Handling sound when headphones are plugged into iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by winterquilt, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. winterquilt macrumors regular

    winterquilt

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #1
    I have a pair of headphones that I like to use for night time so I don't disturb other, they're AMGs and pretty good, so even during the day time I sometimes like to use them on well produced Vimeo productions for example as they reproduce better sound and you easily pic a lot more things up that standard iMac speakers miss.

    But, it's a hassle. I have to plug them in round the back every time, and of course un-plug them to get sound again. It seems like it's a hardware thing. I would like to leave them plugged it but either have some software that will auto route e.g. YouTube video to the headphone and have everything else play from the iMac's internal speakers, or have it manual configurable from software, or even a physical splitter, but my feelings are that once the 3.5mm jack is inserted then the Mac automatically stops any sound from ever coming through.

    Is there anything could do to make this happen please?
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    You can hold down Option while clicking on the speaker icon in the menu bar to manually select output and input sources.
     
  3. SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

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    #3
    I actually just posted about this—it seems in Mavericks you can no longer select "internal speaker" to toggle between headphone and speaker.

    If it still works for you, while headphones are in, please do tell.
     
  4. winterquilt thread starter macrumors regular

    winterquilt

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #4
    Oh, brilliant, something built-in!

    I did not see an option for "Internal Speakers" on either Mavericks or Snow Leopard when the microphone is inserted, so not sure if that's ever been possible?

    Perhaps there is an app, Terminal command or script to allow this functionality?
     
  5. SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

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    #5
    That's where I'm a little fuzzy. I used to do it all the time, maybe 3 years ago. Tried doing it again a few times this year and noticed "Internal Speaker" is now missing. I can't place an exact date, though, as to when this change occurred.

    ----------

    You know what? Now I remember: I used a headphone/mic combo that plugged into my iMac via two cables simultaneously—USB and headphone-in. I don't know what it couldn't just use USB, but there you go. It must have activated some driver, and I could keep it plugged in, yet use Option-click on the sound icon to switch between headphones and "Internal Speakers".

    Those headphones broke last year, and so this option suddenly not available to me didn't come to mind.

    If I find a software work-around, I'll return to notify you.
     
  6. winterquilt thread starter macrumors regular

    winterquilt

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #6
    Ah, so what make were they please?

    I have my own headphones but perhaps I could plug in the USB part and my headphones instead and it would work the same way?
     
  7. winterquilt thread starter macrumors regular

    winterquilt

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #7
    Could you let me know the make of headphones and then perhaps I could check myself and how it could benefit my situation thanks.
     
  8. SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

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    #8
    They were Turtle Beach headphones for PS3 that also worked with Mac/PC.

    I think I also found an app to help, will try tomorrow and get back to you.
     
  9. SAdProZ, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

    SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

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    #9
    sadproz

    I bought the Logitech P11 (available online and at Best Buy), but there are many headphones here compatible with Mac. Look for the ones that have USB inputs, not only analogue in/out.

    http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/headsets

    Also, I tried two utilities—none of which let you switch from headphone to inner-speaker. From what I understand, this issue has to do with the headphone mechanism, and it's more a hardware feature/limitation (a headphone toggle switch) than a software thing. No app can help.
     
  10. winterquilt thread starter macrumors regular

    winterquilt

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #10
    Yes, I did some more research just yesterday and tried a number of apps that others had claimed could do the job, none of which did. Then I was in contact with Rogue Amoeba and they told me that it was actually a hardware issue, the only reason the sound comes on during start up is because there is a delay in recognition (if headphones are inserted) and that the only solution would be Audio in/out via FireWire or USB.

    I then took a look at Griffin's iMic but it was a little pricy for just audio output, on then to the cheap hobbies from China that can be had in numerous forms on eBay and am awaiting delivery on that in the post (will report back).

    It seems like the best option as it's a small thing hidden away at the back of my computer and it will allow me to simply use the built in software Apple provides to switch between output options, so I feel a lot safer with that. Especially as Rogue Amoeba retired it's software and other effort seem like they're stuck in an OS 9 time warp, or a single individual open source efforts that are command like operated in Terminal!

    Software tried included:

    Rogue Amoeba's "SoundSource": https://rogueamoeba.com/legacy/
    Useful, but not: http://superuser.com/questions/28182/easier-way-to-switch-sound-output-device
    Alternatives: http://alternativeto.net/software/soundsource/
    Command line: https://code.google.com/p/switchaudio-osx/
    PTHVolume 2: http://pth.com/products/pthvolume/
    Command line software guy's blog: http://whoshacks.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/change-audio-devices-via-shell-script.html
    I ho QuickSilver to the rescue: http://leafraker.com/2007/09/17/how-to-create-a-quicksilver-trigger/


    You'll probably come into contact with these so called solutions if you did some digging, but the bottom line is it's a hardware thing:

    "Thanks for getting in touch with us. SoundSource is retired now, but it was designed to make it easy to switch between different audio devices. The problem with your setup is that Mac OS X performs a hardware override when you plug a device into your audio port, so there's no way of changing it aside from the physical connection. You can simulate SoundSource's functionality by holding down the option key and clicking on the Volume button in the Menu Bar, but you'll notice that it doesn't recognize the speakers as an output device when you have headphones connected"

    -Chris Barajas of Rogue Amoeba
     
  11. winterquilt thread starter macrumors regular

    winterquilt

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #11
    Receiving the little USB audio connector today I can confirm that it does work and is simply plug and play!


    Off eBay it only cost me around £2 with delivery (which I bumped up 19p more to get it two days faster!)
     
  12. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

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    Feb 28, 2009
    #12
    What did you buy, and is it working for all audio sources?
     
  13. SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

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    #13
  14. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #14
    Cool - would like to know it's working as I have a Mac mini that doesn't have sound output any more. It unfortunately keeps hammering my AppleTVs as it looks for a place to put the audio.

    When I mean "working" I mean is selectable in the OS etc etc.
     

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