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Speakers and headphones simultaneously

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by rmcconn, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. rmcconn

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 9, 2011

    Posts: 3

    I've just fitted a Sound Blaster Z series card with mic, headphone and surround sound speaker outputs.

    I would like to have the option of either using the phones, or the speakers, or even both together but can only get sound through either at any one time.

    I've tried right clicking Stereo Mix > Properties > Listen > Playback through this Device, and selecting all the options one by one, but can only get sound through the headphones. The only way I can get sound through the speakers is to physicaly remove the headphone jack.

    Is there a way of getting sound through both ?

    Thanks

    Ron
     
  2. TwsT

    OcUK Staff

    Joined: Feb 7, 2011

    Posts: 7,567

    Location: OcUK HQ

    Don't think so not with the Cretaive drivers as the headphone is amped the speakers aren't
     
  3. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,245

    You can't use both simultaneously (never understood why some people want to do this), but you should be able to switch between speakers or headphone without having to physically remove one or the other.

    Creative did this with the X-Fi Titanium HD. You had to remove speaker or headphones, depending on which you wanted to use. Stupid design, and something I thought was remedied with the Z series of cards.

    I've not see anyone else mention they need to remove speakers in order to use headphones, so either you're not doing something right, or something is wrong somewhere.

    Surely Creative would not be so dumb to make the same mistake twice? ;)
     
  4. dacads

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 3, 2012

    Posts: 10,190

    Location: Space

    It's simple some people prefer to use speakers but when gaming they might need to use a headset so it can be easy if both are enabled simultaneously rather than having to switch between the two.

    But yeah OP shouldn't have to physically remove a device, have you had a look in the windows mixer under playback devices?
     
  5. rids57

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 25, 2012

    Posts: 5,886

    Location: Ankh Morpork

    I always had my headphones and speakers plugged in at the same time when I used my SBZ and just used the software switch in the control panel to switch between them.

    As for hearing both together - no idea.
     
  6. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,245

    So switching between the two is too much effort?

    It's really quite amazing how someone can move a mouse around and press some keys on a keyboard whilst playing a game, but going to their sound card options and switching between speakers and headphones is too much effort. :/

    I really should have guessed it would be that. I was thinking people were trying to listen to both at the same time!
     
  7. rids57

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 25, 2012

    Posts: 5,886

    Location: Ankh Morpork

    I used the headphone socket on the card by the way, I never use front panel sockets for anything except USB as they pick up too much noise.

    It may be that the front panel socket is forcing the removal of the headphones, the socket on the card doesn't have this problem.
     
  8. rmcconn

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 9, 2011

    Posts: 3

    Guys,

    Thanks for all your info.

    The reason I might want to have both working together is that at times there will be more people than myself in the room, and due to my partial deafness I much prefer to use headphoness rather than having speakers too loud for others to listen comfortably. It's not because I can't be bothered to switch betwen the two as has been suggested.

    Please excuse my ignorance, but can someone explain how to switch from one to the other ? As you can guess I don't have a great deal of experience in this.

    Thanks

    Ron
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  9. Marine-RX179

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 6, 2010

    Posts: 13,817

    The Soundblaster Z soundcard actually has the headphone jack and Front audio jack as two seperate port, so you should be able to switch between the two back and forth using the Creative's bundle software/control application.

    Though it still wouldn't allow to you have both the headphone and speakers playing at the same time.
     
  10. rmcconn

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 9, 2011

    Posts: 3

    Marine-RX179

    I've found my Blaster control panel in the systray and I can switch between the two that way,

    Many thanks
    Ron
     
  11. Digit

    Gangster

    Joined: Mar 18, 2011

    Posts: 288

    Location: Here

    I personally have always just used 3.5mm splitters with whatever headphone/speakers/soundcard i have had. Currently the same with some Logitech 5.1 speakers (which to be honest i don't use that much these days). A pair of Kingston Hyper-X Clouds plugged in to my Xonar D2. Yes the D2 may not have a Amp but it certainly drives the Clouds enough i would say.

    So why can't you have headphones plugged into the heaphone Amp output and speakers from their intended sockets? I can't remember the exact configuration of the "Z" series of cards as i only had one for a day before i took it back...
     
  12. monsieurpooh

    Associate

    Joined: Oct 22, 2018

    Posts: 1

    Any "effort" that is redundant, unnecessary or illogical should be done away with ideally, no matter how miniscule the amount of effort is. So this is not a good argument.

    More importantly, the actual case that involves significant "effort" is thus: I'm playing a video game e.g. Skyrim with headphones on, my ears are getting very tired and uncomfortable, and it's very easy to just take off my headphones and turn on my speakers. Or I started with speakers because I was feeling casual but now I want better positioning so switch to headphones. Why should I need to alt-tab, launch a new program, change some setting in it, and go back to the game? Some games even respond poorly or have a chance of crashing when you alt-tab.

    P.S: Here is another use case. I am watching a movie with headphones and want to get up to get some water, but I want the sound to be completely seamless WHILE i'm getting the water, and never lose the immersion. So I turn on my speakers first, then take off my headphones so there's no break in audio. I get my water, come back, put on my headphones and turn off my speakers.

    By the way, it is much easier to unplug my headphones (from the front module) than to alt-tab, launch a new program, click into another tab and click a switch. So I find it sad and hilarious that they advertise "Never unplug your headphones again!" Because what they're really advertising is "We removed the ability to switch to speakers by the simple mechanical act of plugging/unplugging and now you have to go through a longer process to switch between them"
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  13. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,370

    Location: Finland

    You sure digged up long time dead thread.
    But it would be equally redundant to always need to plug/unplug headphones for switching between them and speakers.
    Besides causing wear of connectors.

    And you can't just use same signal for headphones and speakers, because of drastically different way how ear receives sound from them. (or possible different number of channels)
    Listening speaker mix with headphones sucks, because of lack of anykind interaural cues. (listening just front channels of 5.1 would suck even more)
    Again binaural sound just wouldn't be natural from speakers, with "double crossfeed" for start.

    Anyway for SB Z-serie SBZ Switcher automates switching between headphones and speakers and wanted settings behind hotkey.
     
  14. Distracted

    Hitman

    Joined: Aug 30, 2018

    Posts: 835

    Holy necro Batman!