- Stereo Mix or What U Hear is a historical Windows function to record audio from speakers
- In Windows 11 it is somewhat more complicated to find this solution, but it is still available
- What are the steps to enable Stereo Mix and how can I record with it?
There are many third-party programs that allow us to record what we hear on our computer in a file. But we do not always want or can install external applications on our computer, and it is a problem. Assuming that you want to record the audio of your PC just as it comes out of the speakers of the computer but without necessarily resorting to a specific software, you will have to enable Stereo Mix to obtain that result.
For this reason, in this article we are going to teach you how to activate this function that many PC users are unaware of. Normally, what we will teach you should work without problems in both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Even, you should be able to take advantage of this trick in its previous versions, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
This is because most of today’s sound cards have the ability to record the output sound. Actually, we could say that the only obstacle is being able to access that specific recording channel. He usually appears in our team with names like Stereo Mix, or also What U Hear.
How to enable Stereo Mix or What U Hear?
If you have tried it on your own, you will have discovered that it is not at all easy to control the audio devices from the sound options of Settings, so The old sound-related Settings window, the one that used to appear in Windows 10 and earlier in Control Panel, would help us a lot.
On all versions of the Microsoft operating system other than Windows 11, you can open these options directly by doing right click on the audio icon on the task bar, and then going to Sounds.
As we said, Sounds is not available in Windows 11so right click on the audio icon visible on the taskbar, and then Go to Sound Settings. Once there go to More sound settings.
Only at this point will the window open that we have known all our lives, but one step is missing. You will have to check View disabled devices and View connected devices, plus enable Stereo Mix or What U Hear.
Why is Stereo Mix or What U Hear not available on my PC?
If Stereo Mix or What U Hear does not appear on the screen, it is because your card’s audio drivers are not compatible, or your sound card does not support it. There’s not much to do about it other than trying to find those compatible audio drivers, which will be the only way to access this feature.
If you can’t record sound with Stereo Mix or What U Hear then you do need a third party program. We have many recommended softwares, such as Audacity or Open Broadcast Software, for example.
Some of them actually allow you to record the screen with audio, which might be more interesting.
How to use this function?
Assuming that you have actually been able to enter Stereo Mix, all you have to do is open your preferred recording program and select it instead of the microphone before recording so that it generates the file with what is heard. Otherwise, you can disable or disconnect the microphone and put Stereo Mix or What U Hear to record.
This works especially well when we want to capture the audio in a screen sharing session, or to record audio from sound sources, such as live streams, that don’t let us download content right away.
In your recording app, such as Audacity, look for the option to select your input device from those available. Select Stereo Mix or What U Hear as appropriate, although it is likely that if you have them activated before they will be set by default like the ones that pick up the audio from the computer.
If it wasn’t so, under Audio settings, select What you hear under Recording devices.
For the rest, as we explained, if you don’t have Stereo Mix, What U Hear or similar, you will depend on other programs.