Computer Help forum


Sound Won't Come Out of My Speakers, Only Headphones

by JamesC27 / March 18, 2018 7:55 PM PDT

The sound in my computer will not come out of my speakers, only my headphones, unless I disable my headphones no matter which I select to use. I have tried putting both of them as my default, but the problem still persists. Is there a way to fix this? Because it is very annoying having to disable my headphones every time I want to have sound come out of my speakers. Thanks in advance!

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All Answers

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Well, You Could Use A Stereo Splitter Cable
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 19, 2018 9:18 AM PDT

Here's a link to that:

Unfortunately, some sound cards are set up so they won't play the two sounds at the same time....Plus it also depends on how you're plugging in your speakers and headphones. Are the speakers plugged into the rear "green" jack? Are your headphones plugged into a USB jack? Something else? Here, if I plug in my headphones to the front green jack and the speakers are plugged into the rear green jack, they both play at the same time. But my "Sound" properties only show a speaker icon. No headphones because I've never installed a separate headphone setup.

Another options, the following steps have allowed folks with unsupported sound drivers to use both at the same time, although there is frequently a lag between the headphone sound and the speaker sound. It's your choice. Set your speakers as default playback device. Next, in recording devices, enable Stereo Mix. Set Stereo Mix as default recording device. Go to Stereo Mix properties, "Listen" tab, and choose "Listen to this device" and set your Headset as the default playback device.

Hope this helps.


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What My Things Are Plugged Into
by JamesC27 / March 19, 2018 10:26 AM PDT

So what I want in the end is that I want to be able to chose which one I want to play the sound without disabling the headphones (from the dropdown bar after clicking the volume icon), instead of the two at the same time. Sorry, I might not have been very clear.

My headphones are plugged into the rear green jack, while my speakers are plugged into the back of my monitor, which is connected to my gpu hdmi port. Does this help? Am I doing something wrong?

Also would the audio splitter allow me to choose which one I want to listen to, instead of having both at the same time?


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And Audio Splitter Would Cause Both To Play, Always...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 20, 2018 3:36 PM PDT

That is, unless you disable one.... So it doesn't solve the problem you've clarified.


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Or maybe throw in
by itsdigger / March 20, 2018 7:45 PM PDT

an A/B switch

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Additionally to the first response
by JamesC27 / March 19, 2018 10:28 AM PDT

Also the sound only comes out of my headphones unless I disable them no matter which one I select.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 19, 2018 2:23 PM PDT

Windows does not handle multiple sound cards or sources well.

There are long too many discussions about this. There are hacks like Virtual Audio Cables and more which I never discuss. I leave such to the authors.

Again let me clarify. Your HDMI display with speakers is a sound output device.
Your headphone jack is another sound output and Windows does poorly at offering good controls or rather intuitive controls here. Even if I right click on the Speaker Icon in the tray and select "Playback devices" your options are very limited. Here I can select one but not both.

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by JamesC27 / March 20, 2018 6:59 AM PDT
In reply to: LET'S BE CLEAR.

Thanks! I guess i'll settle with disabling my headphones whenever I don't want to use them.

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I fix
by AndrinAtem / March 19, 2018 10:47 PM PDT

Just have to rule out some factors before we continue, you can as well have two sound cards install on your pc.

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by JamesC27 / March 20, 2018 7:02 AM PDT
In reply to: I fix

If I have 2 sound cards will it let me change which one I want without disabling the headphones? Also does the onboard audio count as a sound card? So if I get another one will it allow me to do what I wanted?

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It's inaccurate to call these "sound cards."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 20, 2018 11:09 AM PDT
In reply to: I fix

The headphones do indeed go to a "sound card" even if there is no card in a laptop. It's the same chips used on sound cards.

The HDMI sound is NOT A CARD in the laptop at all but more accurately a "Playback Device." This works by sending digital audio over HDMI. What happens at the other end is not up to Windows.

Windows does get us minimal controls over the playback devices but to call them cards would be inaccurate and your laptop and 99% of PCs out there would only have one card.

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