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Output audio through 2 different devices at the same time

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 20, 2013 3:24:27 PM

Hey there first time posting on Tom's... Hopefully I get a good answer ahaha

Here's what I'm trying to do. I have an HDTV connected to my computer to serve as a monitor. I used an HDMI connection so therefore I get the computer's sound through the TV. I also have a 5.1 digital surround system that I use, connected through a Optical Digital Audio Cable.

Now my problem is, I can change between the 2 devices by going into "Playback Devices" (right clock the sound icon in the bottom right corner) and then setting either audio device as the "Default Device". However I want to play audio from both of them at once, that way I don't have to switch the settings everytime I decide to use surround sound.

Is there any simple way to do this? Or do I just have to resign myself to switching in between each time?

My specs are

Asus M5A97 motherboard

Asus Radeon HD 7850 graphics card with HDMI out (this is what my TV is connected to and gets Audio through)

Realtek HD Audio (onboard), I have both regular jacks and an Optical jack, I use the optical jack for my surround sound.


Thanks in advance for your help! :]
a b $ Windows 7
January 20, 2013 4:51:55 PM

This issue has actually came up once before.

You would have to have two physical audio devices (in this case cards) in order to achieve what you are wanting to do or configure Windows to behave the way you want it.

Look HERE for some information on how to accomplish it and there is also a video tutorial HERE but it is based off XP but should be relatively similar.

More info can also be found HERE .

Link to the previous Tom's response found HERE .
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August 30, 2013 5:50:51 AM

A few months late on this. Windows doesn't directly support this but if you have a proper sound card (I have a Realtek HD Audio sound card on-board my mobo) then you can achieve this capability. I made a video on YouTube with steps in the description. http://youtu.be/Jb_VU8LfQZA
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August 30, 2013 6:34:37 PM

Matthew Harris said:
A few months late on this. Windows doesn't directly support this but if you have a proper sound card (I have a Realtek HD Audio sound card on-board my mobo) then you can achieve this capability. I made a video on YouTube with steps in the description. http://youtu.be/Jb_VU8LfQZA


I have a Realtek HD on-board audio as well. I also have my TV connected to my graphics card via HDMI which provides the audio signal to the TV. Is there a way to have the sound from my TV via HDMI and my Surround sound via SP/DIF at the same time?
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August 30, 2013 8:26:45 PM

Luke Barker said:

I have a Realtek HD on-board audio as well. I also have my TV connected to my graphics card via HDMI which provides the audio signal to the TV. Is there a way to have the sound from my TV via HDMI and my Surround sound via SP/DIF at the same time?


Yes. If you follow the video, then your HDMI TV will be listed as a PLAYBACK DEVICE in the Playback tab (Probably a model number which would appear cryptic). This would be the device that you choose in the "Playback through this device:" drop down menu in the "Stereo Mix" properties dialog. Then you would set SP/DIF as your default audio device. Whatever plays in the SP/DIF output will be routed to Stereo Mix which is set to route the audio to your HDMI TV.

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November 10, 2013 5:45:19 PM

I came to this thread as it was the first one that came up Googling, output sound two audio devices same time, and i found no real solutions, except that using a prog. such as VLC player, i can output sound from two difference sources to two different devices, but not the same source to two different devices (without more hardware).

I am under W/8.1, with a ASRock 970 EXTREME3 with onboard audio. But i also have a (rare) $6.00 USB powered FM transmitter that broadcasts thru the USB (though i had to take the cover to get 16' of straight line broadcast) so i can be broadcasting continually to a FM radio which anyone in the next room can turn off. One of those $1.05 (w/ S+H) Ebay sound card should work if thru a headphone or another line in device.

To play two different streams under this setup to two different devices, have the USB sound card plugged in and recognized under the Windows Sound Mixer, (r. click on speaker icon in system tray>Playback devices) but set the speaker thru the PC sound card (such as Realtek audio device) as the default playback audio.

Next, play a file or folder with VLC player, and if it plays thru the speakers then leave it playing. If not go to Tools>Preferences>Audio and choose Direct X audio output, and under that choose Speakers ( RealTek audio device) or whatever your PC sound card is), hit Save and then play a new file (Media>Open..) with this same instance of the VLC player.

Next, launch another instance of the VLC player, but before playing anything go again to Tools>Preferences>Audio and choose Direct X audio output, and under that choose Speaker (USB sound device, hit Save and then navigate to the file or folder you want to play and it should play thru the USB.

Note that the last saved option is what the VLC player will use when you use it next time. Also, streaming media thru other applications such as your browser will play thru your default sound device chosen under the Windows sound mixer.

There should be a way to get Windows to play thru 2 different devices at the same time, as the Test sound will work under a non-default device (if available) even the default device is playing.

More important are the things we listen to.
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January 5, 2014 9:00:05 AM

I dont know if this will help anyone, but I had the same issue...
I first hooked up my headset (tritton ax720) and my SP2500 speakers, to my XFI Titanium HD, first it didnt work (tried all the "what u hear" and VAC things, but the audio wasnt any good on the secondary device) I then thought that maybe i can output one through my onboard audio, i installed the driver but windows didnt even pick the onboard soundcard up...
But for some very odd reason both of the outputs (SPDIF and analog) work now! without "what u hear" and any invisible cables, i have no idea how this worked but I now have output to both devices and the audio quality is the same! :) 
Good luck to anyone with the same issue, i know it can be frustrating!

PS! really old account (didnt even know i have one) so dont mind the username :p 
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February 9, 2014 6:31:24 PM

"A few months late on this. Windows doesn't directly support this but if you have a proper sound card (I have a Realtek HD Audio sound card on-board my mobo) then you can achieve this capability. I made a video on YouTube with steps in the description. http://youtu.be/Jb_VU8LfQZA" (cant get quotes to work right)


I tried this several times in the past few years, and had about given up. After watching your youtube video, I had it working in 2 minutes. I'm shocked that it worked (stereo mix was listed as a recording device) and how much better it sounds (didnt think the TV set would enhance a surround setup much). Thanks for posting your video. I'd thank you on YT but dont have an account there yet.

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April 19, 2014 12:08:23 AM

Hi guys,
I need to play audioprocessed by my usb xonar u3 (with virtual surround process ina stereo signal) through a stereo headset connected by a usb dongle (playstation wireless gold headset 2.0) that don't support virtual surround in windows.

Is this possible?
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