Customer Review

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good way to get audio from multiple sources, but doesn't compare to a proper switch, July 14, 2012
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This review is from: Belkin Rockstar Multi Headphone Splitter (Light Green) (Electronics)
I'm using this thing backwards; instead of sending audio to multiple receivers, I'm getting audio from multiple devices to a single output, specifically my PC and some game consoles to a monitor which supports only one audio in and out, to which the speakers are plugged in.

I can testify that this actually works, so if you're looking for a cheap, temporary, way to do something like what I am, this will suffice if you're not an audiophile.

The main issue is that the same problem others mention when using it to listen to music with friends also manifests: if I leave, for example, my PC on and try to play XBox, the volume drops quite a bit, and then if I bump the volume up and later switch one or the other off, things are now too loud. This means I can only really have one device on at a time or I manually remove cables, neither of which is exactly convenient. Also, I've noticed that the simple fact that other devices are plugged in (even if off) affects audio clarity, though I only noticed this by playing some music and removing plugs; on its own, I find the clarity satisfactory for my needs.

So, in conclusion, if you're trying to get audio from a bunch of devices for a temporary setup like mine, this little gadget will suit your needs provided you don't expect top-tier audio quality from it. Otherwise, if you're looking for a longer-term solution, a proper switch is probably a better buy.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2012 11:35:49 AM PDT
W says:
This is EXACTLY what I'm trying to do. Thanks for the review. So it seems you're saying it doesn't really play both audio channels seamlessly. Do you know of a better solution? I'm trying to look at switches and am not sure if they do what I need which is getting multiple channels simultaneously playing through one pair of headphones.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 1:16:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2012 1:22:17 PM PDT
I'm a little confused by what you mean by audio channels; I will guess at two interpretations. If neither is correct, please clarify what you mean:

1) If you mean audio channels proper (i.e. the left and right speaker), then I notice no issue. I will do specific tests later and update if I discover something; I actually had not thought about anything like that.

2) If you mean channels as in devices (e.g. the XBox is one channel, PC another), then I'm not sure what you mean by "seamlessly." If you want to, say, play music from your PC while playing XBox, then this will work out fine; the caveat to note is that you will need to increase the volume of the speakers since each "channel" will effectively get half the total volume rather than stacking. I haven't tried this myself, so I don't know if or how that'll impact audio quality from either.

My comment on clarity is just that: the mere presence of multiple plugs seems to result in less "rich" sound quality on my speakers than if only one device were plugged in or if I plug in my speakers directly. I don't really notice it without comparing directly, but I'm also not much of an audiophile, and on its own it's good enough for me.

I suggested switches because I never -really- intend to get audio from multiple devices simultaneously (I have a USB headset for my PC, which covers 90% of the cases I'd want to), though there may be some that support that. I'll admit I've not looked into switches for 3.5mm audio plugs specifically, but a possible solution is standard RCA switches (ex: 3 in 1 Composite RCA AV Audio Video Selector Switch Box Splitter,Black searched "a/v splitter") and a 3.5mm-to-RCA Audio adapter (ex: http://www.amazon.com/Male-3-5mm-Stereo-Female-Y-Cable/dp/B000I23TTE/ref=sr_1_9?s=electronics).

If you're really intent on getting audio from an XBox and PC to a single pair of headphones and needing to tweak volume is too annoying, then Audio Mixers might be a better option, though they are more expensive and you may need to purchase more adapters. Again, though, if you're OK with tweaking speaker volume sometimes and don't demand audiophile-level quality all the time, then this will probably suffice.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 1:37:45 PM PDT
W says:
Thanks for your great thorough reply. Your second interpretation is correct. For now I just purchased a Y female to 2 male 3.5mm cord and I guess I'll see if it can join audio sources properly. Do the switches you mention combine audio, or act like a traffic signal turning one off and the other on. I'm trying to get both to play simultaneously with ideally separate volume controls for each input.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 1:53:32 PM PDT
Switches are as you think they are--they select between various sources of input which to direct to the output. They do not join them. Your ideal solution sounds more like an audio mixer, the primary difference between this item and those being that audio mixers feature independent volume control (among other things, typically) and tend to be pricier and more complicated to set up (at least, so it seems to me as I browse through them). You could think of this item as the most basic audio mixer possible, I guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 2:10:12 PM PDT
W says:
Ok perfect I'll explore it further. Thanks for the advice!

Posted on Apr 25, 2014 5:43:58 AM PDT
Great feedback and exactly what I'm trying to do. I have Bose QuiteComfort headphones and love them. With that at my desk I have a phone and tablet dock that I'd like to plug into my laptop's line in so that I can run directly from those devices and my laptop. This seems like it will do the trick. Thanks again.

Posted on Jul 19, 2014 9:18:58 AM PDT
Flounder says:
If you're not adverse to a small soldering project, check out the Altoids Tin 1/8" Stereo Mixer project on Instructables. It has very simple instructions for the layman or novice. I made it in an afternoon after receiving the parts from Radio Shack. I would post the link but Amazon eats links for breakfast.

A mixer is a better and safer way to go. Mine still has a little bit of the volume issues but it works pretty well! There are small mixers available here on Amazon as well.
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