How To Connect Speakers and Headphones at the Same Time: The Complete Guide

While it might seem a bit extra to need your headphones and speakers simultaneously, there are times when you need to. So, is it possible to connect speakers and headphones at the same time? 

Here are ways to connect speakers and headphones at the same time: 

  • Connect speakers and headphones at the same time on PC. 
  • Connect speakers and headphones at the same time on Mac. 

Connecting your headphones and your speaker can prove quite challenging if you do not have a helpful guide to walk you through it. That’s why I’m here to help! Let’s go through the steps together and discuss how and when you can connect speakers and headphones to a device such as a computer, television, and phone. 

1. Connect Speakers and Headphones at the Same Time on PC

There are a few ways to connect headphones and speakers simultaneously on a PC. Some work better than others for certain PC brands and models, and some might not work on specific operating systems. 

However, I have put together some of the simplest ways to connect both audio devices that work on most PCs, regardless of their specs. 

Here’s how to connect your speakers and headphones at the same time on PC: 

  1. Adjust sound settings. 
  2. Use audio software. 
  3. Introduce an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter. 

However, kindly note that some models do not support split audio, and thus none of these methods might work for such a computer. 

However, most modern PCs can support at least one of these methods, so let’s look at how to do it: 

1. Adjust Sound Settings

The first method you should try is to adjust your computer’s sound settings. This method works for most newer computers and newer operating systems, so it might not work if your system is a bit outdated. 

You can adjust the sound settings from the control panel to direct the sound output to 2 devices, like your speaker and headphones. This method works, especially for Windows PCs. Here’s a guide on how to get it done: 

  1. Connect both speaker and headphones at the same time. Note that you can connect both devices, but that does not guarantee sound to come out of both of them. Your system would most likely pick one and work with that. Here is how to get it to use both. 
  2. After connecting both devices to your Windows PC, navigate your sounds icon. This icon is most likely on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, where you pin your frequently used apps. Once you have found your sound icon, then right-click. 
  3. You will find options like playback devices, recording devices, an open volume mixer, and sounds. If you see this, then you are on the right track. 
  4. Once you have opened the sound settings menu, you will see a tab that shows recordings, playback, communications, and sounds. Click playback. 
  5. Find “speakers” and then right-click. You will be given the option to set speakers as the default sound device. Choose that. If it doesn’t click or it seems grayed out, then your speaker is already a default sound device on your PC. 
  6. Once you are done with playback, click on recordings and right-click on “stereo mix,” and then click “properties.” Next, you check for the “listen” tab and choose “Listen to this device.” Then, under “playback through this device,” select your headphones, then pick them to apply your new settings. 

This method should get your headphones and speakers working simultaneously, but if it doesn’t, don’t worry. There are still a couple of other things that you can try. 

Pros

  • Output sound from speaker and headphones at the same time 
  • Quick 
  • Easy to set up 

Cons

  • Reduced sound quality 
  • Can cause a delay in sound output between both devices 

Note that you may need to update your sound card drivers for the changes made in the sound settings to be effective. That accounts for one of the reasons why this method might not work on your Windows PC. 

2. Use an Audio Software

Using audio software– better known as an audio mixer app– can help you play sound on your speakers and headphones simultaneously. 

In addition, if changing your computer’s settings worked but decreased the quality of your audio, your best bet would be using an audio mixer to fix things up. An audio mixer has the following perks over adjusting sound settings.

It lets you: 

  • Adjust sound quality 
  • Adjust properties of sound 
  • Choose which devices to send the sound 

You can always get a couple of audio mixer apps like Audio Router and Voicemeeter. 

Most audio mixer apps come with paid subscriptions, with some having free trials to let you test out if their features are just what you need. You can, however, also gain access to free audio mixer apps. However, the features will be limited. 

Pros

  • Increased sound quality 
  • Adjustable sound properties 
  • No sound delay 
  • Easy and straightforward to use 

Cons

  • The best features come with the paid version, attracting high costs. 
  • Only functions when the audio mixer app is active. 
  • The free version comes with tons of ads and sometimes other software harmful to your device. 

3. Introduce an Audio Splitter or Bluetooth Adaptor

Here is another method you can try if the first two didn’t work out too well for you. Audio splitters generally come with a plug-and-play feature, making setup simple. 

An audio splitter makes the job easy when connecting the three devices (your PC, speakers, and headphones). However, the sound quality depends mainly on the audio splitter you use. 

Ensure to get a top-quality audio splitter to get good sound output. Some even let you connect a microphone, so it’s pretty effective and efficient. 

If your headphones use a Bluetooth connection, the more practical option would be to use a Bluetooth adapter. They also work pretty well as an audio splitter. The devices connect to the adapter and connect to the PC. 

Pros

  • No sound delays.
  • Very easy to set up and operate.
  • Can connect more than two devices.
  • It works for Bluetooth connections as well.

Cons

  • Not free. You will need to buy the device.
  • It does not work if not connected to a PC.
  • A cheap splitter offers poor sound quality.

2. Connect Speakers and Headphones at the Same Time on Mac

Connecting both speakers and headphones to play sounds simultaneously is easier with Mac than PC. It is less complicated and works pretty well for most Mac models. 

Here’s how to connect your speakers and headphones at the same time on Mac: 

  • Adjust sound settings. 
  • Introduce an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter. 

Although there are fewer ways to connect speakers and headphones to Macs, there is a higher chance that either of these two solves your problem perfectly on the first trial. 

Here are two effective ways to connect your headphones and speakers simultaneously:

1. Adjust Your Mac Sound Settings

As we all probably know, Macs have a fantastic user interface with so many hidden customization options that people who have been using them for years don’t even know about. One of these settings is connecting to multiple audio devices such as speakers and headphones. 

By working a bit on the system preferences settings, you can have sound output from both devices in no time. To do so: 

  1. Connect both devices to your Mac. It’s simple to connect both devices to your computer, either using a wired-in connection or Bluetooth. The only problem is that sound will not come out of them simultaneously. However, don’t worry– we are about to fix that! 
  2. Navigate the Finder on your Mac and open up the applications menu. This menu shows you all apps that operate within your Mac system. From here, you find the Utility app and click on it. 
  3. The utility app opens up other options. Pick AUDIO MIDI SETUP. 
  4. On the lower-left corner of your screen, you will see a “+” button on the opened tab. This button creates a multi-output device option which is what you need. Click on the plus button to create one. 
  5. Navigate to the right panel and right-click on the multi-device option. Then, choose the “use this sound for device output” option. 
  6. Check the boxes that correlate with the intended device on the right panel. For wired devices, check “built-in Output.” 
  7. Choose which of your devices will be the primary device in the menu options. Then, choose which one will be the secondary device in the drift correction menu. 
  8. You can now go ahead and launch system preferences. Then, open the sound panel, and under the output, pick “multi-output device.”

Once you have done this, sound comes out on both speaker and headphones. 

Note that whether both devices are wired or Bluetooth-centric, this method works well enough for either. All you have to do is follow the steps closely and correctly, and you will find that connecting both devices is a piece of cake! 

Pros

  • Highly effective on Mac 
  • You can use it with wired and Bluetooth devices 
  • Connect two or more devices at once 

Cons

  • Not easy to control volume 

2. Introduce an Audio Splitter

If you plan to connect a pair of headphones and a set of speakers to your Mac, then you don’t need much other than the “multi-output device” function that comes with a Mac. 

However, in a situation where you plan to connect more than a set to each, and you won’t sound coming out of all simultaneously, you will require an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter for quality assurance purposes. It works in almost the same way as with the PC. 

All you have to do is connect the Bluetooth adapter or audio splitter to the Mac and then connect both devices to the adapter or, in other cases, the audio splitter. 

Pros

  • Easy plug and play feature 
  • Connects more than two devices at the same time 
  • Maintains audio quality 

Cons

  • Cost of acquiring the splitter or adapter 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Connect Both Speaker and Headphones to a Television?

You can connect both speaker and headphones simultaneously to a television. Like phones and laptops, TVs also come in different specifications and models. While not every TV can play from two devices simultaneously, some can do so because the TV must have multi audio output options. 

Here’s how to connect both speaker and headphones to a television: 

  1. Make sure the TV has multiple audio options. 
  2. Connect the device to your TV using the HDMI option for the best audio quality. 
  3. Connect one end of the audio cable to the audio out jack behind the source device and the other end to the transmitter jack of the headphones. 
  4. Turn on your TV and set it to the input of the source device. Most TVs come with model-specific information for this step, so do well to check with the manual for more detailed information that suits your TV model. 

Is It Possible To Connect Headphones and Speakers to Your Phone?

It is possible to connect headphones and speakers simultaneously to your phone, either with Android or iOS. Unlike a PC and Mac, your phone has no built-in settings that let it play on both headphones and speakers. However, you can play sound from your phone on both devices with an audio splitter. 

All you have to do is get a top-quality audio splitter like with the laptop and then connect it to the phone directly. An excellent audio splitter will handle sound delay and quality, which is a good enough option. 

Conclusion

So, there are plenty of ways to connect your headphones and speakers to one device simultaneously. It might take a bit of testing and troubleshooting to find the best method for your computer and devices, but once you figure it out, you’ll know how to do it for good!

So, give it a shot and follow this guide anytime you want to have your audio in two places at the same time. It’s handier than you ever knew!

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