Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

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Tilltech
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:09 am

Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Tilltech » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:48 am

I would like to have the convenience of not bothering to unplug headphones instead of speakers and vice versa.

Both the Edifier speakers and Audiotechnica M30x headphones have a 3.5mm jack that plugs into the audio port, of which there is only one.

So, I was thinking that maybe I could plug the headphones into a USB to female 3.5mm adapter instead. That way I would not have to unplug anything, and just set the volume of the device I want to use - speakers or headphones.

Would that work?

Hrafn
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Hrafn » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:07 am

Tilltech wrote:I would like to have the convenience of not bothering to unplug headphones instead of speakers and vice versa.

Both the Edifier speakers and Audiotechnica M30x headphones have a 3.5mm jack that plugs into the audio port, of which there is only one.

So, I was thinking that maybe I could plug the headphones into a USB to female 3.5mm adapter instead. That way I would not have to unplug anything, and just set the volume of the device I want to use - speakers or headphones.

Would that work?
You need either an (analogue) stereo audio switch (two jacks in, one jack out), or a USB-DAC (the latter being what you're suggesting). Both are available, cheaper versions of either have a fair chance of being problematical in terms of audio quality.

Tilltech
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Tilltech » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:14 am

Do you know what is the cheapest portable DAC/AMP that would not cause degradation of audio quality?

These Audiotechnica M30x headphones don't really need it; they sound great on their own, so only possible degradation would be a factor for the cheapest one.

Abula
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Abula » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:50 am

I would go either of this routes,

1) Same line
Get a Headphone amp that has in and out (usually RCAs but some have 3.5, but you can get 3.5 to rcas)

2) Different line
Get a USB DAC/Amp, run the signal of the speakers via the Realtek audio codec from your motherboard and the headphones via the usb dac, just change on windows which is the one working.

3) Get a dedicated sound card
Omega eClaro, has a separated amp out for the headphones and a Serial to 3.5 for speakers, in the software you can select which are you using, no need to unplug.

4) Get a switch
Although most are cheap, but this is probably the cheapest and easiest, like 10 years ago, i used Plantronics PC Headset Speaker Switch and work decently.
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Tilltech
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Tilltech » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:46 am

This seems like the ideal product, cheapest I could find.

Image
Last edited by Tilltech on Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hrafn
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Hrafn » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:13 am

Tilltech wrote:This seems like the ideal product, cheapest I could find.
My first question would be what sort of switch this switchbox employs. The better ones seem to employ high quality 3PDT toggle switches, or their rotary equivalents, for good signal isolation. Lack of good isolation tends to lead to hum. Lack of good quality switches (and on one occasion sockets) can lead to a poor electrical circuit and crackle -- as I have found out on occasion.

(Addendum: according to another site, if the switchbox uses a 6-pin DPDT switch, instead of a 9-pin 3PDT, you also get speaker 'popping'.)

I'd be more likely to go for this (manufacturer's page here).

Tilltech
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Tilltech » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:03 pm

I can't get that one as it is not obtainable on the European continent, not even on UK Amazon.


As for the other one, no review mentions any crackling or popping.

lodestar
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Location: UK

Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by lodestar » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:28 pm

It is certainly possible to obtain the Sescom unit direct from America via eBay. The main issue is that for an import into the UK for example the basic cost of about £30 is increased by another £20 or so to cover the cost of international postage and import charges. I assume the quality of the thing might justify the cost involved.

There is also this USA retailer who will ship to Europe including the UK. However the overall cost from them looks to be significantly more than the eBay alternative.

Hrafn
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Hrafn » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:51 pm

lodestar wrote:It is certainly possible to obtain the Sescom unit direct from America via eBay. The main issue is that for an import into the UK for example the basic cost of about £30 is increased by another £20 or so to cover the cost of international postage and import charges. I assume the quality of the thing might justify the cost involved.
This one on eBay is slightly cheaper: US$35 + 13.50 postage to UK.

Having endured a number of cheap & shoddy switch-boxes, I can say that one with a solid switch from a solid manufacturer (who knows their arse from their elbow on audio equipment) is worth a significant premium. I have not however tried out the Sescom myself (I would have the last time I went looking, which is 4 years ago, but couldn't find anybody to sell me one, to NZ, at a non-extortionate price). Admittedly I've recently forsworn analogue completely -- with speakers with a built-in USB-DAC & BlueTooth headphones (I've long preferred wireless headphones anyway).

Addendum: also Amazon-US will ship it to the UK (and presumably the rest of Europe), for US$30 +$11.28 shipping.

lb_felipe
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by lb_felipe » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:54 pm

I'm able to switching between headphones and speaker using the control panel audio of my ASUS PRIME X370-PRO without a problem. I just insert my speakers on back panel (motherboard's rear panel) and the headphones on the case's front panel. The trick is in the preset must be done before, cause by default, the switching is possiblem just by disconnecting/reconnectong headphones. If this is useful for you, let me know and ask me for knowing how to set the Realtek software to allow switching between hp/spk by clicking on th fly via software.

Tilltech
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Tilltech » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:13 am

I ordered the one in the picture from the UK Amazon, total price with shipping was 24.5 pounds.

I'll let you know if there are any problems when it arrives.

EsaT
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by EsaT » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:03 am

Best option would depend on also use, like is it plain music or is there also gaming.
For headphone gaming binaural-simulation is very nice thing.
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Tilltech
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:09 am

Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Tilltech » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:34 am

Just got it delivered and it works perfectly, no interference of any kind and it looks nice on the table, just what I was looking for! No more plugging and unplugging, just one button push.

Olle P
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Location: Sweden

Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by Olle P » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:16 am

Previously I simply used a cheap 3.5mm split. Adjusted the output level from the computer to a suitable headphone level and then adjusted the speaker's built-in amp to get their level where i wanted it.

SRX
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Re: Having speakers and headphones at the same time?

Post by SRX » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:46 am

Maybe OT, but: Which audio card are you using? E. g. mine does that via software/driver - I simplay can switch between 5.1 and headphones with 2 clicks.

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