You are probably used to headphones in your day-to-day life. Whether you are listening to music or audiobooks, watching a movie, or playing video games — they always rise to the occasion. Headphones do not only keep your personal matters private, but they also allow individuals in your immediate vicinity to go about their business unperturbed by your audio.
With that said, plugging a pair of headphones into your computer is a breeze. They usually work right off the bat and you do not give them a second thought. However, there may be instances where you would like to share your audible pastimes with another individual. If you are unable to use your speakers for one reason or another, such occasions would call for two pairs of headphones.
To that end, you may be wondering how to use two headphones on a PC. You will be pleased to hear that it is not hard to get them to work, so stick around. Let us explore some of the most common ways of how to use two headphones on a PC.
Table of Contents
How to Set Up Two Pairs of Headphones on Your Windows Computer
Windows allows you to assign different audio devices to different programs. If you are not necessarily looking to share your audio via headphones with another person, the setup process is straightforward.
You can access Open Sound settings by right-clicking the speaker icon on your taskbar. Once inside, you will want to select App volume and device preferences found under Other sound options. By doing so, you will gain access to the Settings box. Within it, you can adjust your audio Output preferences for different programs. Since Windows will automatically save all of the changes, you will not need to readjust them every time you run the desired program.
However, if you want to know how to use two headphones on a PC to share your audio with someone else, the following step-by-step guide is sure to help. It applies to USB headphones, as well as headphones with a 3.5mm jack.
1. Plug or Pair the headphones
Plug in or pair both pairs of headphones to your computer and make sure that they are properly connected. Pairing is different for each headphone brand, so please see the headphone’s manual. We have a guide on how to reset your Astro A50 wireless headset which may be necessary.
2. Click on Speaker icon
Locate the speaker icon on the taskbar and right-click on it.
3. Select Sounds
Select the Sounds option. If you would rather do it manually, Sounds will also open if you type “mmsys.cpl” in the Windows search bar.
4. Select Speakers as default
Navigate your way to the Playback tab in Sounds. The devices that are connected to your computer should be shown on the list. If your Speakers are not set as a Default Device, have them set to default.
5. Show disabled Recording devices
Next, go to the Recording tab. Right-click anywhere within the window and see that Show Disabled Devices is activated. This will bring up another device on the list called Stereo Mix.
6. Enable Stereo Mix
Right-click on Stereo Mix and Enable it. Then, right-click on Stereo Mix again and go to Properties.
7. Playback through headphones
Once inside the Stereo Mix Properties window, make your way to the Listen tab. Within it, tick the box next to the Listen to this device option. Afterward, select the headphones from the dropdown menu found below Playback through this device.
8. Finally – Apply changes
Save your changes by clicking on Apply and finalizing the setup process with OK. The two pairs of headphones should now be ready!
If you would like to view the action on multiple monitors, please see our guide on how to connect two tvs together.
How to Set Up Two Pairs of Headphones on Your Mac Computer
If you are a proud owner of an Apple computer, the following should help you get to the bottom of how to use two headphones on a PC. Keep in mind that this method works for both wired and wireless headphones.
1. Pair or plug in headphones
Pair your headphones with your Mac via Bluetooth or connect them to the computer through a 3.5mm jack. Pairing methods differ for each brand of headphones. We have a specific guide on How to Pair Skullcandy Earbuds but for others please check the product manual.
2. Run Audio MIDI setup
Go to Applications/Utilities and run the Audio MIDI Setup app.
3. Create Multi-Output Device
Once inside Audio Devices, navigate your way to the + (plus) button in the lower-left corner. Click on Create Multi-Output Device.
4. Use device for Output
After successfully creating a Multi-Output Device, right-click on it and select Use This Device For Sound Output.
5. Select both headphones
You should see a list of available audio devices to your right. Select the two pairs of headphones by ticking the boxes to the left of their names (Use). Similarly, tick the Drift Correction box for the second pair of headphones.
6. Choose Master Device
Next, choose your preferred Master Device from the dropdown menu found directly below the Multi-Output Device.
7. Launch Sound Preferences
Lastly, launch System Preferences and run the Sound preferences pane.
8. Finally – select Multi-Output Device for each headphones
Make your way to the Output tab. Within it, select Multi-Output Device for sound output, and both pairs of headphones will be good to go!
How to Use Two Pairs of Bluetooth Headphones on Your Windows Computer
If you happen to own two pairs of Bluetooth headphones, you may run into some issues with the connectivity. That is to say, even if your computer comes with a built-in Bluetooth function, it is not likely to register two wireless audio output devices simultaneously.
For this reason, you may need to invest in a quality Bluetooth adapter with low latency. The lower the latency, the less audio delay you will experience. Optimally, the Bluetooth adapter should be able to support two pairs of headphones at the same time.
Additionally, you can also turn to audio mixer software. Generally speaking, this type of software automatically detects your audio devices and features an intuitive user interface. In other words, choosing and switching between one or more audio devices is hassle-free.
While some audio mixer programs are free to download and use, others require you to purchase them. However, if you would prefer not to have to worry about how to use two headphones on a PC with or without a Bluetooth adapter, you can look into programs such as WavePad, Voicemeeter, or Adobe Audition, to name just a few.
And if you want some free music to play – how about downloading music from Tumbler with our guide.
What Are the Alternatives?
All things considered, having to go back and forth between different methods to figure out which one works best can be tiring. Sometimes, you just long for that one simple hack. Well, worry not! We have saved the easiest solution to your inquiry about how to use two headphones on a PC for last.
If you have two pairs of wired headphones and cannot be bothered to go through the audio settings, a headphone splitter is what you need. It does not require any workarounds because it offers a simple plug-and-play solution.
There are two types of headphone splitters. A Y splitter allows you to connect two pairs of headphones, whereas a multi splitter allows you to connect more than two pairs. Better yet, high-end models come with additional features that support other audio devices such as microphones.
While headphone splitters eliminate audio delay, the quality may not be optimal. Of course, you get what you pay for, but doing the necessary research before making a purchase will help you in the long run. On a side note, you should keep in mind that both you and the individual with whom you are sharing the audio will have limited mobility when utilizing a headphone splitter.
Another option is to connect multiple bluetooth headphones. We have a guide on connecting multiple bluetooth speakers to your laptop, which will also work for headphones.
In the end, remember that the best way to approach the issue of using two pairs of headphones on your PC is to experiment with different methods. That way, you will gain a better understanding of what your preferences are.