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Windows is one of the most flexible operating systems, with something for everyone, whether you’re an everyday user or have more specialized needs. If you’re looking to get two audio devices working at once, then setting up and configuring Windows correctly can make it happen.
Keep reading for a rundown of the steps to set up and configure Windows so you can use two audio devices simultaneously.
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There are several ways to output audio to multiple audio devices in Windows, each with its advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a roundup of the most popular and effective options:
If you want to get the most out of your audio devices, the ‘System’ setting in the Control Panel can help. You can easily configure dual-audio device outputs with a few simple steps.
- Start by going to Start > Settings > System.
- From there, go into the ‘Sound’ section and choose ‘Pair a new output device.’
- Click ‘Add device.’
- Next, select which audio devices you want from the expanded Bluetooth menu. Right-click on your selection of wireless speakers for that second device. Then, hit apply and reboot your PC when done.
Note: Before configuring these settings, ensure you have the necessary drivers installed for both audio devices. In addition, you must ensure the second set of speakers is connected to your computer before you start the configuration process.
Here’s how to connect the second set of speakers:
- If Bluetooth – turn it on and search for the device in your system settings; once found, select that device from within Settings to pair with your computer.
- For a USB connection, just plug into an available port!
In addition, you can use the Sounds Control Panel to activate the Stereo Mix, allowing you to add the two output devices and playback the same sound simultaneously. Here are the steps:
- Open Sounds in the Control Panel and select Recording.
- Right-click and then select Show Disabled Devices.
- Right-click Stereo Mix and then select Enable.
- Double-click Stereo Mix.
- Go to the Listen tab and check the box next to ‘Listen to this device.’
- Select the second set of speakers you want to output audio to.
Windows will then apply the settings, and you’ll be able to hear your audio through both sets of speakers.
Here’s a video demo of how to use Stereo Mix to output audio to two devices:
The Control Panel is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to output sound from their computer. Here are just a few of its benefits:
- Easy configuration – it makes setting up two audio devices straightforward, no matter the type.
- Cost-savings – you don’t need additional hardware or adapters; everything needed comes preinstalled!
- Harmony – your connected speakers will be seamlessly synced with each other so that you can enjoy uninterrupted sounds.
Control Panel isn’t always the best solution when it comes to audio settings. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- It may not support all types of devices, so be sure to have an alternative option.
- This method could fail unexpectedly, so ensure you’re prepared for alternatives.
- For more advanced users who require precise control over their sound options, such as tweaks and customizations — consider using third-party programs or adapters instead.
Another method of outputting audio to two devices is by using third-party software like VoiceMeeter and Voicemeeter Banana. These programs enable you to mix and route your audio signals between multiple audio devices.
Here are the steps to configure VoiceMeeter or Voicemeeter Banana:
- Download and install the program.
- Go into the Sound section in the Windows Control Panel and click the Playback tab.
- Select VoiceMeeter Input and set it as the default playback device.
- Go into VoiceMeeter and select the ‘Hardware Out‘ tab.
- Click A2 and select the second set of speakers you want to output sound from.
Using third-party software can give you much more control over how your audio is routed and processed. Here are some of the pros:
- High level of customization – you can tweak settings to your specific needs, from setting levels and EQs to routing audio signals.
- More expansive – with these programs, you can output audio to far more devices than the Control Panel allows.
- Better UI – these programs boast a much more intuitive user interface than the Control Panel, making it easier to get the desired results.
Third-party software isn’t perfect, and here are a few of its drawbacks:
- Cost – third-party software can be expensive, depending on the program you choose.
- Installation – some programs can be complex to install and set up.
- Compatibility – there may be compatibility issues with certain audio devices or other software.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Control Panel or third-party software, then using audio adapters is another option. This involves connecting an adapter between your computer and speakers, allowing you to output sound from two sets of devices simultaneously.
Here are the steps to configure an audio adapter:
- Connect the 3.5mm audio cable from your computer to the adapter.
- Connect the second set of speakers to the other side of the adapter.
- Turn on both sets of speakers and adjust their levels as desired.
Using adapters offers a few advantages over using the Control Panel or third-party software:
- Ease of use – adapters are easy to configure.
- Portable – since they don’t require any software installations, these adapters are great for taking with you on the go.
- Compatibility – these adapters are compatible with most audio devices, including laptops and desktop computers.
Adapters aren’t perfect either — here are a few things you should consider:
- Limited control – there is no real way to adjust the audio levels or EQ settings.
- Cost – they can be expensive depending on the brand and type of adapter.
- Durability – some adapters can be prone to wear and tear, so make sure you buy one that’s designed for longevity.
If you’re having trouble outputting audio to two devices, here are a few troubleshooting tips that may help:
Making sure your audio connections are secure is vital. Without one, you can experience choppy or low-volume sound with an inconsistent connection, which is not ideal. So here’s how to ensure everything runs smoothly:
- Check all cables and cable connectors for a tight fit; loose stars mean trouble later on.
- If you’re using wireless headphones/speakers, ensure they’ve been connected properly to the correct network without interference from other devices nearby. Sometimes it can be other Bluetooth devices. We have an article about that here.
- Listen out for signs that something isn’t quite right — like unexpected drops in volume when listening through speakers or sudden disconnections of Bluetooth headsets.
To ensure the best sound quality when you’re outputting to two devices at once, it’s important to make sure your audio settings are configured correctly. That includes:
- Adjusting volume levels and equalizer options like treble or bass.
- Additionally, if applicable, check for any special features related to your device type, such as a surround sound or 3D effect, and adjust these accordingly.
Following these easy steps will help get everything set up:
- Open the Control Panel and go to the “Sound” menu.
- Choose the device you wish to adjust the settings for (either a speaker or headphones).
- Adjust any EQ settings and ensure the volume level is set correctly.
- Finally, click on “Apply” to save the changes.
Keeping your drivers up-to-date is an important step in ensuring optimal performance from audio devices. Software drivers act as the intermediary between a computer and its hardware, managing communication protocols to ensure proper communications.
By regularly updating these software elements, you can improve the stability of connections with your computer’s operating system and fix bugs — plus unlock any additional features that come with updates for dual-audio output capabilities!
That said, here are the steps to follow:
- Go to the Device Manager in your Control Panel.
- Locate the audio device you wish to update and right-click it.
- Choose “Update Driver” from the drop-down menu.
- Follow any additional instructions that appear, then click “OK” when prompted to save the changes.
Note: You may need to restart your computer for the changes to take full effect. Here are the steps to follow:
- Save any open documents and close all programs.
- Click on the Start menu and select “Shutdown” or “Restart.”
- Follow any additional instructions that appear before your computer restarts.
- Once it has restarted, check to see if your audio is playing correctly.
And if you need insights into why it’s crucial to keep Windows updated, read this post for an in-depth explanation.
Ensure your wireless audio is crystal clear and uninterrupted by double-checking for any potential interference. Electronic devices, such as:
- Baby monitors
- Or other home appliances can often interfere with the signal reception of a receiver, so it’s best to keep them as far away as possible.
Additionally, physical objects, such as:
- And even carpeting may block the pathway between the speaker/headphones and its source. So, take a moment to glance around for any obstruction before enjoying your tunes!
Extra Tip: If you find yourself in a situation where the audio output from both sources is too low or inconsistent, try connecting an external amplifier. This will boost the signal and ensure the sound coming out of both devices is balanced and clear.
In summary, there are several ways to output sound from two devices simultaneously on Windows, from the Control Panel method to third-party software and audio adapters, which offer more control and compatibility. Whichever option you choose, check that it’s compatible with your audio device and needs.