low record level; headphones not monitoring

I have just started using a laptop (running Windows 10 1903) to record my LP collection using Audacity 2.3.3. Because I wanted to use a pair of headphones for monitoring and my laptop only has an “either or” headphone socket meaning you can either record or monitor but not both at the same time, I bought a USB interface to take the audio output from my amplifier and insert a signal to be recorded in my laptop; this works fine but I have a couple of niggles I hope you may be able to help with.

  1. The maximum record level on Audacity is a tad low (.5 db) which I could do with increasing, but the Microphone Array USB PnP slider is at its highest level.
  2. I can’t use the headphones for monitoring whilst recording, but they work perfectly to review a recording.

Any suggestions that you can make that can correct these minor niggles would be much appreciated.

What’s the make and model?
Does it have a headphone socket?

If your USB interface does NOT have a headphone socket, then enable “Software Playthrough” (“Transport menu > Transport Options”).

I’m using a Lenovo U310 Laptop, which has a single headphone socket which has to be a line input or a microphone input (an ‘either or’ option - can only be a headphone socket or and audio socket, not both together) which is why I bought a simple EzCap USB audio capture interface (which does not have a separate headphone socket) to take the record output from my amplifier and record that on the laptop via the EzCAP in a USB3 socket.

I’ve changed the Transport Options to ‘Software playthrough’ - still not able to record and monitor through the headphones, but can playback a recording through them.