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Swap between headphones and internal speakers on laptop without needing to unplug headphones.

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
My laptop is an Acer 5732Z with Windows 7 Home. Sometimes I want to use my headphones to listen to music and sometimes I want to use the internal speakers just for general use. It's annoying that I have to unplug my headphones to re-enable the internal speakers. If there any simple way (via software or a vulcan death grip on the keyboard) to get my machine to switch between these devices without me having to keep unplugging the headphones?

Ok, I know this might seem like I am being really lazy and it is trivial to unplug them but it's unnecessary wear and tear on the connector and jack and as much as possible I like to just plug things in and leave them be.

I suspect this is a hardware level issue that is immutable but it's be great if I am wrong and someone can tell me how to get around this.

TIA.
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Question by:evilrix
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Accepted Solution

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agileblowfish earned 500 total points
ID: 33719451
Most of the headphone jacks that work this way have a switch inside them that when you plug in your headphones it physically disconnects a circuit that hooks to the external speakers.  When you unplug the headphones the physical circuit reconnects for the external speakers.  There is really no way to circumvent this unless you rewire the connection somehow.  If you don't have an option in your audio settings for enabling them both, I would assume that this is not possible without you opening up the laptop and changing the wiring.
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Author Comment

by:evilrix
ID: 33719477
That is pretty much what I assumed... but I thought I'd check anyway. I'll leave this open for a couple of days just in case someone very clever comes up with a solution otherwise I'll award your "it can't be done" post as being the correct answer :)

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33719543
Someone else asked this question and the only way they got it to work was with two different audio sound cards.
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Author Comment

by:evilrix
ID: 33719857
Hmmm, yeah that's probably overkill for my requirements :)
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 33722979
open the sound applet from control panel, and check if you can switch the default speaker
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