<slightly OT?> HELP! Connect 2 PCs to 1 set of speakers... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-19-2004, 04:40 PM

Am brand new here, and while I love good audio/video, I am basically here to ask the experts what would appear to be a simple question. I apologize if the question is OT, but I do not know where else to turn. All conventional resources have failed to reveal an answer...Here is the deal...

I want to connect 2 PCs to use 1 set of powered HK computer speakers. Simple right?

Went to my local Radio Shack and was surprised to find that they did not have cables to do this. Instead, we put our heads together and cobbled together some wires and adapters which, logically, should work. Problem is, it doesn't. I am seriously vexed and desperately need help!

Here is what I bought:
- coupler [1/8" mini plug females on both ends];
- y-adapter [1/8" mini plug male on one end, 2 1/8" mini plug females on other end];
- 2 lengths of cable [1/8" mini plug males on both ends].

Here is what I did:
- plugged the 1/8" speaker plug into one end of the coupler;
- plugged the 1/8" male end of the y-adapter into the other female end of the coupler;
- plugged one end of the 1/8" cables into the speaker outs of PCs A and B and the other end into each of the female jacks of the y-adapter.

Here is what happens:
- PC A audio works perfectly;
- PC B audio works, but the sound is _extremely_ low [unlistenable unless I turn the speaker volume way up].

I know that I cannot have audio sources playing simultaneously on each PC - this doesn't matter anyway as I only can work on one machine at a time.

Logically, AFAIK, the above solution should work fine [right?], but for the life of me, I cannot understand why it doesn't. I am a SysAdmin by trade so I have an understanding of technology issues, but I am stumped here! Am I the only clown who wants to do this sort of thing?

Volume outs on each PC are set at max.

One possible caveat:
PC A happens to have an old Diamond Multimedia 3D "daughter" card. This card connects via a cable to the audio out of the motherboard's built in sound card. If I remove the 1/8" cable from PC A audio out, suddenly PC B audio works normally. Is this significant?

I am really looking for some help here folks. Please, any input would be most appreciated.


07-19-2004, 06:52 PM
You might not the actively using a sound application, but they're both(computers) still plugged into one set of speakers, so you're still asking the speakers to handle two sources. I am not too familiar with this, except that once I set up something similiar but I used a AB switch that toggles between the two sources, and it worked very well. It's not too much of a stretch for me to assume that you simply need a toggle adapter rather than your simple splitter.

Hope this helps. 14AaA41