Previous 1 2 3 Next 41 Replies Latest reply: Dec 24, 2015 5:39 PM by karffe
nate12345 Level 2 Level 2
Hi All,

*Here's my setup:* I've got an iMac, an iPod dock, and a set of speakers. I use an AV switch to choose which input (computer or iPod) is played through the speakers.
*Here's my problem:* If I'm listening to the iPod, all sound from the computer is ignored. So, any sounds from the Mac (notifications, UI feedback, etc) aren't played.
*Here's what I'd like to do:* Be able to choose whether the iMac's internal speakers play even though there's something in the output jack. I've tried MIDI Setup, sound prefs, and SoundSource; but none of them let me turn on the internal speakers while there's something plugged in.

Any ideas?

+Thanks in advance!+

MacBook 2.4 ghz 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.4), MB June 2008, Nano 3G + 5G, AEBS 2008, Logitech 5.1, LaCie 2Big + Rugged, CS4 DP
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7
    OSX disables the internal speakers if there is a plug in the headphone jack, so you can't use both at once. If you want the internal speakers to work, you need some other way to get audio to the external speakers. You could use the iMic
  • nate12345 Level 2 Level 2
    I was considering this kind of thing as a fallback.
    But I'd really rather find a workaround than spend $40 on something that should be easy. Almost every non-Apple product I own gives you a choice whether or not to mute the built-in speakers, so I think there must be a way to get this (basic) functionality on a $1500+ computer.
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7
    It's not done in the hardware but somewhere in the OSX audio software, so it should be possible to do it, but I haven't heard of any body getting both to work at once.
  • nate12345 Level 2 Level 2
    Still no one?
  • davidlegend Level 1 Level 1
    You used to be able to do this in a previous system version - may have be System 9 or something though. There used to be a "Playthrough" checkbox against the speakers in the system preference pane, but I can't find any way to get to this now.

    Anyone know an answer?
  • Scott Kennedy Level 1 Level 1
    *Here's my setup:* I have a MacBook Pro in a HengeDock ( connected to a LED Display, with a Audio extension cable so I can plug in headphones if I need.

    *Here's my problem:* If I have a cable plugged into the headphone jack of the MacBook at all, then I cannot select any other audio output. If I do manage to select an output it is immediately switched back to headphones.

    *Here's what I'd like to do:* Be able to choose whether the MacBook Pro's internal speakers or LED Display's speakers play even though there's something in the output jack. I've tried sound prefs, and SoundSource but none of them let me turn on the internal speakers while there's something plugged in.

    Any ideas?

    +Thanks in advance!+

    Message was edited by: Scott Kennedy
  • Király Level 6 Level 6
    Hi Scott,

    Unfortunately it can't be done. I believe Malcolm was mistaken about it being OS X that prevents it, although that might be the case on his Mac Pro. In the case of my iMac, there is a mechanical switch inside the headphone jack, that shuts off the internal speakers when anything is inside of it. Because it is a mechanical switch, there is no software fix. I suspect it is the same on MacBook Pros.

    I have send feedback to Apple complaining about this; perhaps you should do the same. The more people who complain, the likelier Apple it is to drop this practice.
  • Király Level 6 Level 6
    Hi again,

    I should add that there is an alternative: instead of using the built-in audio output port, get a USB or FireWire audio output device. You can then plug your headphones/line out/TOSLINK into that, and still have your Mac's internal speakers available.
  • IBG001 Level 1 Level 1

    I cannot be correct that there is a mechanical switch inside the headphone because the Mac sound when you start your Mac will always come from the internal speakers also when the headphone jack is plugged in. The conclusion must be that it is a software thing.
  • Király Level 6 Level 6
    Hi IBG001,

    Yes, you are correct... I hadn't thought of that! The startup chime does indeed come out of the internal speakers even when something is plugged in to the audio out jack. That nixes my theory about the mechanical switch. I'll have to remember where I had first heard about that...
  • nothingatall Level 1 Level 1
    I have a mbp, and I opened pref->sound and changed use audio port for input although headphones were connected. And automatically internal speakers started to play, thus the jack is able to identify and switch between input and output.
    I am sure if a software is able to override the default, we could play internal speakers and external at the same time. I tried a app called airphones to play music on a ipod from mac, wen airphones is on internal speakers switch. The basis is that SL can use just on audio source not two or more.
  • Alexis Piraina Level 1 Level 1


    There is a simple solution for those who want to switch between headphones and speakers (when the MBP in on an Henge Dock for example), just press "alt" when pushing the sound icon in the bar and choose the other way out "saisie" in french.

  • philfsimon Level 1 Level 1



    I was fortunate enough to speak to an apple tech support person who was actually very knowledgeable about the computer software and hardware, and had an at-length discussion with him about this.


    It's not disabled by OSX, and not programmable in the EFI.  The switch is a hardware switch which is attached to the back of the headphone port.  He told me how to turn it off, but doing so would require detaching the diode from the setup, and would require soldering work.  needless to say, if you're under warranty, that's an immediate breaker.


    there is software, i forgot what it is, that will disable the headphone port completely, thus giving you your internal speakers back, but then the headphone port is unrecognizable.


    The point is that it is definitely a hardware switch that does this and, as the guy explained, even in the EFI you can't disable it by software.


    The best bet, unless you are really good with soldering and are willing to take a risk, is to buy an external USB sound device as the other people have recommended.

  • Sarvaten Level 1 Level 1



    I was concerned about the same problem as lately I needed to work with Windows on my iMac 21.5.


    Actually there has to be something wit hthe software:

    In windows 7 (Bootcamp) - When you rightclick on the sond icon (right bottom corner) - playback options and you chose the internal speakers and default, it will automatically change the sound from headphones to internal speakers and vice versa.


    In OS 10.6 I do not get this options even if I go into System Preferences -Sound - Outpout. I also tried Soundsource and it does nothing more than Alt+ click on the sound icon on the taks bar.


    I can believe it is something physically installed into the 3.5mm jack but why it will work on Windows and not on OS10.6 .


    Hope this helps somehow.


    Good day.

Previous 1 2 3 Next