I'm wondering if anyone knows if there is a way to play one song on speakers, yet a different song through headphones, using a Mac. I use songs as examples for any given audio. The way I assume this would work is by having some kind of external device that plugs into the aux port on the Mac, that in turn would have multiple inputs for the aux jack for your speakers and also the headphones/earbud jack, and then you could set your web browser playing YouTube to the speakers and your iTunes to the headphones, or something along those lines.

Has anyone heard of anything that would enable you to listen to one song on headphones while the rest of the room listens to another, without interference between the two?

  • if you found a (not very good) headphone splitter, then split the outputs (in iTunes one would be left) and the other right. Depending on this, however, it will only be mono audio through both sources. (you could split something to make this work... - Best of luck!
    – bret7600
    Jan 26, 2018 at 18:15
  • This is going to be yet another plug from me for Audio Hijack - see apple.stackexchange.com/questions/203004/… & apple.stackexchange.com/questions/271164/… for examples. This might not be possible if plugging in the headphones simply removes 'speakers' as an audio out, in which case you'd need a cheap USB audio device as one output.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 27, 2018 at 7:24
  • The only "built in" functionality I have seen that offers anything similar is in chat apps like skype which allow you to configure audio so you could have music playing out of internal or external speakers but skype sound through a headset, or vice versa. So it is possible but is reliant on the app being able to select it's output.
    – Jon
    Feb 6, 2018 at 14:35
  • maybe >this discussion and >this article can be of help. They explain how to create and use Multiple Audio IO in OsX. Feb 16, 2018 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


You can use a piece of hardware called a MIXER to take two (or more) audio signals, mix them together, and have one OR MORE outputs. For example: Behringer XENYX Q502USB / Audio interface.

There is a learning curve for operating a mixer (where to plug in the sound source / what cables to use), but if you want to take recording to the next level, you might enjoy getting a mixer.

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