Pre-listening with headphones

Q. How do I listen to a song on one deck using headphones while the other is playing out live?

To be able to pre-listen to a deck using headphones, you will either need two sound cards or a sound card with multiple outputs, such as a 5.1 surround sound card or preferably a dedicated DJ sound card (E.g: Numark DJIO.)

NOTE: Some DJ MIDI controllers come with their own sound card built-in to allow master output and headphone pre-listening. If this is the case, please see the appropriate section for your controller for the correct configuration: Controller Configuration And Troubleshooting

NOTE: VirtualDJ Home FREE and Broadcaster are limited software and have limited sound options for pre-listening. Please see: Pre-listen using headphones in VirtualDJ Home FREE or Broadcaster.

5.1/6.1/7.1 sound card in your desktop PC or Mac

If you are using a desktop computer with a built-in 5.1 card, simply plug a pair of stereo speakers into the front speaker output and your headphones into the rear speaker output. Then choose the following in CONFIG -> Sound Setup:

Inputs: None (Or Microphone if you wish to use a mic that is plugged into the sound card's mic input socket.)

Outputs: Headphones (Master : Front output / Headphones : Rear output)

Sound card: 4.1 card -> Choose your sound card in the drop-down list.

Click Apply.

NOTE: Most laptops only have a single headphone output. The other socket if it has one is normally a mic/line input. In some cases two headphone sockets are provided, but these both output the same audio signal, so are unsuitable for headphone pre-listening in VirtualDJ.) Two separate outputs are very rare on a laptop.

Laptop with external basic USB sound card

While some laptops have internal surround sound cards and/or speakers, most only have a single headphone output (The other socket, if present, is an input for a microphone or line-in.)

In some cases, a laptop may have two headphone outputs. However, in most cases, this will be a duplicate of the first output to allow to users to listen to the same audio using two sets of headphones. It is not suitable for headphone pre-listening use in VirtualDJ.

The simplest option is to add a basic stereo USB sound card for your headphones. These are very cheap and can be purchased at any computer/electronics store or on-line from Amazon, eBay, etc.

Once you have you external USB sound card, simply go to CONFIG -> Sound Setup and choose the following:

Inputs: None

Outputs: Headphones (Master : First card / Headphones : Second card)

Sound card: 2 cards

In the first drop-down list, choose your laptop's built-in sound card.
In the second drop-down, choose your external USB sound card.

Click Apply.

Plug a pair of stereo amplified speakers into your laptop's headphone outputs (Alternatively, you can use your laptop's own speakers for your master output for practising at home.)

Plug your headphones into the external USB sound card.

NOTE: If you are using a Mac and experience distorted sound, please see Common Mac Performance Issues

Mono separated using splitter cable

Alternatively, you can use a single sound card and the mono separated option in VirtualDJ's sound setup, however this will only give you MONO sound (Not recommended for live performance, unless the venue has a mono PA setup.)

You will need a Y-splitter cable to split the left/right channels - Please search Google for: 3.5 jack splitter to mono

NOTE: Make sure that you purchase a cable that splits stereo into two mono outputs (Left/right.) A cable that splits into two stereo outputs (E.g: For output to two sets of headphones) is not suitable for the mono separated option.

Plug the splitter cable into your sound card's headphone socket. Then plug your amplified speakers into the left output socket and your headphones into the right.

Then choose the following in CONFIG -> Sound Setup:

Inputs: None

Outputs: Headphones (Master : Left chan / Headphones : Right chan)

Sound card: Mono separated -> Choose your computer's sound card in the drop-down list.

Click Apply.

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