How to Output Your Mac's Audio to Two Pairs of Headphones at the Same Time

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Next time you're on a flight with someone and you both want to watch a video on your Mac without disturbing other passengers, try this convenient solution for sharing your Mac's audio among two pairs of headphones.


    The method described below should work regardless of whether you're using one wired pair and one wireless pair of headphones, two pairs of Bluetooth headphones (i.e. two sets of AirPods), or even several pairs.

    How to Output Mac Audio to Two Audio Devices
    1. Make sure that the headphones you want to use together are paired with your Mac over Bluetooth and/or connected via the headphone jack.
    2. Launch the Audio MIDI Setup app, located in Applications/Utilities.

      Click the plus (+) button at the lower left of the Audio Devices window and select Create Multi-Output Device.

      Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the Multi-Output Device in the list that you just created, and select Use This Device For Sound Output. (You can also opt to Play Alerts and Sound Effects Through This Device from the same menu.)

      Tick the sets of headphones that you want to use in the Audio Device list. (If one is a wired pair, tick Built-in Output.)

      Select a Master Device in the drop-down menu.
    3. Tick Drift Correction for the slave device in the Audio Device list.
    4. Launch System Preferences (select ? -> System Preferences... from the menu bar) and open the Sound pane.

      Click the Output tab and choose the Multi-Output Device or "Aggregate device" in the list, and you should be good to go.

    Article Link: How to Output Your Mac's Audio to Two Pairs of Headphones at the Same Time
  2. Elijen macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2012
    I wish I could only pair my single Bose QC with my Mac, but it seems to be bugged in the Mojave beta.
  3. krakman, Aug 17, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018

    krakman macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009
    Great tip, I will use this at home, unfortunately use of bluetooth or wifi during flights is prohibited in Europe.


    I stand corrected!

    I regularly travel between England and Spain and the air stewards always ask for phones and devices to be put in Airplane mode which turns off all transmissions from my phone. I just use wired headphones.

    However it seems bluetooth can be reenabled whilst in airplane mode and googling restrictions it seems it is fine to use during flights.

    "All Bluetooth accessories (for example wireless keyboard, headphones, etc) may only be used during the flight but must remain switched off for taxi, take-off and landing"
  4. KGB7 Suspended


    Jun 15, 2017
    Rockville, MD
    In my day, we used a headphone jack splitter.
  5. Expobill macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2018
    step 1: With your box cutter, open the headphone package encased in plastic. (make sure the pilot had turned off the "fasten seat belt" sign)
  6. Narcaz macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2013
    Good to know, but i am disappointed that Apple is holding back the Bluetooth 5.0 dual audio feature for new Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. I can imagine a few of scenarios, where it would be useful to pair two bluetooth headphones/speakers to one device. Samsung offers this feature since the release of the galaxy 8 (2017).
  7. Blackstick macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
  8. nathan_reilly macrumors member


    Apr 2, 2016
    to me, this is one of the greatest strengths of macs in the audio sphere...I often create multi in/ multi out devices that span a few firewire/USB devices to address my signal routing needs. Ableton/Mainstage/Logic all play along just fine. Whatever foundation apple laid (years ago) to support this, is phenomenal.
  9. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
  10. anandhts macrumors newbie


    Jan 15, 2017
    would love to have the same feature in iOS devices..
  11. BMcCoy macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    No it's not.

    Bluetooth is fine on all flights, except during taxi, take-off and landing.
    Wi-fi is allowed on flights that operate in-flight wi-fi connectivity.
  12. javco macrumors member

    May 10, 2011
    Just yesterday I was wondering how to do this. Thank you (=
  13. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I still have one for flights ;)
  14. vicviper789 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013

    Be quiet man, they might remove that feature if they find out people like and use it
  15. makr macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2016
    You are allowed to use both during flight except during takeoff and landing.
  16. jacjustjac macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2008
    New York, NY
    So the Mac’s Bluetooth radio can actually support two Bluetooth headphones at once? I find that very hard to believe. Only Bluetooth 5 added this functionality, and I didn’t think Apple enabled it.
  17. patjem macrumors member


    Nov 28, 2007
    No there are still some airlines that prohibited BT onboard. Such as Air Euroa.
  18. Ishayu macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2012
    That's an amazing feature! The only thing that could make it better is if you could go into system prefs, hold down alt, and select multiple output sources there as well. Just to make it easier :)
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, it can and does support 2 Bluetooth headphones simultaneously. I've been using this multi-output device setup for years on my early 2015 MBP. One thing to note, though, is that when you're outputting to 2 headphones in this way, you lose volume control. You can adjust the volume of each headset with its own volume control (if it has it), but your Mac volume control is disabled.
  20. BrennanWDavis macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Are you sure about this? I flew on several different European airlines across Europe about a month ago, and was using Bluetooth headphones without any comment from the flight crew. There were lots of people using Bluetooth devices on all of the planes I flew on.
  21. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    It's worth noting that the newer Bose bluetooth headphones with the newest firmware can do this with any bluetooth source (including iOS devices). You can use the Bose app to temporarily link two of their bluetooth headphones together. For example, the audio goes from your iPad to the first set of headphones, and then those headphones transmit it to the second set of headphones. There is no lag between the headphones, and the audio stays in sync with the video you're watching.

    I just did this a few weeks ago with my wife, and it was surprisingly great. The only downside was that the headphone batteries seemed to drain a little faster than normal, but I can't be sure about that.
  22. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    I really wish this could be done on Apple TV.
  23. BMcCoy macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    I was replying to the post saying that Bluetooth is banned in Europe.
    It's not.

    It's not banned in Europe - the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has ratified the regulations permitting Bluetooth as well as other aspects of personal electronic devices (PEDs), confirming the low risk of interference to the aircraft navigation and communications systems.

    However, airlines remain free to apply more restrictive policies.
    The vast majority of airlines that operate in Europe have adopted the EASA regulations in full.
    Some have adopted modified rules, depending on the type model of aircraft. Some have adopted some restrictions relating to aircraft altitude.

    So Bluetooth is not banned.
    A few small airlines have some restrictions, but all the big names are fine.
  24. Mikel30 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Coincidentally, I tried this on a flight recently. I used one pair of bluetooth headphones and one pair of wired headphones. However, when I selected the multi-output device, I couldn't change the volume anymore. It's grayed out and at max volume. Any ideas?


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