How to Play Music Through Mic in Windows? (The Complete Guide)

Lindsay Hayes

If you want to play music through your microphone the way you might have seen others do when gaming, you have multiple options. You can directly play music from a speaker into your microphone, which is the easiest but lowest-quality option. You can use features like Stereo Mix or software like Virtual Audio Cable or VoiceMeeter with a soundboard app for higher quality.

I watch Twitch streams often, so a lot of the visual and audio effects that streamers pull off intrigue me. When I saw a streamer playing music through his mic directly to his friends and opponents, I rushed to figure out how to do it. Fortunately, I found several effective options.

So, if you're looking for how to play music through mic when gaming or streaming, this is the article for you. Let's get right into it.


What Are My Options for Playing Music Through Microphone Input?

You might have played against opponents who somehow manage to get music or audio to play through their mic as clearly as their voice does. Or, perhaps you've seen a streamer use it to torment opponents or entertain teammates.

Either way, if you want a similar effect and play music through mic input, there are a few ways you can achieve this. We'll talk about a few of them.

Turned On Laptop with Deity Microphone

Playing Music Directly into the Mic

The easiest way for you to play audio through your mic would be to play it from a speaker or your phone directly into your microphone.

Of course, while this is the easiest way to play sounds that other people can hear, it probably won't sound that great. At least definitely not as good as it would be if you used any other method to play it more directly.

Regardless, of whether this option is the best for you, I'll give you a few tips that can help you get the best audio quality with this method.

Using Stereo Mix (or What U Hear)

The simplest way for you to play music through mic input is by using a feature that many audio drivers support.

It is called Stereo Mix, though, on some sound cards, it might be called What U Hear. Regardless, they are basically the same thing and it is only available on Windows.

The Stereo Mix option is treated by Windows as being an input device, so you can set it for input in apps that allow more than just the default app.

What comes in through this input device is everything that you would normally hear from your PC (hence, What U Hear). This means that the sounds from your OS and apps can be channeled to be picked up by other apps, like streaming software or Discord.

Black Microphone and Laptop on the Office Table

However, you need to enable Stereo Mix before you'll be able to use it. This is pretty easy to do, so follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for "Control Panel" and open it.
  3. Once you're in Control Panel, click "Hardware and Sound".
  4. Select "Sound".
  5. Stereo Mix is typically disabled by default, so you might not see it here. Go to the Recording tab and right-click anywhere in the window.
  6. Ensure that "Show Disabled Devices" and "Show Disconnected Devices" have checks next to them. If not, click on each one to turn it on.
  7. Now, you should see a greyed-out option called Stereo Mix or What U Hear. However, if you don't see it, your sound card or drivers likely don't support this feature.
  8. Right-click on Stereo Mix.
  9. Press "Enable".

Now, you can open any application that lets you change your input or recording devices and set "Stereo Mix" as one of them to play sound through your mic.

However, this will play absolutely any sound that comes from your computer, so keep that in mind.

Also, you should note that if your streaming software doesn't allow you to have multiple microphone inputs, you'll have to either choose your voice or your PC audio, but you won't be able to play both using this method.

Using Virtual Audio Cable

Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) is a Windows application that works in exactly the same way as Stereo Mix does. This means that if your PC doesn't support Stereo Mix but you still want to play music through your mic input, you can use this instead.

The good thing is that it is also incredibly easy to use, if not easier than using the built-in option. The only potential downside is that it is not a free application.

There's a 30-minute trial version that gives you access to all features, and a Lite version that locks out some features but will allow you to use it that way forever.

Here's what you need to do to get Virtual Audio Cable up and running:

  1. The first step is to download the application. I recommend getting the self-installing EXE version of the app. If you'd rather purchase it, you can do that from here.
  2. Go to the download location and double-click the file to launch the installer.
  3. Follow the steps to complete the installation.
  4. Once done, VAC may set itself as your default mic and playback device. However, you can easily change this back by going into Control Panel by clicking the prompt that the installer brings up.

Now that you've set this up and the VAC drivers are installed, you'll see that it can be selected as one of your input devices. Any application that you set VAC as an input device in will receive any music or audio that you play from the computer.

If you have streaming software that will let you set more than just one microphone, you can put your actual mic as one and VAC as the other. This will let you play audio through your mic.

A Desktop Setup for Podcasting

Using Audio Mixer Software

One disadvantage of Stereo Mix and VAC is that they will play absolutely all sound that comes from your computer, including system sounds. This means you have to be extra careful not to play sound that you don't want the people on the other end to hear.

This is where virtual audio mixer programs come in. They count as their own input devices and paired with a soundboard, you can make sure that they only play music and sound effects that you actually want others to hear.

For this, we'll use VoiceMeeter and an app called EXP Soundboard, though you can use any other soundboard to play music.

  1. Download VoiceMeeter and EXP Soundboard. Once done, install both applications by following the installation prompts.
  2. Now, you'll need to go into your sound settings to manage audio devices. Let's open Control Panel to do this. Open the Start menu and type "Control Panel". Open it.
  3. Click "Hardware and Sound".
  4. Press "Sound" to open the sound control panel.
  5. Go into the "Recording" tab.
  6. Right-click on "VoiceMeeter Output" and choose "Set as Default Device". This will basically channel the audio from your computer into VoiceMeeter by making it the default microphone.
  7. Now, open your soundboard app. These instructions will assume that you're using EXP Soundboard.
  8. At the bottom of the window, you'll see some basic audio settings. Open the drop-down menu under "1st Output" and choose "VoiceMeeter Input".
  9. You can add sound effects or music to this soundboard software using the "Add" button. You can also assign hotkeys so that a single button press will play music for you. This is perfect if there are specific sound effects you'll be playing a lot.
  10. Now, open VoiceMeeter.
  11. Click "Select Input Device" under the first hardware input.
  12. Choose your microphone.
  13. Now, go to the "Hardware Out" section at the far right and click "A1".
  14. Choose your headphones or speakers. This way, when you play music through your mic, you'll also hear it.

That should be it. You can now give it a test run by opening the using Windows' Voice Recorder. Click the microphone button to start your audio recording.

Now, speak through your mic and play music from the soundboard, then end the audio. If you set up your audio devices right, you should hear both your voice and the music you played in the recording.

How to Play Music Through Mic on Discord?

Discord is one of the most popular apps that people want to play music and sounds through. Typically, it will only accept audio that comes from your default microphone, but if you used any of the software methods above, you can play music too.

If you used Stereo Mix, VAC, or an audio mixer, follow the steps below to play music through your Discord microphone:

  1. Open the Discord app.
  2. Open the app settings by clicking on the cog icon.
  3. Choose "Voice & Video" from the left panel.
  4. Open the drop-down menu under Input and choose the appropriate option, for instance, Stereo Mix or VoiceMeeter.
  5. Now scroll down further into the sound settings until you get to "Input Mode". Make sure it is set to "Voice Activity".
  6. Right under, toggle "Automatically determine input sensitivity" on.

Now, if you set it right, you'll be able to play music through your microphone on Discord.

Black Rode Condenser Microphone Beside Computer Monitor

However, since Discord only allows for one mic input in its sound settings, if you use Stereo Mix or VAC, you can only play music.

If you use VoiceMeeter, you'll be able to play songs and talk, which is great.

Read more resources

Final Words

You've probably seen people play music with high-quality through their mic when playing games or streaming. The thing is, it isn't actually that hard to do.

By using something like Stereo Mix or Virtual Audio Cable, you can play sound directly from your PC. So, if you decide to play YouTube music, anyone on the other end will hear it. However, for playing sound a bit more conveniently, soundboard apps paired with an audio mixer like VoiceMeeter make things easiest.

Was this article able to show you how you can be playing games, stream, use Discord, and play music through your mic? If so, take a look at our related articles to learn much more.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
Related posts
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. CPU Forever is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon (.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Copyright 2024 CPU Forever, all rights reserved.