Question 2 Computers, 1 Set of Speakers - 3.5mm Splitter Isn't Working

Sep 7, 2020
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I'm trying to get my desk set up at home so that my one set of speakers will play either the audio from my work laptop, or the audio from my home PC. I have both systems on the same desk and I use HDMI switchers and a USB switcher to switch my monitors, keyboard, and mouse between the two computers. But I also want my one set of speakers to be able to switch between the two computers.

I bought a 3.5 mm splitter cable which I thought would do the job easily, but it's not working the way I expected.

My speakers (Creative Pebble Speakers) have two cables coming out of them: one 3-position male 3.5mm jack for audio input, and one USB cable for power. I bought a splitter that has a 3.5mm female jack on one end and splits into two cables that each end in a 3-position male 3.5mm jack. I then plugged one of these ends into my desktop PC audio output (light green) and the other end into the audio output jack of the laptop docking station that I use with my work laptop.

The issue is that this setup doesn't work. If I have all ends of the splitter plugged in, I don't get any audio from my desktop PC. But if I disconnect the end of the splitter that is connected to the laptop dock, then the desktop audio starts coming through the speakers.

I've tried switching the two splitter jacks between my desktop PC and laptop dock and still have the same issue.

If I have both computers turned on at the same time, and both ends of the splitter plugged into the two computers, I will only get audio from the laptop. If I disconnect the laptop 3.5mm connector, I will then start getting audio from my desktop.

Is there something I'm missing here?
 

raykneale

Estimable
Oct 5, 2017
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Audio splitters don't carry two separate signals ,they are designed to split one input into two so two sets of headphones can share the same output ,you probably need some sort of audio switch i.e. 2 inputs 1 output with a manual switch to select the desired source ,
 
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