I had Chillblast build me a system with an Asus P8Z77-V motherboard, Nvidia GE Force GTX 660 Graphics card and just the basic SB Audigy SE soundcard. The speakers are working fine plugged into the soundcard, but when I needed to use the front headphone jack it wouldn't work - the headphones work in the soundcard slot. I took off the side panel and confirmed that the front panel jack is connected directly to the motherboard, and checked my Windows 7 control panel which only show the SB card as the default device and the Nvidia HDMI(4 ports) as not plugged in. I emailed Chillblast who told me that:
The Audigy soundcard does not support a front panel headphone connection hence the current lack of audio from this port. The Audigy SE card is designed as an entry level sound blaster card and as such doesn’t support some features. I’d suggest connecting headphones directly to the rear of the sound card if you wish to use these.
Surely if the jack is connected to the m/board there must be a way to use the on-board audio? Or does the presence of the soundcard prevent use of the onboard audio totally? Is there nothing in the software available to alter between the two? Any help appreciated, otherwise I will have to keep swapping the jacks - not easy with my limited desk space - or is there some sort of a splitter device I could use?
Windows is designed to use ONE sound output device at a time; you can change the default device from the windows control panel. In this case, because there is no Front Panel hookup to the Audigy, you can't use the front panel when the Audigy is the default device.
That being said, some software allows you to manually select which sound device to use, so it is possible to have different software using different sound devices.