Virtual Audio Cable Enables Multiple Audio Outputs in Windows 7

Windows 7 by design does not support multiple audio output and that is the limitation that many Windows 7 users are not happy with. Some people may want to play sound simultaneously to both speaker and earphone but that is not possible. Once you’ve plugged in the earphone, Windows 7 automatically recognizes it and routes all sound to the earphone. For more complicated scenarios such as wanting to output the sound from a computer game to the earphone while the main speakers plays music from a media player, then it would seemed even more impossible.

Thanks to Virtual Audio Cable, it offers multiple possibilities on how you want to transfer the audio streams between applications and/or devices. Before immediately scrolling to the bottom of this article to download and install Virtual Audio Cable, please be noted that this tool does not work alone just under operating system control. It requires configuration and also must be worked together with audio applications. The official website of Virtual Audio Cable contains a lot of text and jargon which makes it difficult for any non-audiophiles to configure and use it. After spending some time trying out VAC, I personally believe it is best to try to get it working on one or two scenarios to understand how it works, then only configure it to work with your situation.

Scenario 1: Output audio from Windows Media Player to both speakers and earphone.

1. Download and install Virtual Audio Cable. By default Virtual Audio Cable already creates 1 virtual cable. You can verify this at the Virtual Audio Cable Control Panel. There is no need to touch any of the settings at the VAC control panel.

Virtual Audio Cable Control Panel

2. You have to configure Windows Media Player to use the Virtual Audio Cable as the default audio device for sound playback. You can either set this globally by going to Windows Control Panel > Sound > set Line 1 as the default device OR individually at Windows Media Player Tools > Options > Devices tab > select Speakers, click the Properties button and set Line 1 (Virtual Audio Cable) as the audio device. Which method you should use depends on the software if it allows you to set the individual audio device for the program. We’ll use the global method in this scenario.

VAC Default Device

3. After setting Line 1 as the default audio device, playing any music from Windows Media Player won’t have any sound because we haven’t configure the Line 1 to output to which device. Now run Audio Repeater (KS) shortcut from Start menu. The most important configuration here is the wave in and wave out. Wave in will be Virtual Cable 1 and Wave out as HD Audio Headphone/Speakers, then click the Start button. This audio repeater will now route all sound from Cable 1 to your earphone.

Audio Repeater Headphone

4. Run the Audio Repeater (KS) shortcut AGAIN from Start menu, select Virtual Cable 1 as wave in , HD Audio Speaker as wave out and click the Start button. You may have already guessed it, this repeater routes Cable 1 to your speakers as well.

Audio Repeater Speaker

5. Play any music at Windows Media Player and you should hear the audio on your speakers and earphone as well.

Scenario 2: Output music from Windows Media Player to speakers and Plants vs. Zombies game sound to earphone.

1. Download and install Virtual Audio Cable. By default Virtual Audio Cable already creates 1 virtual cable. You can verify this at the Virtual Audio Cable Control Panel. There is no need to touch any of the settings at the VAC control panel.

2. We will configure Windows Media Player to use the speakers as sound playback. Go to Tools > Options > Devices tab > select Speakers, click the Properties button and set Speakers as the audio device.

Windows Media Player Sound Playback

3. Since Plants vs. Zombies doesn’t allow us to select which audio device to use, we are forced to set Line 1 as the default audio playback device so that we can use Audio Repeater to route the game sound to the earphone. Go to Windows Control Panel > Sound > and set Line 1 as the default device.

VAC Default Device

4. Run Audio Repeater (KS) shortcut from Start menu. Select Virtual Cable 1 as wave in, the Earphone as wave out and click the Start button.

Audio Repeater Headphone

5. Now you can play music from Windows Media Player which will output the sound to the speakers but the sound from Plants vs. Zombies will be sent to your earphone.

For more examples, you can view the Examples content from Virtual Audio Cable help file. Virtual Audio Cable supports Windows XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/Win7 platform (32-bit and 64-bit). The trial version supports up to only 3 cables and adds female voice reminder each several seconds. The full version of Virtual Audio Cable cost $30 USD.

Download Virtual Audio Cable

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