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3-way audio selector/splitter

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September 11, 2005 5:10:07 AM

I've got a computer setup in which I have different audio requirements for different situations. I use my computer for gaming, music and movies. When I game, I want to use my headset/headphones. When I listen to music, I use my nice PC speakers, and when I watch DVDs (Or one of my many downloaded television shows), I use my DVD rom and port the picture and sound from my PC to my TV.

Here's my problem. Anytime I switch modes, I need to crawl under my desk and swap one of the audio plugs (headphones, PC speakers or pc2tv line. What I imagine would solve my problem is a 3 way splitter with a selector switch on it that sits on my computer desk. Each of the three cords will plug into it and the selector would plug into my sound card. Depending which function I want to use my computer for, I could just flip the switch on the slector/splitter to the appropriate spot and that source would get a direct feed from my sound card.

So, my question is.... does that kind of product exist? If not, is it easily made? It doesn't seem like it'd be that complicated, but I don't know if the demand is enough for such a product to exist.

Any help in locating or making one would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike


---MY RIG---
MSI Nforce2 (K7N2) w/ Athlon XP 3200+
1GB PC-2700 Kingston Value
Chaintech 6800NU (360/765)
WD800JB 80GB, Maxtor 250GB
Sony DVD-RW, Pioneer 16X DVD, 15GB USB2.0 HDD
September 17, 2005 9:32:40 PM

Sounds like you are in dire need of an A/V receiver.

Otherwise, you'd need some pretty arcane setups for this. There are two-way splitters, and you could certainly use two of them to form a 3-way, although you'd still have to go under the desk to plug/unplug the source (it just wouldn't be reaching around the desk anymore). The quality will deteriorate, but since I assume you aren't running high end headphones or bookshelf speakers, it won't matter too much too you.
September 29, 2005 6:19:46 AM

I think your best bet is to get a x-fi sound card with a exteral audio connector it has many different outs on it (as well as many ins)
a front headphone connector, with volume control
and rca for your tv and stereo.
only problem is its 400$
but if you enjoy really really good audio it might be worth it. plus if your a gamer it has 64mb on it, as well as 3d audio from a pair of headphones!

another way you can do it is to get extensions for your cords and place them on your desk and when you need to switch you physically swap the wires with no crawling under the desk. should cost you like 20$
October 1, 2005 11:06:01 AM

For $400 you could get a 2.0 setup that sounds better than any PC speakers AND still have budget for a powerful digital receiver.

Expensive sound cards are for people with huge budgets and tiny rooms, who'll drop $400 on a sound card to self-amplfied, cheap computer speakers (actually computer speakers at any price aren't sonically competitive to actual bookshelf speakers, you are, AGAIN, paying for a spacing saving product). If you have the space, buy BETTER STUFF.
October 1, 2005 4:11:46 PM

Does your soundcard have digital output.
Feel like spending $$$.

If you bought a home theater reciever and 5.1 speakers you could listen to music and DVD's in style and still use keep your headphone connected for gaming.

Don't have the $$$

Buy a $6 Audio Extension cable. Duck tape it to the side of your desk next to the jacks for your headphones, TV, Speakers. :) 

If you are feeling extravagant use adhesive hooks, cable ties and vecro instead of duct tape.

---

Who needs ram on a soundcard? More importantly who is going to waste development time on games that require $250-$400 sound cards. Most people who buy the games have video cards that cost half that.

Someday you will want RAM on your soundcard for high end gaming but by there is going to be an X-Fi 2 with it for arround $100.

I am however impressed with my X-Fi new Extreem Music ($130), but that was an upgrade from a 5 year old SB Live 5.1 :) 
February 10, 2011 1:52:29 AM

What if you use an amplifier instead so you won't crawl under your desk anymore. You can plug all you want and so with your TV. Just a click on the remote control of your amplifier and instantly you can access whatever you want. It'll just cost you a bit though.
February 10, 2011 7:38:42 AM

Yep usually you can pick up a decent 5.1 receiver/amp for not a lot of money.
Go from your sound card to the receiver then run it to what ever you need. Problem with that is it takes up space.I have mine running through an older Pioneer VSX elite 36 receiver . From my card to my receiver is ran by optic.
Also have a Yamaha rx-v1200 6.1 in the garage that would work just as wel depends on you brand prefernce.
!