Windows 11 has a feature using which you can force the audio output to become mono as opposed to the stereo playback. In some cases, the stereo playback gives you a natural feeling as both of your ears do not hear the same sound but there is a slight difference between the left and the right channel. Stereo output is also used to create a sense of direction when making videos or movies. For example, when door opens on the left, the door sound comes from the left channel (or left speaker). But sometimes, because of missing stereo streams, we have to force Windows to produce mono sound output.
Here is how you can make Windows 11 combine left and right stereo audio streams into a single mono stream:
- Press Win+I to open Settings.
- Select System category from the left side list and then click on Sound.
- Scroll down and find the Output section.
- Toggle the setting to ON for Mono Audio.
- Now your PC will play only mono audio even if you play stereo music or videos.
For the most part, you won’t notice any change in the audio quality except the fact that you will hear the same sound coming from both the left and the right speakers on your PC, BT speakers headphones or earphones. There should be no inconvenience when switching to the mono mode compared to the stereo mode. In fact, for a long time people used to listen to mono sound through radio receivers having only one speaker.
But the real use of this feature become apparent when you come across a video or audio file that has only left or right channel sound. We can often come across such videos on Youtube too. The original creator of the video forgets to properly set one of the channels when recording the audio. This can happen because of a loose audio cable or faulty microphone.