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How do I enable multiple audio outputs on Windows 7?

This is going to sound kind of strange, but I assure you my purpose is non-nefarious. :)

I have video conferences now and then with people all over the world. Sometimes, it's difficult to understand what they are saying, and it takes me a while to parse their speech. Since I don't control the rate of conversation (I don't run the meetings), I'd like to record what's being said for later review. (And because I'm responsible for minutes).

I use a Plantronics wireless headset, connected via a USB dongle to my computer. At the same time, I have a set of speakers with a headphone jack which I'd like to use as output to a digital recorder I have on my desk. I plug the digital recorder into the speakers with the headphone jack with a dual male-type connector, with the other end connected to the microphone jack in the digital recorder.

Now, the problem is that all I hear when recording is blank noise. I think the microphone jack is working, because I don't hear myself talking, or other background noise, but I don't hear the meeting, either. I think this is because I can't get the sound to output to BOTH the speakers and the headset.

Does anyone know how I could go about getting sound to play from both of the devices (headset and speakers)?



You question has been asked in several places across the net, most notably right here, one year ago: How do I enable multiple audio outputs on Windows 7? Unfortunately, it appears there's no way of doing this. Issue has been reported to Microsoft even. Some folks have used a software work-around but the examples have been with different streams to different outputs... Here's another example of someone attempting the same thing on the Windows Experts Community forums with same results...

IMO, you'll need a sound card that natively has multiple outputs. You'd then use one for your headphones and another for your microphone in. If it wasn't for the fact that your wireless headphones are connected via USB dongle, I'd say just use a two-way splitter. I'm sure you thought of that though! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Consider replacing your headphones, I guess.

  • Could I use the fact that I have multiple sound cards in my machine to get this to work? I.e. is there some way I can get windows to output to BOTH sound cards? – jwir3 Sep 17 '12 at 14:27

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