Modern-day electronic devices such as PCs and movie players allow users to readily switch the audio channel between stereo and mono in an instant. That said, a majority of us aren’t even aware of the difference between the two, i.e., Mono Audio and Stereo audio.
We’ll learn about this and also see the method of enabling Mono Audio output in Windows 11/10. It is very apparent that every individual will have his or her own interpretation of the terms ‘mono’ and ‘stereo’, influenced by their own experiences and expectations. At the very basic level, Stereo means a sound system that comes from more than one source and is directed through two or more speakers which surround the listener. It induces spatial magic by creating the illusion that you are in the middle of a three-dimensional sound source.
On the other hand, mono audio has only one spatial dimension; something that can be either close to (loud) or far away (quiet) from the listener. People or individuals with hearing impairment find Mono audio useful. As such, with accessibility options directly built into OS, users who may have trouble using their computers normally can get a little more functionality out of their favorite OS. Windows 10 Creators Update features the mono audio option. It is built right into the Settings.
In Windows 11, you can readily combine left and right audio channels into one by enabling the Mono audio. The same feature exists in Windows 10, though under a different setting.
How to switch to Mono Audio in Windows 11
Earlier, the option to enable Mono audio in Windows 10 resided under Ease of Access settings. Now it has been moved to System settings in Windows 11. Apart from the change in location, there’s no change in function:
- Go to Start.
- Choose Settings.
- Select Systems.
- Switch to the Sound section.
- Scroll down to Output section.
- Toggle the switch next to Mono audio entry to On position.
Completion of the above steps will configure the system to combine the left and right audio channels to provide mono sound.
Assuming, you are running the latest version of Windows 11 system, go to Start and search for Settings.
When visible, click it and go to System.
Click System to display its settings.
Choose the Sound heading on the right.
Now, scroll down to Output section of Sound and toggle the switch lying next to Mono audio entry to ‘On’ position.
This will enable Mono Audio in Windows 11. Close the settings and exit.
How to Enable Mono Audio in Windows 10
1] Via Settings
Click the Windows Start button and select the “Settings” icon. Next, choose the “Ease of Access” tile visible under the Settings window.
Now, click “Other options” in the sidebar and scroll down to the bottom of the window. There, you’ll find “Mono audio” option displayed in Audio menu. Set it to “On”.
2] Via Registry Editor
Alternatively, you can enable the same feature via a registry tweak. Follow the instructions given below.
Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following address-
In the right side you will see a 32-Bit DWORD value AccessibilityMonoMixState. Double-click on it and give it a value of 1 to enable it.
The values are:
- 0 – Off
- 1 – On.
If this DWORD does not exist, you will have to create it.
What is difference between Mono and Stereo?
At the very basic level, Stereo means a sound system that comes from more than one source and is directed through two or more speakers which surround the listener. It induces a spatial magic by creating the illusion that you are in the middle of a three-dimensional sound source. As opposed to this, Mono or monoaural sound only uses one channel when converting a signal into a sound.
What is better mono or stereo?
There is no real answer. People or individuals with hearing impairment find Mono audio useful. On the other hand, Stereo sound is recommended for listeners who have a penchant for more detailed, and realistic sound listening experience.
Hope this helps!