laptop speaker issue

By cdvanarsdale ·
I want to listen to sound via external speakers and not laptop internal speakers; how do I disable the laptop intrernal speakers while having sound via external speakers? Right now I have the external speakers running out of the headphone plug in/ connector!

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On every device I've ever seen....

by robo_dev In reply to laptop speaker issue

the headphone jack is a 'switching' jack that cuts off the internal speakers when you plug something into it.

What model of laptop do you have? Perhaps your headphone jack is damaged.

If yours is different, then if the correct drivers for the PCs sound card are installed, there should be separate volume controls available for the headphone jack versus the internal speakers. This would be through the sound options on windows control panel. There is a mixer application built into windows that controls microphone input levels, speaker volume, etc.

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Same here - Unless what's happened is ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to On every device I've ever ...

The OP has plugged his speaker jack into his microphone socket!

If that is the case, you can 'hear' speaker sound coming from the microphone socket since both exist on the same sound channel but are the opposite of each other. Much like the acoustic feedback encountered in recording studios if the baffles are incorrectly placed.

THAT would explain the internals not cutting off.

Some laptops have separate speaker and microphone sockets very close to each other.


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laptop speaker issue

by cdvanarsdale In reply to laptop speaker issue

Thanks for the replies; I have a IBM Thinkpad T-43 with headphone and mic inputs on the side of the laptop. I have the laptop sitting on a docking station that has a speaker (green) input on the back of it; that's what I initially plugged the external speakers into (internal continued to give sound-which I do not want). I now have them (external speakers) plugged into the headphone input and they have cancelled the internal speakers out, but the quality is not as good. I was just hoping for a better solution; guess there really isn't one with a laptop!

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Au Contraire ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to laptop speaker issue

The sound from a laptop can be decidedly good, if not better than good.

Before going into what may be a badly-aimed, long-winded diatribe that you don't need, I first have a couple of questions:

What software / program is being used for generating the sound from the laptop?

What type of sound are you producing?

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What type of Speakers

by TheChas In reply to laptop speaker issue

If you are getting lessor sound quality with the same speakers you had plugged into the docking station speaker jack from the headphone jack, the problem is the speakers and not the laptop.

You need to use powered amplified speakers when plugged into a headphone jack. Most headphone jacks have dropping resistors or lower level outputs than a speaker jack.

However, if the speakers have a high sensitivity line input, you may need to attenuate the signal between the headphone jack and the external speakers.

Another option would be a USB sound card such as:


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A lesser know fact about laptop sound chips : ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to laptop speaker issue

In fact, all computer sound chips are covered here.

The sound chip mounted on a motherboard has two stages of processor, although by default only one is ever activated. Probably because headphone jacks are best suited to just that - headphones. Crap headphones gives crap sounds and vice versa.

However, crap headphones can actually produce half-decent sound and decent headphones can produce excellent sound, if the second processor stage inside the chip is switched on.

Use of the 'equaliser' within programs such as Windows Media Player (not bad) or WinAmp (better) will enhance an MP3 by enriching the bass tones that were removed in the MP3 compression process.

But this doesn't produce any of the Discrete qualities of the audio signal, the ambience if you will. Whether the chip is Realtek or Soundmax or whatever, they all conform to the AC97 standard and have this second processor stage turned off by default. It is like the preamp in a high quality audio system.

There is an add-on for WinAmp, a sound plugin called 'Enhancer 0.17' that switches ON this preamp capability. [There are others but this is by far the best I have ever heard]

Now, for all you WinAmp-haters out there: I know - your thinking that it's no use without WinAmp. Actually, once it is installed, turned on and adjusted to your preferences thereby switching the second stage on, it doesn't matter whether WinAmp is running or not. The second stage has now been activated and will remain active until you uninstall the plugin. It just sits in the background kinda like the Terminate and Stay Resident programs of the DOS days.

You can get it from here:

You WILL need WinAmp in order to 'turn it on' since it's a WinAmp plugin but once it's on, it's on forever.


<Edited for typo>

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