Ever since I started streaming years ago, I’ve struggled with an inability to hear my console game sound and streaming alerts at the same time. This is a relatively easy task if you have an audio mixer. Without one, it’s a bit more complicated.
I made the choice to only hear game sound, which means I’m oftentimes slow to respond when someone follows or subscribes. Some streamers will wear two sets of headphones to monitor both at the same time, but I didn’t want to deal with all of that extra headgear.
Recently, I found a way to split my monitor audio and output audio without a mixer. This solution may not work for everyone, as it does require specific hardware. However, if you do have something like this handy, this solution could dramatically improve your workflow!
The key to this particular solution is the headphone jack in your USB microphone. By default, it’s meant to allow you to monitor your voice. However, you can pipe more than just your vocal feed through that headphone jack.
I have a Blue Yeti Nano, which features a headphone jack. That said, a number of other USB mics have onboard headphone jacks. If you’re in the market for a USB microphone, consider grabbing one with this feature, as the extra routing capabilities can really improve the way you manage your stream. If you don’t have a USB microphone with a headphone jack, there might be a way to use this solution with whatever you have handy.
By default, you’re only going to hear your voice. Let’s add more audio sources to that feed. In OBS or Streamlabs OBS, go to your settings. Under “Audio”, there’s a heading called Advanced. Click on the dropdown for “Monitoring Device”. Select your microphone. Your microphone is now set up as the default monitoring device. If you do not have a USB mic, you might have another audio out that could do the trick.
Now go back to the mixer, click on the gear, and select “Advanced Audio Properties”. For every source you want to hear in your headphones, such as your game sound or desktop audio, select “Monitor and Output”.
Once that’s done, you should now be able to hear all of your sounds in one source!
The key to this configuration is the headphone jack on the microphone. If you try to monitor your sound through the desktop, your sound will duplicate and completely mess up your stream or recording. By having that extra output that you can listen to through headphones, you’re able to monitor everything without creating any weird audio loops.
For those struggling with routing all of their audio into one feed, there are probably other solutions to this challenge than the one I’ve proposed in this post. You could buy a mixer and route audio that way. You could also experiment with routing software such as VoiceMeeter. However, if this solution works for you, I’m glad to have helped!
[Purchasing through this Amazon affiliate link gives me a small commission without adding any extra cost or effort to you. Thanks for your support!]