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

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.

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

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.)

  6. Select a Master Device in the drop-down menu.

  7. Tick Drift Correction for the slave device in the Audio Device list.

  8. Launch System Preferences (select  -> System Preferences... from the menu bar) and open the Sound pane.

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


Top Rated Comments

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5 weeks ago
In my day, we used a headphone jack splitter.
Rating: 16 Votes
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5 weeks ago

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.



Be quiet man, they might remove that feature if they find out people like and use it
Rating: 9 Votes
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5 weeks ago
would love to have the same feature in iOS devices..
Rating: 6 Votes
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5 weeks ago
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.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

No there are still some airlines that prohibited BT onboard. Such as Air Euroa.


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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago
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).
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago

This is great but more often I want the inverse: one pair of headphones (usually Bluetooth) streaming audio from several devices simultaneously. Eg. Listening to audio on my work computer, pick up my phone and listen to a short message, then quickly resume working—without going into menus on each device to switch.

I do this regularly with my Bose QC35 headphones. They connect to my iPhone and MBP simultaneously, so if a call comes in while I'm listening to something on the computer, I just pause what I'm listening to and take the call. No switching or selecting required. I wish my AirPods would do the same thing.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago
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.
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 weeks ago

Certainly there could be an easier way....


Yes. It should not be this hard. It definitely shouldn’t require the use of another app.

And, there should be a way to do this on an iPhone, particularly the 7, 8, and X considering Apple removed the headphone jack — and there’s no Lightning audio splitter, either. Yes you can still do it with the Lightning audio adapter, and an old school splitter, but then you can’t use your expensive AirPods, nor the included Lightning EarPods.

Apple pushing everyone to Bluetooth and then failing to support basic functions people used the headphone jack for before is ridiculous. Maybe the first year, but certainly not the second ...

And don’t get me started about how you can’t use Lightning headphones on a Mac, nor any non iOS product for that matter.
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 weeks ago

Really? So you could for example listen to music on your phone and watch a video with audio on your Mac at the same time?

Yes. For example, I can listen to music on my phone and simultaneously watch and listen to a YouTube video on my Mac, and if a call comes in, it mutes the audio from the iPhone music and the YouTube video on the Mac to announce the call, then resumes both automatically when the call ends.
Rating: 2 Votes
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