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Solved Using a 2.1 speaker set and headphone off the same jack


manters

New Member
Posts
9
#1
I have a 2.1 speaker set attached to my laptop that does not have its own headphone jack. So in order to listen to headphones I have to unplug the 2.1 from the headphone jack and plug in the headphones. I tried a cheap splitter but that didn't sound good.

What I would like is something that had two jacks that allowed me to keep the 2.1 plugged in all the time in one jack and when I want to use the headphones I could just plug them into the other jack. I would like both jacks whether used together or solo to have the same sound quality as a single jack... with no degradation in sound.

Lastly, I would like to be able to mute the 2.1 (using volume control on the speaker set) and still get great controllable sound out of the jack that have the headphones plugged in.

Is there something like that? Thanks.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP-15

fireberd

Beach Observer
VIP Member
Pro User
Inverness, FL

Posts
1,811
#2
As you only have one output jack, whatever you do on the PC, such as muting, volume control etc would affect anything attaced to that jack.
There are small headphone amps that will give you two separate outputs with volume controls on the headphone amp. That is about as close as you are going to get.

This about the least expensive one I found, a Behringer 4 channel. Its more than you need (only need two) but for the price it will do what you want.
Sweetwater.com (800) 222-4700
 

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Barman58

Super Moderator
Super Moderators
#3
If you have a spare USB port on the laptop you could also consider a USB sound card,

These are often small enough to leave attached to either the laptop or the headphone cables so suit the portability requirements of a laptop

Quality of these devices is normally as good if not better than a normal laptop set-up
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Real World Computing
    CPU
    AMD FX8350 8 Core @4GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus M5A78L-M USB3
    Memory
    32GB [4x8GB] DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus nVidia GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (2GB DDR5)
    Sound Card
    ASUS Xoner DG + SPDIF to 5.1 System + HDMI
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer G276HL 27", (DVi) + Samsung 39" HDTV (HDMI)
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    1920 x 1080 @60Hz + 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
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    Crucial 256GB SSD,
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    Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
    Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH1 2TB,

    External (USB3)
    Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk 8TB
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    HTC One Android Smartphone

manters

New Member
Posts
9
#4
As you only have one output jack, whatever you do on the PC, such as muting, volume control etc would affect anything attaced to that jack.
There are small headphone amps that will give you two separate outputs with volume controls on the headphone amp. That is about as close as you are going to get.

This about the least expensive one I found, a Behringer 4 channel. Its more than you need (only need two) but for the price it will do what you want.
Sweetwater.com (800) 222-4700

If you have a spare USB port on the laptop you could also consider a USB sound card,

These are often small enough to leave attached to either the laptop or the headphone cables so suit the portability requirements of a laptop

Quality of these devices is normally as good if not better than a normal laptop set-up



So then If i muted the 2.1 set through the controls on the 2.1 (not pc), then the headphones would work okay since the PC sound would be unaffected?

If that is true, would something like this work:
(it appears to be a usb soundcard)

Amazon.com: Sabrent USB to 2 x 3.5mm Stereo Jack Splitter Adapter for Speaker and Headphone Support Windows and Mac. Plug and play No drivers Needed. (AU-2X35): Computers & Accessories
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP-15

Barman58

Super Moderator
Super Moderators
#5
The device is somewhat similar to what i suggested, except it's a two output device designed to share two sets of headphones between two people, at the same time.

You could of course connect your single headphones to this device and your 2.1 speakers to the existing output on your laptop, although if taking this route, a better quality single output device would be better, (and would normally include a separate Mic input which can be useful for Skype or similar.)

The USB route would give you complete individual control of the existing and USB outputs so you could play music from the speakers and use the USB to use Skype

The ability to mix sources would of course depend on the software applications in use, and you may need to change devices in windows to switch output from Speakers to Headphones ( I have 4 different outputs on my system, and can with some devices have more than one active at a time or set items up to automatically use a particular output )
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Real World Computing
    CPU
    AMD FX8350 8 Core @4GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus M5A78L-M USB3
    Memory
    32GB [4x8GB] DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus nVidia GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (2GB DDR5)
    Sound Card
    ASUS Xoner DG + SPDIF to 5.1 System + HDMI
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer G276HL 27", (DVi) + Samsung 39" HDTV (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 @60Hz + 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Internal
    Crucial 256GB SSD,
    WDC WD30EZRX-00D8PB0 3TB,
    Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
    Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH1 2TB,

    External (USB3)
    Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk 8TB
    2.5/3.5 Hot Swap Cradle, USB3 + eSata (client HDDs)

    NAS
    Seagate ST4000DM000
    PSU
    Aerocool Templarius Imperator 750W 80+ Silver
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    AeroCool X-Warrior Devil Red Tower
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    Stock CPU, Rear 120mm, Front 2x120mm, Side 2x120mm
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manters

New Member
Posts
9
#6
Thanks Barman58. A few of the reviews mention doing what I was asking about: they plug it into the usb port and then use one jack on it for headphones and the other jack on it for a speaker set and it does seem to work.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP-15

Barman58

Super Moderator
Super Moderators
#7
The one you linked to will output to the same signal to both outputs and thus you would need to physically disconnect the speakers, (or switch them off), as you do now.

If you use a single port device for the headphones and keep the speakers connected as they are now, you will be able to control output from within windows.

Both methods should be an improvement to the splitter method as both outputs would have their own controls

With my system I use small free program "SoundSwitch" to control my outputs from the system tray
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Real World Computing
    CPU
    AMD FX8350 8 Core @4GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus M5A78L-M USB3
    Memory
    32GB [4x8GB] DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus nVidia GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (2GB DDR5)
    Sound Card
    ASUS Xoner DG + SPDIF to 5.1 System + HDMI
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer G276HL 27", (DVi) + Samsung 39" HDTV (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 @60Hz + 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Internal
    Crucial 256GB SSD,
    WDC WD30EZRX-00D8PB0 3TB,
    Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
    Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH1 2TB,

    External (USB3)
    Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk 8TB
    2.5/3.5 Hot Swap Cradle, USB3 + eSata (client HDDs)

    NAS
    Seagate ST4000DM000
    PSU
    Aerocool Templarius Imperator 750W 80+ Silver
    Case
    AeroCool X-Warrior Devil Red Tower
    Cooling
    Stock CPU, Rear 120mm, Front 2x120mm, Side 2x120mm
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K710 & K270
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless M710 M185 & M570 Trackball
    Internet Speed
    37Mb/s Down - 9.5Mb/s Up
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2017
    Other Info
    Also run...

    Desktop - 6Core 8GB - Windows 10 Enterprise x64,
    Laptop - Quad 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64
    Netbook - Ubuntu
    2 x Nexus 7 Android tablets
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    HTC One Android Smartphone

Barman58

Super Moderator
Super Moderators
#8
The one you linked to will output to the same signal to both outputs and thus you would need to physically disconnect the speakers, (or switch them off), as you do now.

If you use a single port device for the headphones and keep the speakers connected as they are now, you will be able to control output from within windows.

Both methods should be an improvement to the splitter method as both outputs would have their own controls

With my system I use small free program "SoundSwitch" to control my outputs from the system tray
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Real World Computing
    CPU
    AMD FX8350 8 Core @4GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus M5A78L-M USB3
    Memory
    32GB [4x8GB] DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus nVidia GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (2GB DDR5)
    Sound Card
    ASUS Xoner DG + SPDIF to 5.1 System + HDMI
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer G276HL 27", (DVi) + Samsung 39" HDTV (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 @60Hz + 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Internal
    Crucial 256GB SSD,
    WDC WD30EZRX-00D8PB0 3TB,
    Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
    Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH1 2TB,

    External (USB3)
    Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk 8TB
    2.5/3.5 Hot Swap Cradle, USB3 + eSata (client HDDs)

    NAS
    Seagate ST4000DM000
    PSU
    Aerocool Templarius Imperator 750W 80+ Silver
    Case
    AeroCool X-Warrior Devil Red Tower
    Cooling
    Stock CPU, Rear 120mm, Front 2x120mm, Side 2x120mm
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K710 & K270
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless M710 M185 & M570 Trackball
    Internet Speed
    37Mb/s Down - 9.5Mb/s Up
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2017
    Other Info
    Also run...

    Desktop - 6Core 8GB - Windows 10 Enterprise x64,
    Laptop - Quad 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64
    Netbook - Ubuntu
    2 x Nexus 7 Android tablets
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    HTC One Android Smartphone

manters

New Member
Posts
9
#9
Yeah I was thinking if I mute the 2.1 (through their own on board volume control) then that would kill their sound (just like unplugging them would - which I don't want to do) and then I would just have the sound going to the headphones.

So this way all i have to do when I want to listen to headphones is mute the speakers using a mute button on the speakers themselves (not through the PC) since I don't want any sound coming out of the speakers when I'm listening to headphones (but I still keep them connected since I don't want to physically remove them) and then physically attach the headphones to the other jack on the USB soundcard thing.

I just want to avoid having to actually remove the speaker set jack from the port because its a drag to physically remove it and then put the other one in like I normally must do back and forth since there is only one jack and doing this probably accelerates wear on the speaker set jack and the pc jack port. Also there is sometimes speaker noise when switching. If I can just mute the speakers and then put the headphones in (using both jacks on the usb card) then that is much easier for me.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP-15

Barman58

Super Moderator
Super Moderators
#10
The Mute method should work, and the sound quality should be better that the physical splitter.

When you install you will see two sound devices in the playback devices pop-up, select the "new" USB dongle instead of the built in sound card, As you are looking at Amazon you should be able to try the unit and if anything does not work to the quality you need you can always return it :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Real World Computing
    CPU
    AMD FX8350 8 Core @4GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus M5A78L-M USB3
    Memory
    32GB [4x8GB] DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus nVidia GTX750TI-OC-2GD5 (2GB DDR5)
    Sound Card
    ASUS Xoner DG + SPDIF to 5.1 System + HDMI
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer G276HL 27", (DVi) + Samsung 39" HDTV (HDMI)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 @60Hz + 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Internal
    Crucial 256GB SSD,
    WDC WD30EZRX-00D8PB0 3TB,
    Toshiba HDWD130 3TB
    Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH1 2TB,

    External (USB3)
    Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk 8TB
    2.5/3.5 Hot Swap Cradle, USB3 + eSata (client HDDs)

    NAS
    Seagate ST4000DM000
    PSU
    Aerocool Templarius Imperator 750W 80+ Silver
    Case
    AeroCool X-Warrior Devil Red Tower
    Cooling
    Stock CPU, Rear 120mm, Front 2x120mm, Side 2x120mm
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K710 & K270
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless M710 M185 & M570 Trackball
    Internet Speed
    37Mb/s Down - 9.5Mb/s Up
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2017
    Other Info
    Also run...

    Desktop - 6Core 8GB - Windows 10 Enterprise x64,
    Laptop - Quad 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64
    Netbook - Ubuntu
    2 x Nexus 7 Android tablets
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    HTC One Android Smartphone