monitor Recording Audio Through One Pair of Headphones

Hello, my friend and I use two headphones when we record via a splitter, I was wondering if there is a way so that I can monitor his vocals and audio just through my pair of headphones and not have his vocals play back through both headphones.

I don’t think you can do that without additional hardware. I’d guess that it would be possible with a full featured DAW (such as Reaper / ProTools / …) if you have two sound cards / audio devices attached to your PC.

Is there any free DAW I can use for audacity and then what would be the process to get it like how I wanted it?

I don’t think you’re asking the right questions. What is it that you are trying to do?
What is your current setup? (Please describe in sufficient detail that I could reproduce the same setup here).

I read that three times and I still can’t understand it.

Are you doing a musical performance or a two-microphone podcast? That’s important because a musical performance will need a backing or rhythm track on both headphones.

If it’s a podcast, what should appear in each headphone? Do you hear them and they hear you? You are describing a sound mixer, not a splitter and a computer. Moving the voices around like that is dangerous because you lose the ability to automatically set your own volume. You can’t hear your own system voice.


I am the engineer he is the musician; I want to Monitor his vocals through my headphones only, I want the instrumental to play through his headphones only. We use a splitter which allows us to use 2 headphones. Right now, the only setting I am seeing, and finding is where if I try to monitor his vocals it plays through both headphones, I want to set it to my pair of headphones only. So, he can sing and not hear himself which could cause confusion, and only I can hear him sing he is only hearing the instrumental and I am hearing his voice.
My setup is a desktop with a splitter that allows 2 pair of headphones and one mic, he is using the mic and a pair of headphones, I am only using a pair of headphones if I go to edit then preference and click recording and check mark software playthrough of input we both our hearing his vocals I want it designated to only my pair of headphones and to turn it off in his. we both are not using the microphone it is just him.
I recorded that video to show what I mean for better clarification

You can’t listen to Audacity to hear your own live voice. That’s always going to have an echo because of the system delays.

Overdubbing or full sound-on-sound has to be done listening to the microphone, microphone interface, or mixer if that’s what you’re using. Not the computer.

he can sing and not hear himself which could cause confusion

He needs to hear himself so to better control his own volume, timing, and expression.

This is one setup.

The little black interface on the left is sending the live voice to Audacity and the live headphones in perfect real time. Audacity is also sending the backing or rhythm track to the headphones. There are timing errors, but you tune those out in Audacity > Preferences > Devices > Latency.

If you set all that up perfectly, the performer hears himself and the backing track in perfect time and mix, and he produces a separate vocal track under the backing track, also in perfect time.

Since everything is perfect, you can go back to using your splitter for the headphones.

I don’t know of any way to get all that in without a microphone, interface, or mixer that can do those mixing tricks.

There is an overdubbing write-up here somewhere.



You can totally do simple overdubbing without all those tricks, but the performer can’t hear their own voice and you can’t either.

These are the settings.

Screen Shot 2022-07-22 at 12.27.03.png

I’m the one who is monitoring his voice and making adjustments not him so he doesn’t need to hear his voice I do the echo isn’t the problem it’s that his vocals are playing through both headphones when I only want them playing through one pair of headphones. He only needs to hear the instrumental going in his headphones not both I need both playing through mine.

What adjustments do you need to be making? Audacity does not allow any real-time adjustments during a recording and real-time adjustments during output won’t be available until the next release of Audacity, version 3.2

Regardless, it may not be possible to do what you want with Audacity and the existing hardware that you have. Note that Audacity can only output one thing (one track, one mix, etc.) at a time. Conceptually, if you could put the instrument on the left channel and the vocals on the right you might be able to make this work somehow, but I suspect it is not going to work for you. Even if you were able to get this to work, you still wouldn’t be able to make those real-time adjustments.

As Steve and Koz said, you need additional hardware.

I figured it out and got it to work thanks for everyone trying to help

I figured it out

How? This is a forum with users helping each other, not a help desk. If you have a technique nobody else knows about, tell us how you did it.


This is how you get to it on Windows 11.

Go to Settings on your computer, then Sound, scroll all the way down to “more sound settings” You need to turn on Stereo Mix on your computer to do that click the “Recording” setting and stereo mix should be there depending on your computer, Enable it so you can have two output sources once you do that you go to the Listen setting on the stereo Mix Properties turn on your microphone as one of your “playbacks through this device” and check the “Listen to device” setting once you do that you have two output sources.

I plugged my headphones into the microphone and had his plugged into the computer, so I am directly monitoring his vocals through the microphone there is no latency its perfect and on time he cannot hear his vocals only me, and if we both want to hear his vocals then we plug the splitter into the microphone and we both are able to hear him. And I am able to hear the instrumental as well as his vocals so it’s perfect. And when I said if I had to monitor his voice, I was talking about making sure there is no clipping and if I need to lower the volume of the microphone.

That is why I wanted to figure this out. So, I can make live adjustments to the volume of the microphone.

Thanks for the write-up.

Someone will correct me, “Stereo Mix” is a legacy service that’s been missing for a long time. That used to be the standard way to record internet sound and other recursive sound pathways. Then Microsoft pulled it out.

Now they put it back.

Thanks again.