Switch mic and phone jacks?

Posted on 2012-08-24
Last Modified: 2012-08-27
My son has a HP DV4 laptop computer with a damaged earphone jack.  In order to hear, he has to hold the plug up against the jack.

I think replacing this jack will require major surgery, in that the whole machine has to be disassembled to get at the jack.

I had until recently a desktop computer where I could assign functions to the various jacks, such that they could either be inputs or outputs.  I wonder if there is a way to reprogram the mic jack  to be the headphone jack, because it is still in good condition.

Does anybody know how this might be achieved?

Question by:Charlie Weston
    LVL 51

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Chaz,
    I can't tell you how to switch the mic and headphone jacks, but I can tell you how to solve the problem for $6.75 (with free shipping), as long as your son's laptop has an available USB port:

    I have one of these and it works beautifully on both my XP and W7 laptops. I think your son will be very happy with it. Regards, Joe
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    the switching is controlled by the sound system and driver, so try updating the sound driver
    if it is non existent in yours, you cannot reprogram
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    I agree with Joe. Get the usb sound card. That way he'll still have the available mic input.  (good for skype or any other voiced chat)
    LVL 51

    Expert Comment

    by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
    While @mtz1of4 is correct that your son will still be able to use the mic jack on the laptop, note that the adapter I recommended also has a mic jack. Here's a picture of it:
    Syba USB stereo audio adapterRegards, Joe
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    "I wonder if there is a way to reprogram the mic jack  to be the headphone jack"

    No, not on your laptop...the motherboard configuration will not allow this.

    Are you are sure that its the laptops jacks contacts and not the headphones plugs contacts?
    A 2.5mm Headset Extension Cord may give a better/ proper contact:

    Otherwise the USB to 2.5mm Headset adapter will be the simple solution

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Charlie Weston
    Probably not the best audio quality, but good enough.  I ordered one of these today.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    your question was how to switch mic and phone jacks
    i believe i gave you the correct answer : it is a function of the hardware and driver - and if non-existant, you cannot reprogram

    the accepted answer is just a workaround

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