How to connect External speakers AND a Headphone to an IMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macsander, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. macsander macrumors regular


    Feb 18, 2008

    I would like to know how you can connect external speakers and a headphone( both 3.5mm mini-jack) to an IMac at the same time...
    I know there is such a thing as a splitter which allows you to connect two 3.5mm jacks to the Audio out port, but do lose any sound quality by doing this?

    It is important for me that the sound quality of both the headphone and external speakers remain at the same level it is.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. 119576 Guest


    Aug 6, 2007
    In my experience, the 3.5mm jack splitters work quite well; you may lose a small amount of sound quality, but it probably won't be noticeable.

    Your best bet is probably to get an audio interface with two headphone outputs.
    (this may be overcomplicating the matter; what is your purpose for having the speakers and headphones connected at the same time?)
  3. macsander thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 18, 2008
    Can you please give an example of such a device? and still isn't the Imac's sound quality output better then such a device?
  4. davedray macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    I am in a band and have had the same thought many times. Now, to keep the same levels it really depends on your headphones. If your mixing, I always try for a good middle ground for headphones and speakers. But back to your question:
    A splitter should not degrade the sound if it is good quality, and you wouldnt need to pay much for a good quality splitter. Also, you could get speakers that have a headphone jack. Finaly, you could unplug between them. But that can get frustrating. (I really need to get a USB hub)

    I hope this helps!
  5. MasConejos macrumors regular


    Jun 25, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Alternatively, you could get speakers that have a 3.5mm jack built in specifically for connecting headphones in a pass-through mode
  6. seeker777 macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2007
    Although not as cheap as the splitter, another approach is to use an Airport Express for the external speakers. This would also provide more flexibility in that the speakers would not have to be next to the computer.

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