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Facts:

  • I use Windows 7
  • I have an ASUS mobo w/realtek built in audio w/front & rear jacks.
  • I have a Logitech USB headset w/microphone.
  • I have ?20? sets of headphones.
  • The Realtek HD Audio manager doesn't even see the USB headset, it has a separate driver.

The Problem:

I need to use the headset/mic and regular headphones to play the same audio at the same time, ie, one kid is playing an online game and the other wants to be able to listen without waking up their extraordinarily grumpy, late night working dad(me). No, I don't want to just buy a line splitter or something along those lines. Yes, I know it would work, but there are specific reasons I can't do that. I already know that Microsoft is stupid. I know that Windows 7 Doesn't support this on its own. I know iOS, Linux and that OS the kid down the street threw together for a science fair are all better than Windows. But I have Windows, not one of those.

My Question:

Is there a way, any way, to get the same audio stream through both devices? Is there software outside of windows that can be used? Are there some settings I can take advantage of since both are separate devices?

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  • 1
    Classic preemptive anti-Windows rant! :-) – Josh M. Feb 3 '15 at 17:55
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One way of accomplish this is to play the same audio stream through two mediums (analog & HDMI). See how to do that here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-pictures/is-it-possible-to-have-speakers-and-hdmi-play-at/4563a5f8-4be4-4463-b312-eff594a9ae49, answer reproduced below:

  1. Open Sound panel
  2. Select Speakers as the default playback device
  3. Go to the "Recording" tab
  4. Right click and enable "Show Disabled Devices"
  5. A recording device called "Wave Out Mix", "Mono Mix" or "Stereo Mix" (this was my case) should appear
  6. Right click on the new device and click "Enable"
  7. Right click on the new device and click "Set as Default Device"
  8. Double click on the new device to open the Properties window
  9. Go to the "Listen" tab
  10. Click on the "Listen to this device" checkbox
  11. Select your HDMI device from the "Playback through this device" list

Then you can just connect the headset(s) to both the HDMI device (TV or monitor) and the analog (PC or Speakers) output.

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  • Link only answers are discouraged. Summarize the link, and list the link as the source – Canadian Luke Jul 30 '13 at 19:54
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    Doesn't work for me on Win8.1 – Iszi Oct 24 '14 at 21:07
  • Fixed it. Needed to put the volume of my HDMI device to max. The volume for both devices is then, effectively, controlled by adjusting the Speaker device volume. – Iszi Oct 24 '14 at 21:14
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    Ok. Got it working on my Win8.1 laptop, but I have another Win7 system that this doesn't seem to work for - no "Wave Out"/"Mono"/"Stereo" device shows even when showing disabled devices. – Iszi Oct 24 '14 at 21:44
  • nor Windows 7, not Windows 10 have these drivers, seems that these are related to specific HW vendor drivers, so the solution isn't a global one. Seems that the suggestion to use voicemeter is the one that might work. – Lockszmith Oct 24 '16 at 20:01
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To manage several microphones and speakers devices, we recommend Voicemeeter Banana, the virtual audio mixer for Windows specially made to route and mix several physical or virtual I/O. www.voicemeeter.com Voicemeeter interconnections

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My solution: voicemeeter. It does have a small overhead of up to 5% CPU usage, but the output is not delayed on any hardware device. It basically creates a virtual input that takes in the audio you would normally hear and then sends it to up to two hardware output devices.

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You can stereo mix, but there is a slight delay in the 2 devices. You can get say an HDMI audio extractor then you have one device with dual audio (from the extractor and still the HDMI) if you don't have a sound card or room for a soundcard.

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  • any ideas how to remove the delay? I was so disappointed by it. I had no delays in Windows XP, the sound quality was really good. and when upgraded to Windows7 the delay appeared. – leokom Apr 3 '18 at 20:00
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On Windows there's this "Virtual Audio Cable" (http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm). It costs ~$25--$50. There's some lag, but I guess that is physically unavoidable when playing audio on speakers with and w/o processing, different length of cables, etc. It has complicated GUI (it seems to be software for professionals), but essentially:

  1. you install it;
  2. click with RMB on speaker icon in the system tray and select Playback devices;
  3. on Playback tab select Line 1 and press Set Default;
  4. find shortcut Audio Repeater (MME) under Start Menu;
  5. for each output device run Audio Repeater (MME), then set Wave in to Line 1, and Wave out to desired output device.

You can use Audio Repeater (KS) instead of Audio Repeater (MME), but former is for kernel streaming (think ASIO, etc.) and I don't think you can control audio volume as easily (Playback devices ==> Playback ==> Device ==> Properties ==> Levels). Don't know if it's obvious, but this way you can set different volume levels for each device and then adjust them all with system volume level, which is indispensable for headphones + speakers setup.

BTW, considering it being professional, you can do so much more with it, but you'll have to read manual/do some googling. There's a reason why it's called "Virtual Audio Cable".

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  • audioreouterdev, check on github, releases tab (working/multi-devices output)

  • voicemeter/voicemeter banana, great tool but consume some CPU

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