Sound card output - split to headphones and speakers

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Peter Boulton, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. Hi,

    My on-board sound only has one output socket, which I've plugged my
    (externally powered) speakers to.

    Now I've discovered Skype, Messenger Voice etc. I'd really like to be
    able to use headphones, without having to scrabble round the back of my
    pc, pulling one lead out and putting the other one back.

    If I use something like a Maplin Mini-Headphone Splitter
    (Stereo)(, can I connect the headphones and
    speakers to the sound card simultaneously - i.e. so both are connected
    all the time, or will it overload the sound card output?


    Peter Boulton, Oct 23, 2004
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  2. Peter Boulton

    Gordy Guest

    It would probably just half the volume (or lower it by a degree) from my
    experience with splitting audio.

    Gordy, Oct 23, 2004
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  3. Peter Boulton

    logized Guest

    Yes, It should be ok. For years I have used a home made splitter which
    consisted of two 3.5mm sockets mounted in a small plastic box wired to a
    3.5mm plug - which is equivalent electrically to the Maplin device. Worked
    fine on a SoundBlaster Live card and a motherboard with onboard sound too.
    I found that using headphones with a built-in volume control works best for

    logized, Oct 23, 2004
  4. logized wrote on 23/10/2004 15:46:
    Thanks Dave! If the speakers are off then presumably the volume in the
    headphones is unaffected by the splitter? And if the speakers are on
    then presumably if they are powered the fact that the headphones are
    taking a little of the signal will be unnoticeable?


    Peter Boulton, Oct 23, 2004
  5. Peter Boulton

    Conor Guest

    OK, lets go back a step.

    If the output from your motherboard is line level, i.e not amplified,
    and you need powered speakers then you'll hear bugger all from the

    The headphones will actually take 50% of the signal at all times.
    Conor, Oct 23, 2004
  6. Conor wrote on 23/10/2004 16:56:
    The headphones work fine when they're plugged into the soundcard output.

    The speakers are powered - dunno if they need to be but they are very
    nice! :->>

    Given this information, what is the answer? Will my proposed solution
    work? Or is there a better, low cost option?


    Peter Boulton, Oct 23, 2004
  7. Peter Boulton

    S Akky Guest

    Conor put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    Depending on the impedance ;o)

    S Akky, Oct 23, 2004
  8. Peter Boulton

    TMack Guest

    I bough a little gizmo in Maplins a while back that has a push button to
    select speakers or headphones. I don't know if Maplins still have stock but
    I found it in these two locations. Basically you just connect it to your
    soundcard's output and then connect both speakers and phones to it. It
    works perfectly

    TMack, Oct 23, 2004
  9. Peter Boulton

    logized Guest

    Yes, with powered speakers it makes no difference to the headphones volume
    whether on or off.
    The headphones do reduce the signal available to the speakers though - In
    my case I find that the soundcard output is high enough to get plenty of
    volume through both headphones and powered speakers.

    If you want an alternative (more costly?)solution, then you could get an
    amplified signal splitter, get powered speakers that have a headphone jack
    on the front or get a soundcard with two surround-sound speaker outputs and
    configure the outputs to the centre, so front and back outputs are the same.

    logized, Oct 23, 2004
  10. TMack wrote on 23/10/2004 17:15:

    Great suggestion, thanks! And I found it at £6.49+2.95P&P at A bit more expensive than the splitter cable,
    but so much more functional! Sorted!


    Peter Boulton, Oct 23, 2004
  11. Howdy!

    It depends. For my headphones off of a K7S5A board, I had to pick
    up a small headphone amp (it was a "3-Channel Headphone Volume Booster" at
    Radio Shack) since the K7S5A couldn't drive the headphones ANYWAY.

    But others have sufficient drive.

    Also, if you're looking at possible new speakers, there are some out
    there with headphone jacks on the front.

    Ralph Wade Phillips, Oct 24, 2004
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