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I have a hearing impaired person in the house and want to equip her with a bluetooth headset while the rest of us listen over the speakers. I am able to connect the headset and get it to play by setting it as the default speaker. Problem is that the speakers are then turned off.

Working with windows 7 and Samsung bluetooth headphones.

1
  • Did you intend to watch a movie, listen a music or do an audio call over internet? I am asking, because the suitability of various solutions depends on what quality is desired.
    – Qwerty
    Mar 30 '20 at 10:07
8

Here's a good enough working solution on windows 10 that does not require any additional software installation:

  1. Right click on the sound icon and choose "Recording devices"
  2. There should be a device named "Stereo Mix" in the list. However, if you can't see it, right click somewhere on the list (on a device or on the free space around it) and choose "Show Disabled Devices"
  3. Right click on "Stereo Mix" and Enable the device.
  4. Right click on "Stereo Mix" again and go to Properties
  5. Under "Listen" tab, check the box that reads "Listen to this device"
  6. Finally, on the "Playback through this device" drop down, choose your bluetooth headphones device.

Now set the Speakers as the default playing device, and the sound can be heard from both the speakers and the bluetooth headphones. Adjust volume of the devices in volume mixer.

I should also note that the quality of the sound in the headphones drop a bit, and a tiny bit of delay is also introduced (i guess it wouldn't work if you're a DJ)

2
  • The drop in quality and the lag make it impractical for actual use. It just works for the sake of working, but please don't, next.
    – Qwerty
    Mar 28 '20 at 10:56
  • 2
    There is no "Recording devices" when I right click on the sound icon and choose "Recording devices" in my Windows 10 Home (I hate this so much, now that they call Windows 10 a whole bunch of UIs unrelated to each other), have to go to Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/Sound - when you click that, you'll get a new window with tabs "Sound", there you have "Recording" tab, with "Stereo Mix" device.
    – sdbbs
    Jun 29 '20 at 5:19
6

See if Virtual Audio Cable will work for you. You can basically create a virtual audio device which will send sound to both the speaker & BT headset.

2
  • It does work, once you get the hang of the utterly user-unfriendly interface. Make sure to use Audio Repeater (MME), not KS (Kernel Streaming) - Bluetooth device names are all Unknown in the latter and the application hung up badly when I tried to stop the streaming (the process can't be killed!). Works fine with the former, although I have use a different buffer size for the second repeater to get synchronous audio playback (iTeufel Air Blue 1000ms / BT Bamster 985ms). equalify.me is required for Spotify in order to change the audio device, but tricky to use in latest app.
    – CodeManX
    Mar 22 '15 at 12:57
  • Will it work with Lite version or do I have to get Pro?
    – Qwerty
    Mar 28 '20 at 13:32
1

I like to use the open source program Audio Router

https://github.com/audiorouterdev/audio-router

3
  • 1
    This was the solution that was the most reliable for me, although it produces significant latency between the output devices. Good enough for when you want to get two people in on one Skype call on two different bluetooth headsets, but probably useless for music production.
    – Polynomial
    Mar 25 '20 at 19:50
  • Not suitable for music duplication, the outputs are offset by a noticeable delay.
    – Qwerty
    Mar 28 '20 at 13:17
  • Worth noting that the project is dead and abandoned since 2016.
    – Qwerty
    Mar 28 '20 at 13:18
0

Jack audio connection kit does that for free. http://jackaudio.org/

1
  • I downvoted this answer because, while JACK Audio appears to be a very comprehensive toolset for professional quality audio routing, particularly with ASIO, installing and configuring it is very much non-trivial and this answer is woefully inadequate in that regard. I've got a fair bit of experience in the Windows audio stack and I couldn't get it to do anything at all, even after several hours of reading documentation. If I ever figure it out I'll post an answer, but if anyone wants a simple duplication tool, albeit with high latency, I recommend Audio Router as per Gabriel Fair's answer.
    – Polynomial
    Mar 25 '20 at 20:01
0

VB-Audio's Virtual Cable is donationware - you can make any donation.

I paid EUR 2 for the drivers and EUR 2 for their excellent mixer software. Once you register, you get two additional audio cables, bringing the total to 3 + 1 for the mixer. It's excellent. I takes a while playing around with Windows' Audio settings (you have to set in the output devices "Listen to this device" on the virtual audio cables A + B and set these 2 to the 2 devices you want to listen to) and then the standard output to the voicemeter. Then in the voicemeter, set "A" to MME: cable A for "B" to MME: cable B and voila.) am sending input from Google Play to laptop speakers + bluetooth speakers at the same time. Great surround!

-1

What worked for me (Windows 10):

  1. Right mouseclick on sound icon in system tray, choose "Open Volume Mixer"

enter image description here

  1. Click on the Speakers icon:

speakers icon

  1. This opens the settings, there choose the tab "Listen" and then enable "Listen to this device":

settings

Enjoy :)

3
  • Without explanation, this solution is actually quite confusing. Only after I have read another solution this started to make sense. Anyway, both of these solutions introduce a decrease in audio quality and a noticeable lag. Impractical for use.
    – Qwerty
    Mar 28 '20 at 10:55
  • Add the missing part. I have no idea what you were missing. Just edit my answer or write a comment.
    – Avatar
    Mar 29 '20 at 9:46
  • Edited. I have also noticed the guide is incomplete and outdated and also that you click on Speakers device in the screenshot, but then you present the properties of a Stereo Mix recording device, which is not even a Playback device where Speakers is.
    – Qwerty
    Mar 30 '20 at 10:27

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