What does the output device do?

I get what the input options do (for recording sh*t), but what’s the “output” for?
Is this only relevant when I’m playing back a recording, but not at all during recording?
Bonus question, I currently have three output options:

  1. Microsoft Sound Mapper - Output
  2. Speakers (Realtek High Definiti
  3. Realtek Digital Output (Realtek
    Listening in (with headphones connected to the “headphone” 3.5 mm cinch socket on the PC ) works with options 1 and 2 but not 3, why? Where does Realtek Digital Output output? :question:
    Thank you.

Audacity 3.1.3 portable on Windows 10

That’s correct. Recording is input and playback is output. In Audacity they are selected as [u]Recording and Playback Devices[/u].

works with options 1 and 2 but not 3, why?

Because your headphones are not digital. :wink: I assume your soundcard has a digital S/PDIF output.

So your output device can be used during recording if you have Tranport Option > Overdub or Software Playthrough selected.

Thank you! :smiley: