Playing audio from external sources through Windows 10 PC

Aug 11, 2018
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Hey all,

So, here's the situation. I want to play audio from a number of external things (TV with games consoles, guitar, and a couple of other bits) through my PC headset, without latency. The headset is connected via USB, which is why they need to run through my PC to begin with.

However, if I just try and use a line in (either the motherboard one or my Focusrite external audio interface), I get about half a second worth of latency when trying to monitor the signal. This is only happening when I use "Listen to this device" in sound settings. Google tells me this is a problem in Windows itself, has been since Vista, and that they don't seem to care in the slightest about fixing it.

I have a small mixer to get everything external into one port if needed, or the Focusrite interface has enough ports if that can work (which would be ideal). Focusrite's official software, Mix Control, doesn't support using outputs other than the ones on the unit itself.

So, ideally my solution is some way to get the inputs of the Focusrite directly into my USB headset without the latency - but any other workaround that gives the same end result is fine too. Does anyone have any ideas how to do this?

UPDATE:
I have now proved to myself this is possible. I ran a DAW, using my audio interface for input and my headset for output and it gave me a nice, zero-latency solution. The problem, however, is when doing this I get no other audio from my computer because of Windows' dumb audio drivers which can't be shared nicely.

But; I've at least confirmed that this isn't a hardware problem and therefore should absolutely be possible to achieve. All I need to really do is find the right software and it should solve the issue that's been driving me insane for over a month... any tips?
 
Get "standard" 3.5mm headset. Skip PC. Problem solved.

In order to get audio thru USB, it first must be encoded: from line-in, thru ADC, thru some application. USB headset decodes it back, for you to listen. This is where delays are occurring.
 
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