With a variety of workarounds, it is possible to connect two or more wired or bluetooth headsets to your computer.
Using two headsets on one computer is not always simple.
It can be frustrating when you want to share music or a video with someone else and find that it’s not as simple as connecting two headphones.
For one thing, most computers only have a headphone jack. And even if you are using two bluetooth headsets or headsets that use different ports, sometimes you still need to fiddle with the audio settings to get a good connection for both headsets.
The good news is that you can learn how to connect two or even more headphones to your Mac or PC without too much trouble by following this simple guide.
why two headsets are not the norm for pc or mac
most computers have only a stereo mini-out or audio jack.
Some desktop computers may have two or more connectors. That’s because they typically have more powerful sound cards than those found in laptops.
But in general, most PCs and Macs only have a headphone jack. And as laptops get thinner and lighter, they’re likely to stick with the single-connector configuration.
This isn’t a problem for normal everyday use because most people don’t need more than one headphone jack for their computer. and since we like to take them with us for work and travel, most people prefer to keep it that way.
It’s also easier to have a single connector because you don’t have to change the default audio settings on your computer.
This is because computers can automatically recognize the plugged-in device and assign the necessary equalizer (eq) settings for the best sound quality.
If the computer detects an impedance of 4 to 16 ohms, you know you’re probably driving a speaker. and if it detects 16 to 100 ohms, it knows it’s connected to headphones.
Most PCs and Macs weren’t designed to be used with two headsets because that’s not what most people normally do.
If you want to use two headsets on your computer, you’ll have to play around with the settings to get what you want.
this generally implies:
- connect two bluetooth headsets to one computer
- “assign” each headset to different audio ports
- use a splitter to split the audio connection between two headsets
how to easily listen to two pairs of headphones simultaneously?
if you want to learn how to use two headsets on pc or mac, you have three options. you can:
- adjust the settings on your pc or mac
- use third party audio mixer software
- use sound splitting hardware such as a headphone splitter
adjust settings on your pc or mac
starting with the audio settings that are available to you can get faster results.
You can access these via the control panel on a pc or system preferences if you’re using a mac.
Most people find it’s easier to set up two headsets on a Mac than on a PC. if you have a computer, you may need to experiment a bit with the settings to achieve a dual headset setup.
use third-party audio mixing software
audio mixer software allows you to manage multiple sounds and merge them into one or more channels. think of a sound engineer bringing together the various sound sources of an orchestra into a single soundtrack.
an audio mixer can detect multiple headphones and will let you choose which headphones you want to use within the program.
use sound splitting hardware, like a headphone splitter
The easiest way to use two headphones on your PC or Mac is to use a headphone splitter. This allows you to connect two or more headphones to your computer via the mini-stereo or usb port and split the sound equally between both devices.
pc: how to easily use multiple wired or bluetooth headsets
Using two wired headsets on one computer is fairly easy if you have two or more audio ports or if you’re using a pair of wired headsets and a bluetooth headset.
but if you have two bluetooth headsets, you might find it a bit more complicated. although it is not impossible. you just need to use an audio mixer or bluetooth adapter.
wired headphones: how to use several pairs on the pc
if you’re on windows 10, this is how you have two headsets connected to one computer.
- adjust control panel settings and use stereo mix
- use an audio mixer to manage audio output
- buy a headphone splitter
adjust control panel settings and use stereo mix
To use two headsets on one pc without an audio mixer or splitter, you need to open its control panel and adjust some settings.
- Open the Control Panel.
- Go to Sound.
- Click the Recording tab.
- Right-click on Stereo Mix and set it as the Default Device. If it isn’t showing, right-click anywhere on the Recording tab and select Show Disabled Devices.
- Go to the Listen tab.
- Put a check on Listen to this device.
- In the dropdown lost below, choose your headphones. Then click Apply and OK to save the changes.
use an audio mixer to manage audio output
An audio mixer has an easy-to-use interface that lets you manage sound input and output. You can adjust the properties of the sound to create high-quality audio and choose which channels you want to use.
audio mixers automatically detect audio devices. they let you choose one or more devices so you can use two headsets on your pc without a splitter.
has many software options, but the following are highly recommended.
- adobe audition: adobe’s audio recording and editing software has many fancy features, but it has a simple way to let you send the audio output to two headphones on your pc.
- boom3d: This audio enhancement app for pc and mac offers a quick way to choose multiple outputs with just a few clicks.
- voicemeeter – if you prefer not to spend money on software, voicemeeter is a free software that allows you to use two headsets on your pc running windows 10 or lower.
buy a headphone splitter
A headphone splitter is a device that converts a headphone jack into two or more audio outputs.
is simple and easy to use. just plug the splitter into your pc and plug your headset into the splitter.
The most common splitter is the Y splitter, so named because it’s Y-shaped. The Y splitter splits the headphone jack into two audio outputs so you can use two headphones at the same time.
a multiple splitter splits the connector into more than two outputs. Some multi-splitters also have additional functionality that allows you to connect other devices, such as microphones.
bluetooth headset: how to use multiple bluetooth headset on pc
It is not so easy to connect two bluetooth headsets on one computer. in fact, there is no way to do this in the control panel.
however, you can adjust your pc settings to use a wired headset and a pair of bluetooth headsets.
if you insist on using two bluetooth headsets, you need to use an audio mixer or bluetooth adapter.
- use the control panel
- use audio mixer software
- buy a bluetooth adapter
use the control panel
go to the control panel and set stereo mix as the default device. for more detailed steps, see this section.
use audio mixer software
an audio mixer detects and displays all connected bluetooth headsets and allows you to choose two or more headsets you want to use. it also allows you to adjust the equalization settings for the best sound quality.
For a list of recommended audio mixers, please visit this section again.
buy a bluetooth adapter
a bluetooth adapter allows you to listen using up to seven bluetooth devices on your pc.
plug it into one of the usb ports and follow the installation instructions. once your computer recognizes it, the adapter lights up to let you know you can plug in your headphones.
mac: how to easily use multiple wired or bluetooth headsets
Setting up dual listen on a mac is much less complicated than it is on a pc. most of the time, all you need to do is adjust your mac’s settings.
- use system preferences to create a multi-output device
- use an audio mixer to manage the audio outputs
- buy a headphone splitter or a bluetooth adapter to listen on various devices
use system preferences to create a multiple output device
it’s much easier to use two or more headsets on a mac.
- In Finder, go to Applications. Then, go to Utilities.
- Open Audio Midi Setup.
- Click the + button on the lower-left corner and click Create Multi-Output Device.
- Once created, right-click on this label and select “Use This Device for Sound Output.”
- Check the boxes next to the audio devices you want to use.
- In the menu on the right, choose a Master Device.
- Next, choose a Slave Device by checking the box under Drift Connection.
- Launch System Preferences and open the Sound panel. From there, click the Output tab. And choose the Multi-Output Device you’ve just created.
use an audio mixer to manage audio outputs
In most cases, you don’t need to use an audio mixer to use multiple headphones on mac. the multiple output device configuration takes care of that.
but for energetic uses, an audio mixer allows you to make micro-adjustments to generate the highest quality sound possible. take a look at this section to find out which audio mixer software we recommend.
buy a headphone splitter or bluetooth adapter to listen on multiple devices
again, if you use two headphones, either wired or bluetooth, you usually don’t need a bluetooth splitter or adapter. you simply need to choose the mac multi-output device as your output.
but if you want to use more than two devices, a bluetooth splitter or adapter will give you that option.
By now, you should be using two headphones like a pro, no matter what type of device you’re using!
Whether this means being able to watch a movie or listen to a song with another person, or simply use different headphones for different activities, this guide has you covered. If you followed the steps above, we hope you managed to connect your two headsets for any and all of your requirements.
Did we help you connect your headset to your computer? what solution did you use to establish a dual listen connection? Did you find another solution that we didn’t mention above? let us know in the comments below.