Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

A place for Ogre users to discuss non-Ogre subjects with friends from the community.
User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:43 am

I've been looking for a physical device, that allows me to plug in some headphones, and then I'm able to switch between two different sources. Not blend them together, but swap between the two. Currently, I'm just unplugging the headphones from my PC to the Mac, and swapping them back again if I need to change a source. I'm afraid, this is going to cause wear and tear on the ports (especially the PC, where it's getting a bit ragged).

So any pointers would appreciated.

Couple of conditions though;

1. I don't like the cheap ones. The plastic ones on Amazon, look like they don't ground properly, or would cause feedback or some sort of electrical interference.
2. No need for fancy sliders or knobs. Just a button, or a single knob to switch between audio.
3. The audio doesn't need to be amplified (although I'm not ruling that out).

p.s.

Yes, I realise this is an Ogre forum. But I know at least one person on here who deals with Music. ;)
0 x

PhilipLB
Google Summer of Code Student
Google Summer of Code Student
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:07 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by PhilipLB » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:02 am

Hi,

there are some really small (pre-) mixers available which might be usefull here, stuff like this:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/rolls_mx_42.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/samson_smix_5k ... tmixer.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_mon_800_minimon.htm
0 x
Google Summer of Code 2012 Student
Topic: "Volume Rendering with LOD aimed at terrain"
Project links: Project thread, WIKI page, Code fork for the project
Mentor: Mattan Furst


Volume GFX, accepting donations.

User avatar
lonewolff
Ogre Magi
Posts: 1199
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am
x 2

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by lonewolff » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:28 pm

USB or analogue headphones?
0 x

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:13 am

Normal analogue ones. They are Sennhesier 555s, if it helps.

The jack is 3.5mm, but it's an adapter to the larger kind (6.35 mm).


@PhilipLB

Thanks for the links. They seem a bit over the top for what I need, and some of them use a phono connection. I will take a second look though.
0 x

User avatar
lonewolff
Ogre Magi
Posts: 1199
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am
x 2

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by lonewolff » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:29 am

Something like this?

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.as ... TID=1014#4

You would need to adapt the i/o though.
0 x

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:42 am

Yes, exactly like that! But with 3.5mm jack inputs ;)
0 x

User avatar
Klaim
Old One
Posts: 2565
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:04 am
Location: Paris, France
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by Klaim » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:08 pm

Also, check if you loose signal with those stuff. If your output is very good and your headphone is too and you have something destroying the sound quality in between, it would be too bad.
0 x

User avatar
johnhpus
Platinum Sponsor
Platinum Sponsor
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:49 am

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by johnhpus » Thu May 03, 2012 8:27 pm

Hi betajaen. I think this is what you're looking for: http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-2-Port-S ... 155&sr=8-1

I have one, and I love it.
0 x

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Thu May 03, 2012 9:01 pm

That's more of a KVM.

Really, I just want a 'KVM' just for audio. lonewolff's link seems to be similar to what I want, it's just the connections are wrong. It would be nice if the audio was amplified, but I'm not hoping for that.
0 x

User avatar
kulik
Gremlin
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 2:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by kulik » Thu May 03, 2012 9:25 pm

I use a DAC (Carat Topaz in this case) with 2 inputs - Optical and USB. I just switch on the front panel of the DAC to whichever I want. The audio quality is not compromised because the signal is digital.
0 x
mpreisler on IRC | CEGUI team member, CEGUI Unified Editor developer, OISB founder

User avatar
johnhpus
Platinum Sponsor
Platinum Sponsor
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:49 am

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by johnhpus » Thu May 03, 2012 9:33 pm

Ah, yeah. It is a full KVM but works for just audio as well.
0 x

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Thu May 03, 2012 9:40 pm

@kulik

I was looking at these before. I don't understand, do these act like an external sound card?

@johnhpus

I may have to get one of these if there isn't an audio solution, but there must be.
0 x

User avatar
lonewolff
Ogre Magi
Posts: 1199
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am
x 2

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by lonewolff » Thu May 03, 2012 10:23 pm

How about this then 8)

http://gadget.brando.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00326

[edit]
I dont know how electronics savvy you are. But, it wouldn't be very hard to build something in 15 minutes flat. No components required, just a DPDT toggle switch, a case, and three 3.5mm phono jacks. If you really get stuck I can draw up the circuit for you.
0 x

User avatar
kulik
Gremlin
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 2:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by kulik » Thu May 03, 2012 10:37 pm

betajaen wrote:@kulik

I was looking at these before. I don't understand, do these act like an external sound card?
Digital to Analog converters sometimes have some soundcard functionality but definitely not always. You feed them digital audio and they produce (sometimes even amplified) analog signal.
0 x
mpreisler on IRC | CEGUI team member, CEGUI Unified Editor developer, OISB founder

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Thu May 03, 2012 10:46 pm

lonewolff wrote:How about this then 8)

http://gadget.brando.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00326
That's it. Now just gotta find one in the UK. ;)
lonewolff wrote:I dont know how electronics savvy you are. But, it wouldn't be very hard to build something in 15 minutes flat. No components required, just a DPDT toggle switch, a case, and three 3.5mm phono jacks. If you really get stuck I can draw up the circuit for you.
I could probably do it my self.I was trying to learn electronics a year ago, got all the kit. Not very good at soldering, but as you said it's just a toggle switch, and three phono jacks. I was worried about the signal going back into the computer when I was switching sources, but I assume a diode would handle that.
kulik wrote:Digital to Analog converters sometimes have some soundcard functionality but definitely not always. You feed them digital audio and they produce (sometimes even amplified) analog signal.
Ahh. But the digital audio is sent through the USB connection right?
0 x

User avatar
lonewolff
Ogre Magi
Posts: 1199
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am
x 2

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by lonewolff » Thu May 03, 2012 11:47 pm

Nah, diode wouldn't work as the audio signal is AC. So you would get half rectified audio.

I don't think it would be a problem anyway. The two signals would just mix for that split second (if anything). Depends on the quality of the switch I guess.
0 x

User avatar
kulik
Gremlin
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 2:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by kulik » Fri May 04, 2012 11:22 pm

betajaen wrote: Ahh. But the digital audio is sent through the USB connection right?
That or through SPDIFF or optical cable. USB is usually a crutch, other means provide better sampling rates.
0 x
mpreisler on IRC | CEGUI team member, CEGUI Unified Editor developer, OISB founder

User avatar
lonewolff
Ogre Magi
Posts: 1199
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am
x 2

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by lonewolff » Sat May 05, 2012 12:30 am

The point is that betajaen is after a conventional 3.5mm stereo solution.
0 x

User avatar
kulik
Gremlin
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 2:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by kulik » Sat May 05, 2012 7:10 am

lonewolff wrote:The point is that betajaen is after a conventional 3.5mm stereo solution.
Is he really strictly after that? Can't find that in the OP.
betajaen wrote:I've been looking for a physical device, that allows me to plug in some headphones, and then I'm able to switch between two different sources. Not blend them together, but swap between the two.
Doesn't seem that he's set on an all-analog solution. Even if he is, I don't see anything bad about suggesting an alternative :-) Especially since the title says "audiophile" solution, implying sound quality is a priority. All analog solution is likely to suck, 2 differently amplified sources (both internal sound cards - yuck) and a 3 way splitter that will bring a lot of noise in...
0 x
mpreisler on IRC | CEGUI team member, CEGUI Unified Editor developer, OISB founder

User avatar
lonewolff
Ogre Magi
Posts: 1199
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am
x 2

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by lonewolff » Sat May 05, 2012 7:29 am

kulik wrote:Is he really strictly after that? Can't find that in the OP.
Look at the fourth post :wink:
kulik wrote:All analog solution is likely to suck, 2 differently amplified sources (both internal sound cards - yuck) and a 3 way splitter that will bring a lot of noise in...
Garbage. The signals are physically isolated.

All he wants to do is to switch between two analogue audio inputs. Nothing sinister.
0 x

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Sat May 05, 2012 8:29 am

Yep, Switch between two 3.5mm analogue sources.

I put in 'audiophile' word, because I figured noise or interference may be a problem. Since I have nice headphones, that could probably pick up these things. I was hoping someone may have an alternative solution - perhaps a good brand that has some sort of electrical device specifically for this. I don't know audio electronics or the brands, hence the post. ;)
0 x

User avatar
kulik
Gremlin
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 2:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by kulik » Sat May 05, 2012 12:52 pm

lonewolff wrote:
kulik wrote:Is he really strictly after that? Can't find that in the OP.
Look at the fourth post :wink:
What do you think I use with the DAC, jack cable into headphones... Using 3.5 mm jack doesn't imply all-analog solution...
lonewolff wrote:
kulik wrote:All analog solution is likely to suck, 2 differently amplified sources (both internal sound cards - yuck) and a 3 way splitter that will bring a lot of noise in...
Garbage. The signals are physically isolated.

All he wants to do is to switch between two analogue audio inputs. Nothing sinister.
Sure, it would be pretty stupid to have them all connected together, right? But the switcher is probably not going to be shielded, definitely not as nicely as a good cable. It might work alright if it's far from other electronics but it will bring noise in... Whether it's acceptable or not is the question.

Also, there is nothing sinister about external DACs... It does make a huge difference, especially if you have pricey headphones.

@betajaen: If all you want is an analog switcher, go for it. It all depends on what you are used to. If you use an internal analog soundcard it is noisy even now, so it might not matter as much if more noise is added.
0 x
mpreisler on IRC | CEGUI team member, CEGUI Unified Editor developer, OISB founder

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Sun May 06, 2012 8:07 pm

Hmm. What do you guys think of a desk amplifier?

I've been looking at this;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pioneer-A-109-4 ... B00005OOJF

I know it takes phono inputs, and can output to speakers and so it's a bit overpowered for what I want. But it's expansive, and probably a worthwhile investment.

But I'm sure there plenty of other types of devices, that are lesser powered.
0 x

User avatar
JohnJ
OGRE Expert User
OGRE Expert User
Posts: 975
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:14 am
Location: Santa Clara, California

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by JohnJ » Mon May 07, 2012 4:40 am

I'm pretty sure you do not want to use a speaker amplifier with headphones. Even assuming you could turn it down far enough to not blow them up, there would probably be an impedance mismatch that would make the bass sound weird and you'd probably get a lot of noise because it's not designed for such low power transducers. 40 watts should fry even the sturdiest and power hungry headphones if you just once accidentally bumped the volume. If it has a headphone output designed for headphones, you could use that, but I'm not sure what sound quality you'd get though. I tried using my headphones (Senn HD800) straight from an audio jack of a good quality receiver unit once, and the sound quality was terrible, but I think that's because it wasn't meant to drive anything even slightly power-hungry.

I don't know a whole lot about switching units, but if you asked on head-fi.org, I bet someone would have an answer. If you're already happy with your sound quality from your computers, probably the simplest possible mechanical switch would be best (definitely avoid anything with a built in volume or "equalizer" feature unless it's really good equipment). I honestly think even a simple switch from radio shack or something like that would be good enough, as long as it doesn't mess with the signal with a volume control etc.

Some desktop amplifiers have multiple inputs I think, which would definitely be a good solution and simultaneous upgrade (although expensive). But then again if you upgrade to an amp you'll probably want to get a DAC, in which case you might as well just get a digital switch to your DAC/amp. An HD555 doesn't really need a dac/amp though like some of the more crazy high end headphones do.

Here's an alternate super cheap idea: Buy two headphone jack extenders (or Y connectors and only use it for one headphone), and plug one into each of your computers. This way you won't wear out your computer's jack because you'll instead be wearing out the extender's jack. It will still slowly wear out the headphone jack, but sennheiser's headphone jacks are pretty sturdy. Not a switch, but maybe an alternate solution :)
0 x

User avatar
betajaen
OGRE Moderator
OGRE Moderator
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:15 pm
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: Headphone 'splitter' question for audiophiles

Post by betajaen » Mon May 07, 2012 7:10 am

JohnJ wrote:If it has a headphone output designed for headphones, you could use that, but I'm not sure what sound quality you'd get though. I tried using my headphones (Senn HD800) straight from an audio jack of a good quality receiver unit once, and the sound quality was terrible, but I think that's because it wasn't meant to drive anything even slightly power-hungry.
Ahh good points. It does have a headphone jack, but your probably right, it's designed for speaker use, and a headphone jack is bonus.
JohnJ wrote:I don't know a whole lot about switching units, but if you asked on head-fi.org, I bet someone would have an answer.
I shall take a look.
JohnJ wrote:Some desktop amplifiers have multiple inputs I think, which would definitely be a good solution and simultaneous upgrade (although expensive). But then again if you upgrade to an amp you'll probably want to get a DAC, in which case you might as well just get a digital switch to your DAC/amp. An HD555 doesn't really need a dac/amp though like some of the more crazy high end headphones do.
No, which is the reason why I bought it (a second time). I'm still not sure what a DAC actually does. It get's the audio through the USB port, but isn't a USB sound card?
JohnJ wrote:Here's an alternate super cheap idea: Buy two headphone jack extenders (or Y connectors and only use it for one headphone), and plug one into each of your computers. This way you won't wear out your computer's jack because you'll instead be wearing out the extender's jack. It will still slowly wear out the headphone jack, but sennheiser's headphone jacks are pretty sturdy. Not a switch, but maybe an alternate solution :)
This was my original cheap thought. I could use the original larger jack then, and it would be stronger. I was hoping for a solution with a button or knob though. ;)
0 x

Post Reply