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I think this is a pretty simple concept. I have one sound card and one pair of bluetooth headphones. I want to play my audio through both my sound card and my bluetooth headphones.

I believe Windows has checkboxes allows you to "check" outputs to enable/disable them, but Ubuntu seemingly has the equivalent of radio selectors (you can only select one at a time).

Bonus Question: On a similar note, I have 5 analog output channels on my sound card (in addition to my digital & HDMI audio) -- I would like to be able to determine what comes out of each of those ports (e.g. "front speakers" on all 5 or "front", "center", "back", etc).

Thanks in advance!

75

With paprefs Install paprefs you have access to a virtual output device that enables simultaneous output to all attached sound cards/devices:

paprefs

The additionally created audio output device for simultaneous output may be selected in the "Output" tab from pulseaudio sound preferences menu:

enter image description here

In this example it is shown for a HDMI-device but as soon as your Bluetooth device is recognized it will also be available for simultaneous output.

The changes may need a restart of pulseaudio to take effect either by logging out and back in to your session or by running pulseaudio -k in a terminal.

  • 1
    This gets the job done. As I get deeper into audio development, I would really like to be able to select specific devices and/or ports, though. – Nathan J. Brauer Nov 13 '11 at 3:14
  • 1
    @NathanJ.Brauer: you may be interested in this answer. For changing ports see also the pulseaudio wiki I linked to there. – Takkat Nov 13 '11 at 7:43
  • but what if i want to use the built-in speakers along with an audio line that does not have bluetooth? i used this solution but since the audio jack is not connected to something that has an audio card, sound options does not recognize it... – user38744 Dec 21 '11 at 5:59
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    oh never mind sudo apt install paprefs works – tatsu Jan 28 '18 at 14:18
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    this one doesn't work for me in 18.04. If you know how I can do this with ALSA please help me here: askubuntu.com/q/1042485/586277 – ICE Jun 2 '18 at 19:38
20

Ubuntu

I've just confirmed this solution (from 4 years ago) still works on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Install

Open terminal and type sudo apt-get install paprefs go to the tab exactly as per the picture above and select the option.

Initial Run

Then; remaining in terminal, type pulseaudio -k to kill and restart pulseaudio.

Then go to your sound settings and you will see the option to output to multiple sound devices.

Props to whoever wrote paprefs it's a brilliant little piece of software I would actually like to see included in Ubuntu without requiring additional installation.

Apple Macs OS X

A similar solution is available via an included piece of software and whats so great about pulseaudio is that the sound seems to be perfectly in-sync from both outputs so it must be adjusting for the lag as well which is why its so impressive; otherwise we would be hearing a slightly delayed version from one output and another.

  • 1
    thanks for doing the work to check if solution is still valid! – peter karasev Jan 12 '16 at 15:58
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    This also works on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS – aggsol Jan 21 '17 at 14:42
5

To complement the excellent answer from Takkat, I found the default name given to the new device was excessively long and distorted the Sound Settings dialog. In order to shorten that name, I had to additionally execute the following command:

gconftool --set --type string /system/pulseaudio/modules/combine/args0 sink_properties=device.description=Combined

Sound settings with combined device

4

I could not get Takkat's proposal work out of the box in Debian 8.7, although I restarted the system. I assume you have completed Takkat's proposal in installing paprefs. Extension on Takkat's answer which works based on Arch Linux wiki where keep analog input and Pulse calls that "duplex"

# /etc/pulse/default.pa
# http://unix.stackexchange.com/a/180374/16920
load-module module-alsa-sink device=hdmi:0
load-module module-combine-sink sink_name=combined
set-default-sink combined

Then restart pulseaudio:

pulseaudio -k
0

In Kubuntu 18.04, Plasma 5.12 paprefs is not needed, as a similar setting is already there:

enter image description here

A new output option should become available after reboot, called “Simultaneous output”.

enter image description here

Or in pavucontrol:

enter image description here

protected by Community May 17 '16 at 20:27

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