Is there a hardware solution for switching between speakers and headphones?

RJ_ds

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I have a setup where I have the speakers going into the soundcard, but if I want to use headphones, I have to remove the RCA adapter that the desktop speakers are plugged into, and plug in the RCA's from the atom amp. I use the line out on the soundcard as its better than the headphone amp.

Is there a hardware solution to be able to switch between the two like an audio KVM of sorts? Theoretically, the speakers and headphones would plug into the device, and you would switch between the two from the device. I cant find anything other than some USB models and those dont look like what i'm looking for.
 

cyclone3d

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Around 25 years ago, I built a switch box for stuff like that.

A single throw dual pole switch to switch between the inputs or outputs.

2x 1/8" plugs on one side and 1x 1/8" plug on the other side.

This was built inside a small aluminum project box. I still have it.

Something like this will not introduce anything into the circuit.

The simplest solution is sometimes the best solution.
 
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N4CR

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Around 25 years ago, I built a switch box for stuff like that.

A single throw dual pole switch to switch between the inputs or outputs.

2x 1/8" plugs on one side and 1x 1/8" plug on the other side.

This was built inside a small aluminum project box. I still have it.

Something like this will not introduce anything into the circuit.

The simplest solution is sometimes the best solution.
This.

The only downside to switch boxes is you'll have to reduce your audio output level, in order to not blow your ears IF you run line out at max volume to your stereo.
 

travm

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I'm not sure, but you could also look in the soundcard driver software for configuration options, ie what to do when headphones are plugged in. You might be able to switch you existing hardware through the driver
I know I can do something similar with my realtek onboard. Have to install the full driver though.
 

Fix Me

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I'm not sure, but you could also look in the soundcard driver software for configuration options, ie what to do when headphones are plugged in. You might be able to switch you existing hardware through the driver
I know I can do something similar with my realtek onboard. Have to install the full driver though.
Was just going to suggest the same thing. The full driver may have this option.
 

Zepher

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Was just going to suggest the same thing. The full driver may have this option.
He probably has the function but in the OP he mentions that he prefers the sound coming from the RCA output vs the headphone output on the soundcard.
My ZxR has RCA outs for the speakers and 1/4" for the headphones and I can switch in the driver.

SB-ZxR-Cpanel-Version.jpg
 
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travm

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I reread the op, misunderstood what he's doing. Strange request, and seems like a backward way of doing things, but yeah, if that's what you want, you need one of those box doohickeys. Personally I would use the speakers output for the headphone amp, and line out for the other amp and switch in software. Speaker out and line out are often almost the same, if not exactly the same. It might literally only be volume, but will vary card to card.
 

Zepher

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I reread the op, misunderstood what he's doing. Strange request, and seems like a backward way of doing things, but yeah, if that's what you want, you need one of those box doohickeys. Personally I would use the speakers output for the headphone amp, and line out for the other amp and switch in software. Speaker out and line out are often almost the same, if not exactly the same. It might literally only be volume, but will vary card to card.
the headphone out on my card and probably his card too, has an extra amplification circuit for driving high impedance headphones which could be changing the sound in a way he doesn't like since he is sending an amped signal into another amps line in, vs going line out from the card to line in on the external amp.
 
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magnetik

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fwiw.. the Stream Deck has a built in feature for this. You can configure a button to switch between headphones and speakers. It's called "Toggle Audio Device"

1632785825679.png
 
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travm

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fwiw.. the Stream Deck has a built in feature for this. You can configure a button to switch between headphones and speakers. It's called "Toggle Audio Device"

View attachment 398279
be4ing based on linux i'll be impressed if it works. Might with valve behind the drivers, making sure other wellmeaning devs dont constantly break things.
 

magnetik

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be4ing based on linux i'll be impressed if it works. Might with valve behind the drivers, making sure other wellmeaning devs dont constantly break things.
we talking about the same thing? Elgato makes the Stream Deck. Valve makes the Steam Deck. I got it for this reason feature alone and haven't had any issues. It's turned out to be pretty handy for other things too. It looks like the company is focused on the online streamer / game capture / gamer / youtuber / influencer video market that switching audio outputs would be a high priority for them. I think swapping audio outputs in windows without losing quality due to janky hardware solutions is ideal here.. unless I'm reading something wrong.
 
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Zepher

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fwiw.. the Stream Deck has a built in feature for this. You can configure a button to switch between headphones and speakers. It's called "Toggle Audio Device"

View attachment 398279
That won't work for him since he is using 2 devices that need to be hooked up to the same output on the sound card.
That would work for me since I have to keep going into sound settings and switching between my Corsair Virtuoso XT's and my speakers.
 

travm

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we talking about the same thing? Elgato makes the Stream Deck. Valve makes the Steam Deck. I got it for this reason feature alone and haven't had any issues. It's turned out to be pretty handy for other things too. It looks like the company is focused on the online streamer / game capture / gamer / youtuber / influencer video market that switching audio outputs would be a high priority for them. I think swapping audio outputs in windows without losing quality due to janky hardware solutions is ideal here.. unless I'm reading something wrong.
Totally talking about different things. I read, sometimes. appologies.
 

magnetik

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That won't work for him since he is using 2 devices that need to be hooked up to the same output on the sound card.
seems one of those rare times having multiple sound cards (with something that does windows audio switching) would be useful. I could have swore a member here wrote an app a long time ago that did this from the taskbar. I used it for a while until I got the hardware solution
 

petrthomas

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Personally, I'd use the speaker output for the headphone amp and the line out for the other amp, switching in software.
 
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