Getting headphones and speakers to play nice together?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tdx, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. tdx macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    just purchased a combo of Logitech Z-10 speakers and Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones for my MBP (15", 2011 model, Lion). While it all sounds great and individually they both work as expected, I've run into an unexpected problem:
    the B&W headphones have an iphone-type remote incorporated on the cable that controls music, play/pause, FF etc plus sound volume. My issue is this: I either have to plug in the headphones directly in the jack output of the MBP for these controls to register, but then I have to manually switch between the two when i want to listen to music (headphones or speakers) or i plug in the headphones into the Z-10 directly but then i lose the controls function.

    Is there any solution for this? ideally I need a way to either:
    - have the Macbook automatically switch to line out when I plug in the headphones and disable the Z-10 output
    - or find a way to have the headphones controls carry over through the Z-10.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    You're probably going to have to stick to manually switching between the devices. The headphone/audio out port on your mac has some special connectors in the port to accept the controls which won't be present in the speakers (or a splitter).

    However, you can probably accomplish what you want to do by getting a USB digital audio converter (essentially an external sound card) and hooking your speakers up to that. They cost anywhere for $80 and up (hundreds or thousands of dollars). Your mac could then use that as the default sound output and you could find an apple script to do the switching for you.

    Unless you are constantly switching back and forth between speakers and headphones, you're probably better off just doing it manually. Or just don't worry about the controls on the headphones and just use the ones on your MacBook Pro.

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