Can I switch headphones to Speakers w/o unplugging?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by supercooled, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    #1
    As per the title, I am very weary of plugging and unplugging my headphones or devices for fear of eroding the connection between peripherals. It also doesn't help that the iMac's ports are awkwardly in the back.

    I need to get a DAC to make my life easier but is there a way via software to switch between iMac's speakers to headphones ? I'm quite surprised by the sound fidelity of the speakers on it.


    Thanks
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    No. It's something I wished I could do as well.
     
  3. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Don't think there is.

    But, if you want a more conveniently placed headphone port and also to stop putting wear and tear on the iMac's headphone port. You could get one of these.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/1-8m-3-5mm-SOCKET-HEADPHONE-EXTENSION/dp/B00JNW9GGA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1428217016&sr=8-3&keywords=headphone+port+extension

    This is 1.8 metres in length, but there are shorter lengths available also.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    I don't think that would work as it would still be detected as plugged into the headphone port. The OP is better off buying a USB DAC if they don't want to manually plug/unplug their headphones.
     
  5. frompast macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #5
    You should check this out.
    http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-quickly-change-audio-output-in-os-x/
     
  6. Fez Vrasta macrumors member

    Fez Vrasta

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #6
    I can confirm that keeping a extension cord plugged inside the iMac/Mac makes OSX think that there are headphones plugged in and makes the internal speakers unavailable.

    Looks like something coded at low level (but not an hardware limitation, because if you install Windows it lets you switch).

    I've found scripts to switch to internal speakers but only for not-official OS X machines which use different audio drivers.

    There's iMic which should let you switch between headphones to internal speakers via software, but you must buy it and plug it to an USB port.
     
  7. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #7
  8. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    The best way to get around this is to get a Thunderbolt dock with headphone out. Then you can switch quickly holding Alt/Option while clicking the speaker icon.

    I do that a lot.
     
  9. hfg, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    Unfortunately the headphone jack contains mechanical switch contacts for audio out selection which are activated by physically inserting the plug, so there is no way to de-activate that switch other than by physically removing the plug. You need to check out some of the other suggestions above for USB or ThunderBolt audio solutions for this issue.

    Edit: I stand corrected ... It is not a typical headphone jack! Sorry for the misinformation.
     
  10. Fez Vrasta macrumors member

    Fez Vrasta

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    #10
    There's nothing mechanic in the headphone switch, if you install Windows in fact you can simply switch between the two sources.
     
  11. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #11
    Also the startup chime always comes out the internal speakers proving it's not a hardware switch which directly controls output. It does tell the OS when something is plugged in though.
     
  12. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #12
    Seems silly to put the jack in an awkward and sometimes hard to get location (depending on work station) then not have a simple software solution for this.
     
  13. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    #13
    Thanks guys (and girls). I actually have a Y splitter but like I said, the internal speakers are pretty impressive for what they are. This is my first iMac so I don't know how they performed in past iterations but I guess adding external speakers is the only way which is a shame because the it will take away the aesthetics and also add space to the already cramped desktop.
     

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