How to play music through speakers while using headphones

In this day and age headphones have become quintessential to an immersive listening experience. They are the best and most accessible way to completely lose yourself in an album, movie, or series. They also give an added level of privacy. Headphones give you freedom.

But, what do you do when you want to share what you are listening to with someone else but you do not like to share earphones for hygienic reasons? Maybe, you simply prefer the headphone audio quality to the speaker audio quality but the other person does not. How do you play your music through your speakers so that they can hear too, while still using your headphones? 

Previously, a task like this might have seemed too difficult to undertake. You would have thought it only possible for the most dedicated audiophiles. However, with recent improvements in different systems, this is now something you can learn to do by yourself. You can play your music through your headphones and speakers simultaneously in a few different ways: 

How to play sound simultaneously through speaker and headphones while using a PC 

Before you begin tweaking anything, first make sure that your headphones are connected correctly and that your speakers are turned on. 

  1. Right-click the volume icon in your taskbar and click on the ‘Sound’ option that pops up. This will open the Sound dialogue box. 
step 1.1

2. Now, look at the top of the dialogue box for the different tabs. There will be a ‘Playback’ tab which you can click on. In the playback tab, right-click the speaker and set it as your default device. If the speaker option is missing our greyed, it is already your default device and you can move on to the next step. 

step 1.2

3. Switch to the ‘Recording’ tab in the same dialogue box. Right-click an empty space to select the ‘Show disabled devices’ command.

Then you must right-click the ‘Stereo Mix’ option and enable this device then click on properties.

step 1.5

4. Right-click the ‘Stereo Mix’ option again and then click on properties.

step 1.3

5. Now you must go to the properties which you can find by switching to the ‘Listen’ tab. In the ‘Listen’ tab check the ‘Listen to this device’ checkbox. 

Lastly, select your headphones from the drop-down list and press apply. It should be working if not update your sound drivers!

step 1.4

Audio mixers apps that you can install in order to play audio through your speakers and headphones simultaneously 


Audio mixers are secondary programs that you would need to install. They allow you to manipulate sound properties for different purposes. It also allows you to detect multiple devices and choose which of them to send output to. 

However, this method also has its downfalls. Using an audio mixer to play music from your speaker while still using your headphones could cause a slight delay between the sound output in your headphones and your speakers. It could also result in a decrease in audio quality. 

  1. CheVolume: this audio mixer is a reliable option. It allows you to output several audio sets through specified speakers or headphones. Use this option if you are currently running windows seven or eight devices. You can purchase it after a single payment. 
  2. Voicemeeter: this app is a free audio mixer normally used as a Virtual I/O to manage different audio sources. It allows you to send these sources to and from any desired device
  3. Audio Router: this is also a free audio mixer app. It is compatible with devices running older versions of windows too. As the name suggests, it will allow you to route your audio to your desired devices. 

Use an audio splitter

audio splitter

Audio splitters are external devices that you can plug into your PC which allow audio output to be separated between two devices. Make sure to buy an audio splitter compatible with the input that your device allows. 

Simply plug your audio splitter into your devices and then plug your headphones into one port and your speakers into another. If your speakers require a USB port you may also need to purchase an adapter and plug that into the audio splitter in order to connect your speakers.  

A Bluetooth adapter performs the same action as an audio splitter but it is used if you have both Bluetooth headphones and a Bluetooth speaker. 

How to play sound simultaneously through speaker and headphones while using a Mac 

Before you begin tweaking anything, first make sure that your headphones are connected correctly and that your speakers are turned on. 

The first way you can change your settings to allow sound to output to two sources: is to open a Multi-Output Device in your devices System preferences: 

  1. Go to your Finder and open the applications panel. 

2. In applications go to the utility folder and search for ‘Audio MIDI Setup’

step 1

3. Open the audio midi setup program 

4. In the lower-left corner of the panel, click the plus (+) button and then select the ‘Create Multi-Output Device’ option

step 2

5. On the left panel, right-click the ‘Multi-Output Device’ option and select the ‘Use this device for sound output’ option

step 3

6. Now on the right panel, check the boxes of the listed devices that you would like to use. If one of these devices is a wired device, you have to check the box next to Macbook Air speakers. 

step 4

7. Now select the master devices in the dropdown menu at the top of the panel.

step 5

8. Then select a slave device by checking the prefered device in the drift correction checkbox

step 6

9. Go to your devices system preferences and open the sound panel 

10. Go to the output tab in the sound panel and choose ‘Multi-Output Device’ as your output

step 7

Opening a Multi-Output device will allow you to play music through your headphones and speakers at the same time regardless of whether you are using wired headphones and speakers, Bluetooth headphones or speakers or one wired and one Bluetooth each. 

Whether you simply prefer not to cross the hygienic boundary of communal earphone use or if you like the surround sound experience headphones provide but would still like to share your interests, these are the most accessible ways to play music through your speakers while still using your headphones. 

Written by Panashe

I'm Panashe Hwata - a computer science student with an unabashed love for technology and captivating audio. As the owner of this blog, I'm thrilled to share my passion for exploring the world of premium sound and cutting-edge tech with all of you. Join me on this exhilarating journey as we dive into the captivating world of audio excellence