How to use two headphones on PC: listen together

This guide aims to teach you how to use two headphones on PC, unlocking a realm of shared auditory enjoyment.

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Preparing your PC

Before learning how to use two headphones on PC, it’s essential to ensure that your PC is primed for the experience.

Checking audio ports

Typically, you’ll encounter 3 primary audio ports:

  • Headphone audio jack: This is the most common port, designed for connecting headphones and external speakers.
  • Microphone audio jack: This port is meant for connecting external microphones. It features a microphone icon and is distinct from the headphone jack.
  • Line-in audio jack: The line-in port is used to receive audio input from external devices like musical instruments or other audio sources.

When learning how to use two headphones on PC, the focus lies on the availability of multiple ports.

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Audio drivers

Up-to-date audio drivers are essential for a seamless experience while using two headphones simultaneously:

  • Checking audio drivers. Right-click the “Start” button, choose “Device Manager,” and open the “Sound, video, and game controllers” area to check your audio drivers. Update the driver by performing a right-click on your audio device.
  • Updating audio drivers. Windows will give you the option to browse your computer for driver software or run an automatic driver search when updating audio drivers. To have Windows discover and install the most recent suitable driver, select automated search.
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Hardware requirements

To know how to use two headphones on PC, you’ll need the right tools to split audio for two or more headphones.

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Headphone splitter audio mixer for wired headphones

A simple yet clever way to divide sounds from a single source into two or more headphones is to use a headphone splitter or audio mixer for wired headphones.

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A splitter cable can be used to distribute audio between two headphones affordably and without sacrificing sound quality. It works best in configurations with two or more headphones placed close to the computer.

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For wired headphones, there are several different splitter cables that can be used to accommodate varied devices and demands. Consider the type of connections (3.5mm, RCA, etc.), cable length, and build quality when choosing a splitter to connect two or more headphones.

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Choose a splitter that supports two or more headphones you intend to use and fits the audio port on your PC.

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USB audio adapters

An additional method for getting numerous audio outputs on your PC is through USB audio adapters. In addition to having various audio connectors, including audio jacks, these little gadgets plug into a USB port.

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Due to its adaptability, USB audio adapters can be used on PCs without dual audio output ports. For laptops or other devices with few audio connectivity choices, they are very helpful.

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Consider compatibility, the number of audio output ports, and the DAC’s (digital-to-analog converter) caliber when selecting a USB audio adapter.

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Make sure you set up the audio settings to send the output to the attached headphones after connecting the USB audio adapter to your PC.

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Setting up your headphones

Now that you’re equipped with the necessary hardware, it’s time to learn how to use two headphones on PC.

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Y-splitter or audio mixer setup

The Y-splitter is an easy-to-use option that only needs very little setup. To get started, take these actions:

  1. Find the computer’s headphone jack. The common icon for this is a pair of headphones, and the color may be green.
  2. Insert the male end of the Y-splitter cable into the headphone jack.
  3. The Y-splitter cable’s two female ends will now function as separate audio outputs. Your headphones are prepared to be connected.
  4. One set of headphones should be connected to each of the Y-splitter’s female ends.

USB audio adapter setup

To set up your dual headphone configuration if you chose USB audio adapters for a non-Bluetooth device:

  1. Find accessible USB ports on your computer. Since USB audio adapters are essentially plug-and-play devices, they can be used with any available USB port.
  2. Put the USB audio adapter in a USB port that is open. The device should be immediately detected and recognized by your computer.
  3. The USB audio adapter has audio output ports, which are frequently identified by headphone icons. Typically, 3.5mm jacks are used.
  4. One set of headphones should be connected to each of the USB audio adapter’s audio output ports.
  5. For uninterrupted audio, much like with the Y-splitter setup, make sure the headphone connectors are fully placed into the audio output ports.

Configuring audio settings

With your dual headphone setup physically connected, it’s time to ensure that your PC’s audio settings are optimized for synchronized audio playback.

Sound control panel (Windows)

  1. Click with your right mouse button on the “Start” button in the lower-left corner of your screen.
  2. Go to the context menu and choose “Run.” Alternatively, you can use your keyboard’s “Windows” key and “R” combination.
  3. Enter “control” (without the quotations) into the “Run” dialog box. The Control Panel is now visible.
  4. Go to “Hardware and Sound” in the Control Panel and click “Sound.”
  5. There are tabs like a “Playback” tab and a “Recording” tab in the Sound window, among others. Select “Playback” from the tabs.
  6. You may find a list of audio playback devices under the “Playback” tab. Your headphones or the USB audio adapters should appear as two separate objects.
  7. Each headphone device can be made the default playback device by performing a right-click on it. By doing this, it is made sure that both headphones receive audio output.
  8. By selecting “Properties” from the context menu when you right-click on a specific device, you may further modify the distinct volume settings for each pair of headphones. To change the settings, select the “Levels” tab.
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Audio preferences (Mac)

  1. To access the Apple menu, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, choose “System Preferences”.
  3. Find the “Sound” icon in the System Preferences box and click it.
  4. Find the “Output” tab in the Sound settings.
  5. Your headphones or USB audio adapters should appear on a list of available output devices.
  6. To send audio output to both headphones, choose each headphone device from the list individually.
  7. By adjusting the slider connected to each device, you can change the output level for each pair of headphones.

As an alternative, you can use Audio Midi Setup in System Preferences to configure a multi-output device.

Connecting two Bluetooth headphones simultaneously

Pair the first Bluetooth headphones:

  1. Put the first Bluetooth headphone in pairing mode and turn it on. For precise steps, consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Go to the Bluetooth settings on your computer. The Bluetooth icon can be seen in the system tray of Windows. Right-click it and choose “Add a Bluetooth Device.” You may access Bluetooth on a Mac by clicking the Apple logo, selecting “System Preferences,” and then clicking “Bluetooth.”
  3. Complete the pairing process by designating the first headphone in the available devices list as the default device.

Pair the second Bluetooth headphones:

  1. After the first pair of headphones connects successfully, turn them off or unplug them from your computer.
  2. To link the second Bluetooth headphone, follow the same procedures as before.

Enable audio playback on two Bluetooth headphones:

  1. Play audio on your computer after pairing both headphones. The default device for the audio will probably be one of the attached headphones.
  2. You may require additional software or particular Bluetooth driver settings on your PC to transport audio to both headphones. This functionality may be enabled by the “Share” or “Dual Audio” features on some headphones.

How to use two headphones on PC with Stereo Mix?

Ensure your PC supports Bluetooth connectivity and the Stereo Mix feature.

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Enable Stereo Mix in the Recording tab:

  1. The speaker icon in your system tray can be accessed by right-clicking it and choosing “Open Sound settings.”
  2. Click “Device properties” in the “Input” section of the Sound settings.
  3. The “Additional device properties” link should be selected. Find the “Listen” tab in the Properties box.
  4. Put a tick in the “Listen” tab that says “Listen to this device.”
  5. Choose your Bluetooth headphones as the default device in the dropdown menu next to “Playback through this device.”

Use both Bluetooth devices (the two headphones) on PC with Stereo Mix.

Configure Stereo Mix as the default playback device in the Recording tab:

  1. The speaker icon in your system tray can be accessed by right-clicking it and choosing “Open Sound settings.”
  2. Enable “Stereo Mix” from the dropdown menu under the “Output” section.
  3. You can customize the Bluetooth headphones’ volume levels to suit your tastes.

The settings may show disabled devices if the “Stereo Mix” option is not present in the Recording tab. Click with the right mouse button on the area, then tick the boxes next to “Show disabled devices” and “Display disconnected devices.”

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Using two headphones on PC is easy, and dual headphone use transforms solitary experiences into shared adventures.

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Can I connect two headphones to PC?

Yes, you can connect multiple devices using Bluetooth Stereo Mix, USB audio adapters, or a Y-splitter cable for two headphones.

How do I split audio on my computer?

A Y-splitter cable or USB audio adapters can be used to split audio for two headphones.

Your PC’s audio output connection is connected to a Y-splitter cable that includes two female ends for two pairs of headphones. When plugged into USB ports, USB audio adapters offer extra sound output connectors.

Can you play two headphones at the same time?

You can split the sound output into streams and distribute them to multiple headphones via a Y-splitter connection, USB audio adapters, or Stereo Mix Bluetooth connectivity for Bluetooth devices.

How do I use my mic and headphones with two jacks on my computer?

You can use a splitter cable to unite the two connections into a single 3.5mm socket if your computer has separate microphone and headphone jacks.

Alternatively, you can use a USB headset with audio and a microphone, which will make connecting multiple headphones easier.

What is a virtual audio cable?

You may route and transfer audio streams between various software applications and devices on your computer by using Virtual Audio Cable (VAC), a software program that mimics the behavior of real audio cables.

How to use a Bluetooth adapter for using two headphones on PC?

Using a Bluetooth adapter on a PC to connect two headphones:

1. Insert Bluetooth adapter.
2. In the Bluetooth settings, pair both headphones.
3. Set audio preferences for simultaneous playback.
4. Using the Bluetooth adapter, play audio and take advantage of wireless sharing.

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