How-To Listen to Your Console Game Audio and Streaming Alerts at the Same Time While Streaming on Twitch or YouTube

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!

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5 thoughts on “How-To Listen to Your Console Game Audio and Streaming Alerts at the Same Time While Streaming on Twitch or YouTube

  1. Browneyedgirl October 11, 2021 / 5:24 PM

    I have been looking for a way around the two headphone problem for such a long time now!! I searched again after nearly a year since last looking for a solution and here I am!! Thank you so much!! Truly! My head and my ears thank you so much because now only one headset is required. Lifesaver!! Genuinely words can’t express how happy and grateful I am for this, you legend!

  2. Daz1actionhero November 17, 2021 / 5:15 AM

    This is fab. I am still struggling with one thing however. How can I hear chat from the Xbox as well as the game audio and stream alerts please? I have a headset that plugs into the Xbox controller, do i need to get one that is for the laptop?

    • Browneyedgirl November 17, 2021 / 7:07 AM

      Not the person you asked but I thought I would try help anyway.
      A headset for laptop won’t allow your Xbox friends to hear you, I believe. If you’re using an elgato, I think what you need is a chat link cable, or alternatively a cheap solution I use is a second microphone connected to console. It makes all console chat come through the hdmi so the elgato picks it up the same as game audio, and the microphone let’s my team mates hear me too. The downside to this though is that the chat will come through as the same volume as your game audio and could be too loud, which is why a chat link cable may be better.
      Because headsets connected to controllers get the chat audio, it doesn’t come through the hdmi for the elgato to pick it up.
      Connecting your headset to laptop would have the chat come through exactly the same as game audio BUT you’d have the issue of how your team mates could hear you. A USB microphone might be a workaround for you for that but with the caveat of less volume control, or have a look into chat link cables.
      Hope that helps, even though I’m not who you asked lol

    • Jett November 17, 2021 / 7:59 AM

      Yeah that part is messy. I use Discord on my PC for chat, as it gets picked up by streaming software.

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