I have a pair of 27" Cinema Displays attached to a Mac Pro running OS X El Capitan 10.11.3.

The displays have speakers. I'd like to play iTunes (or whatever else) through both sets of speakers at the same time and ideally, set the balance on the left hand display all the way to the left and the balance on the right display all the way to the right to give me a larger stereo sound stage.

System Preferences >> Sound only let's me select one Display Audio at a time.

Does anyway inherently or by third party exist to accomplish this?

1 Answer 1


Yes! You can create an aggregate device in Audio MIDI setup and play through that, which will play both sets of speakers.

  1. From the Finder, choose Utilities from the Go menu. Open the Audio MIDI Setup application.
  2. Click the Add (+) button on the bottom-left corner in the Audio Devices window and chose Create Aggregate Device:

enter image description here

  1. A new aggregate device appears in the list on the left side of the window. To rename the device, double-click it:

enter image description here

  1. With the new aggregate device selected, enable the checkbox labeled "Use" on the left side of the Audio Devices window. Do this for each device you want to include in the aggregate device. The order in which you check the boxes determines the order of the inputs and outputs in applications like Logic and MainStage. For example, the first box you checked will be inputs one and two, the second box checked will be three and four, and so on. Note: The list on the right shows the currently connected audio devices and the number of input and output channels for each one.
  2. To use the clock of a device as the master clock for all the combined devices, choose the device from the aggregate device’s Clock Source pop-up menu. Choose the device with the most reliable clock:

enter image description here

  1. If your audio devices all work with word clock, connect them together using a word clock cable. Connect the cable from the device you designated as Clock Source in step 5 to the input of each other device. Refer to your audio device product documentation for specific details.
  2. If any of your devices do not work with word clock, enable the Drift Correction checkbox for the devices that are not designated clock master.

You may have to ensure that you can use the given device for sound output:

  1. From the Finder, choose Utilities from the Go menu. Open the AudioMIDI Setup application.
  2. Control-click or right-click on the device you want to use and choose "Use this device for sound output" or "Use this device for sound input": enter image description here

If this doesn't work, follow the same process, but using "Multi-Output Device" instead, which creates an output-specific aggregate.

  • I configured an "Aggregate" device, but I still can't get them both to play at the same time when I've selected the specified device under Sounds. Any suggestions for what to try?
    – Jagra
    Mar 4, 2016 at 23:18
  • Playing around with this, I setup a "Multi-Output Device" added the two displays and it seems to work. Thx for getting me to right place.
    – Jagra
    Mar 4, 2016 at 23:26
  • @Jagra Glad to know it worked! Don't forget to mark the answer as correct for future viewers of the post.
    – JMY1000
    Mar 5, 2016 at 22:25
  • Add the "Multi-Output Device" reference to your answer and your get the win!
    – Jagra
    Mar 6, 2016 at 15:07
  • @Jagra Edited :)
    – JMY1000
    Mar 6, 2016 at 22:30

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