How to Hear The Audio From a Source on OBS Studio

How to monitor audio on OBS

If you’re new with OBS Studio, sometimes you might encounter the moment where you can’t seem to hear the audio coming out from your audio sources, such as an external microphone or camera. OBS Studio absolutely has a solution for that. It allows you to “monitor” the audio coming from all your sources.

What is audio monitoring?

Audio monitoring is essentially the process of hearing what you are recording or streaming. You want to ensure that all the audio that is coming from all your devices could be heard by you to ensure it comes out well into your live stream or your recording. Thus, the word “monitor.”

How to monitor audio on OBS?

First, you need to set where you want to listen (or rather monitor) the audio. Go to Settings and then click on the Audio tab and you will find a screen as depicted below. At the Advanced section below the window, you will see the Monitoring Device dropdown menu. Choose the device that you wish to monitor the audio. The default should be your PC speakers.

How to do audio monitoring on OBS

Next, we need to enable the audio monitoring of a specific device. On the main screen of OBS, under the Audio Mixer section, click on the cogwheel of the audio device and select Advanced Audio Properties as shown below.

How to do monitor audio on OBS

In the next screen as displayed below, under the Audio Monitoring menus, select how you want to monitor the specific audio source.

Select how to monitor audio on OBS

There are three options.

  • Monitor Off – This means you don’t want to hear this audio in your monitoring device.
  • Monitor Only (mute output) – You want to monitor this audio such as hearing in on your speakers but you don’t want it to be heard in your final output such as your online broadcast or recording.
  • Monitor and Output – You want to monitor this audio and you want the monitoring to be heard in your final output.

What’s the difference between Monitor Only (mute output) and Monitor and Output?

By default, OBS Studio sets your Desktop Audio (aka PC speakers) as your audio monitoring device.  When you select Monitor Only (mute output), you could still hear the audio because it is being played back on the default audio monitoring device which is your desktop audio.

However, if you are using Monitor and Output option, you might be replicating the same audio on the final output which might result in an echo.

The difference between Monitor Only (mute output) and Monitor and Output is only felt when you use an alternative sound output device rather than your default desktop audio.  That is when your audio monitoring will actually get muted in your live stream.

The best option for live streaming is to set to Monitor Only (mute output).


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