose your headphones (From YouTube.com)
    Choose your headphones (From YouTube.com)
  7. Click the Apply button.
Make sure you have updated sound card drivers to ensure that the changes in settings take effect.

Pros:

  • »Listen via headphones and speakers at the same time
  • »Can use multiple audio jacks
  • »Quick and simple

Cons:

  • »Slight delay between primary and secondary device
  • »May have issues with volume control

Use an audio mixer app

VOICEMEETER Virtual Audio Mixer.
VOICEMEETER Virtual Audio Mixer.

There are a few limitations to adjusting your sound settings.

It can cause a short but unmistakable delay between your headphones and speakers. There’s also a slight drop in sound quality.

If you’re after professional-quality sound, simply changing the settings won’t do. You need to use an audio mixer.

An audio mixer lets you adjust the sound properties for better quality. It also detects the various audio devices connected to your PC and lets you choose which devices to send the sound to.

There are various audio mixer apps that let you play sound through speakers and headphones simultaneously.

  • Voicemeeter – This free audio mixing app lets you play sound through various devices, including speakers and headphones, at the same time.
  • CheVolume – If you’re using Windows 8 or 7, check out CheVolume. This audio mixer built for Windows has older releases available for earlier versions of the operating system. CheVolume is paid software available for a one-time payment of $9.99.
  • Audio Router – For those who’d rather not pay for an audio mixer, Audio Router is a good alternative. This free app hasn’t been updated for a while, but it still works with PCs running on older Windows.

Pros:

  • »Removes sound delay between primary and secondary device
  • »Provides option for better sound quality
  • »Easy to download, install, and use

Cons:

  • »Premium software requires a purchase
  • »Only works when audio mixer is open
  • »Freeware may include unwanted software

Use an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter

UGREEN Headset Adapter Headphone Mic Y Splitter
UGREEN Headset Adapter Headphone Mic Y Splitter

If you’d rather leave your settings alone, you can use an audio splitter instead. A splitter offers a plug-and-play solution. Simply plug the splitter into your PC and plug the headphones into one port and the speakers into another.

It’s best to buy a high-quality audio splitter. Cheap splitters can negatively affect the quality and volume of your sound.

A Y splitter lets you play sound on two audio devices. Multi-splitters have multiple ports that let you connect more than two pairs of headphones or speakers at once. Some multi-splitters also have the added functionality of letting you plug in a microphone.

If you’re using Bluetooth headphones and speakers, use a Bluetooth adapter. This works like an audio splitter for Bluetooth devices. Connect the adapter into your PC’s USB port and connect the devices to the adapter.

You may have to install the adapter first. Make sure to read the manual for the instructions.

Pros:

  • »Easy and simple plug-and-play design
  • »Can use more than two audio devices
  • »Does not have audio delay

Cons:

  • »Requires a purchase
  • »Has to be connected to PC to work
  • »May create sound quality problems if using a cheap splitter or adapter

How to Play Sound On Speakers and Headphones on Mac

In general, it’s much easier to have two or more speakers and headphones on at the same time using Mac.

Adjust your Mac’s settings

The best way to play sound via speakers and headphones at the same time is to set up a Multi-Output Device via your Mac’s System Preferences.

This method works whether you’re using two wired or two Bluetooth devices or you have one wired and one Bluetooth device.

  1. Connect the speakers and headphones to your Mac.
  2. In Finder, open Applications.
    Open Applications (Screenshot)
    Open Applications (Screenshot)
  3. Go to Utilities and open Audio MIDI Setup.
    Open Audio Midi Setup (Screenshot)
    Open Audio Midi Setup (Screenshot)
  4. On the lower left corner, click the + button and select “Create Multi-Output Device”.
    Create a Multi-Output Device (Screenshot)
    Create a Multi-Output Device (Screenshot)
  5. On the left panel, right-click Multi-Output Device and choose “Use This Device for Sound Output”.
    Use Multi-Output Device for Sound Output (From YouTube.com)
    Use Multi-Output Device for Sound Output (From YouTube.com)
  6. On the right panel, check the boxes next to the devices you want to use. If one is a wired device, check the box next to Built-in Output.
    Choose the devices you want to use (Screenshot)
    Choose the devices you want to use (Screenshot)
  7. Choose a Master Device in the dropdown menu.
    Choose a Master Device (Screenshot)
    Choose a Master Device (Screenshot)
  8. Choose a Slave Device by checking Drift Correction.
    Choose a Slave Device (Screenshot)
    Choose a Slave Device (Screenshot)
  9. Launch System Preferences and open the Sound pane.
    Open the Sound pane (Screenshot)
    Open the Sound pane (Screenshot)
  10. Under the Output tab, choose Multi-Output Device.
    Choose Multi-Output Device as your Output (Screenshot)
    Choose Multi-Output Device as your Output (Screenshot)

Pros:

  • »Simple and straightforward
  • »Listen with two or more devices at once
  • »Can be used with wired/wired, Bluetooth/Bluetooth, and wired/Bluetooth combinations

Cons:

  • »May have issues with volume control

Use an audio splitter

If you’re using one pair of headphones and one set of speakers, you typically don’t need to go beyond creating a Multi-Output Device.

But if you’re a power user with more than two devices, you may want to use an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter for that.

In case you’re wondering, can you also play music through your headphones and speakers at the same time using your Android or iOS device?

Yes, but there aren’t any built-in settings for Android or iOS that let you do this.

The easiest way is to use an audio splitter to send the sound to two or more devices.

Pros:

  • »Plug-and-play mechanism
  • »Listen with more than two devices at the same time

Cons:

  • »Requires a purchase

Conclusion

We hope you have found a way to play sound through your speakers while using headphones at the same time.

This way, you can continue enjoying your favorite music or podcasts without the distraction of the outside world while sharing it with others who want to listen as well. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Were you able to send your audio to your speakers and headphones? What solution worked for you? Did you find another method that worked? Let us know in the comments below.