This question already has an answer here:

I'm deaf in one ear and want to use my headphones when playing a game and talking with my friends on Skype/TS/Mumble/etc while also sometimes listening to music.

I need ALL my system audio to be downmixed to mono so that my ONE hearing ear gets ALL audio channels instead of split stereo audio.

No, none of the other similar questions on superuser have a solution. My headphone properties does not have a 'Mono' option, I don't have a 'Headphone Virtualization' option, and my Realtek HD audio driver software doesn't have these options either (driver was updated 11/14/2012). Don't even talk about setting the balance of one side of the headphones to 0. You're not paying attention if you suggest that.

JACK and Virtual Audio Cable didn't work. It's possible I configured them wrong, but I followed the steps I found in related questions and still got split stereo out.


I need a viable, working, software solution (I say software because I have a USB headset) for forcing ALL system audio to mono so that I can hear literally everything through the one earpiece.


marked as duplicate by slhck Apr 12 '13 at 5:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Why wouldn't setting the balance work? – Tanner Faulkner Jan 9 '13 at 15:04
  • @DaveRook Yes. I saw that. Why? – Tanner Faulkner Jan 9 '13 at 15:08
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    @r.tanner.f Because when you do this, you don't create a mono channel, you just stop a channel from being heard.. So, for example, if you had music in L and voice in R, hard panned to R you would only hear the voice. The OP wants to hear it all mixed into one channel. – Dave Jan 9 '13 at 15:10
  • @DaveRook Good to know. I always assumed the balance actually shifted the audio, not lowered volume to one side. Is this the same in a car stereo? I suppose that's the difference between balance and pan. I'm much more used to panning, having worked mostly with pro audio equipment. But I suppose I wasn't "paying attention". – Tanner Faulkner Jan 9 '13 at 15:18
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    @DaveRook That depends heavily on the equipment and the method of recording, but we're getting OT now. – Tanner Faulkner Jan 9 '13 at 15:29


New 3.5mm Stereo Plug to 3.5mm Mono Jack Adaptor P-AW

Then you can take your answer with you wherever you go!

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    I guess I didn't make it clear - I need a software solution because I have a USB headset. – Mike K. Jan 10 '13 at 18:59

Unless your USB headphones are very special it could be a solution to buy a headset with a jack connection and buy a stereo to mono adapter. This way, you don't touch your configuration, the adapter does it all (which would play via both earphone speakers, both in mono).

In your case, it's dependent on the sound card. Newer cards don't support it, but you could contact Realtek direct and see if they offer anything for your card.

Lastly, you can buy USB headphones with only 1 ear piece, such as this or this (or Google the term "Mono USB headset"); this option will of course push the stereo signal to mono (meaning no loss of audio).

And as a silly suggestion, which I don't recommend although it would work, just cut the cable to one speaker, lengthen it with another cable and re join it to the other speaker (so both cables are connected to one speaker).

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