Headphone Jack Usage

Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2015
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Did a search on this and found some old threads saying it's not possible.......is this still the same with the new iMac?

What I want to do is select the iMac speakers with a headphone cable extension plugged into the back of the iMac all the time. I run an extension up under the desk so I can, at any time, plug in headphones without fiddling with the back of the machine.
When not using the headphones I'd like the music out of the iMac with the extension still plugged in.

Any way to do this?

thanks...
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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While the hardware is capable, as far as I know it still isn't possible to do this while running OS X. A workaround would be to get a USB DAC and plug the cable into that, which would then allow you to change the output source.
 

Buerkletucson

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Sep 12, 2015
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G.McGilli

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2015
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Yeah I bought a $1 splitter. Plugs into the back headphone jack. Then i plug headphones into one side, and speakers into the other.

When I want to use the headphones i just turn down the volume on my speakers and the headphone volume is controlled by the Mac then.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
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I think @Buerkletucson wants to keep the headphones plugged in for convenience sake, but still use the built in speakers. Technically, this is possible, since I've done it in bootcamp, but on macosx, plugging anything into the headphone jack disables the built in speakers. It's a software hack, not a hardware limitation.

(Personally, I think a long headphone cord connected to the back of an imac is a disaster waiting to happen, and therefore have made other arrangements.)
 

jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
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Depends on whether you listen to things on headphones for privacy reasons, or because you're an audiophile on a budget. If it's the former, sure, it'll do. If it's the latter, you might want to investigate usb headphone amplifiers.
 

Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2015
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I think @Buerkletucson wants to keep the headphones plugged in for convenience sake, but still use the built in speakers. Technically, this is possible, since I've done it in bootcamp, but on macosx, plugging anything into the headphone jack disables the built in speakers. It's a software hack, not a hardware limitation.

(Personally, I think a long headphone cord connected to the back of an imac is a disaster waiting to happen, and therefore have made other arrangements.)
Exactly what I want to do.....

Not sure why it would be a disaster waiting to happen though?.....if done neatly and tied securely t's no more an issue than anything else.
The extension is tied neatly with cable ties and mounts to the bottom side of the desk surface then mounted tightly under the desk drawer, right next to where I sit.......simply plug the headphones in when needed.

Very slick.....
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2007
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jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
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Exactly what I want to do.....

Not sure why it would be a disaster waiting to happen though?.....if done neatly and tied securely t's no more an issue than anything else.
The extension is tied neatly with cable ties and mounts to the bottom side of the desk surface then mounted tightly under the desk drawer, right next to where I sit.......simply plug the headphones in when needed.

Very slick.....
ah, see, I have two headphones (Grado SR80, and Sennheiser HD558). Both have cords in the 2 m range, so as to appeal to the living room listener. Anyway, I managed to trip over the cord of the Sennheiser more than once, and in one case, managed to yank the cord so hard it turned by imac to the side which iand actually bent the 1/4" to 1/8" jack adapter.

Given that I was already swapping cables to plug in my stereo equipment, I figured the best option was this.



headphone goes in front, rcas go out to my amp in back, and optical goes into my imac's headphone jack. If I trip on the headphone cord again, presumably the box takes most of the strain. l haven't managed to test that part of my little scheme yet.

But you'd want something to decode USB audio, because leaving anything, even an toslink cable, plugged into the headpone jack disables the speakers.
 

Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2015
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