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I have an HP dv5t laptop running Windows 7 64 bit with an Acer H235H monitor connected to it via an HDMI cable. The monitor has built-in speakers, which are a huge improvement over the laptop's speakers. However, when I want to use headphones, right now, I have to connect them to the laptop, then right-click the sound icon in the task bar, select Playback Devices, right click the monitor, and disable it.

Is there any way to get Windows 7 to automatically switch the output to the headphones when they're plugged in? That's the behavior that happens without the monitor attached (i.e. it will switch from the laptop speakers to headphones when headphones are plugged in).

I have the same issue with a Sony Vaio laptop running Windows 7 64-bit and an identical monitor, for reference.

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If it is possible at all, then you might look into the sound settings. It's not in the standard windows settings but in those of the sound chip.

I usually have external speakers connected (via green speakers jack at the back of my PC). When I plugin headphones into the front headphone jack, the rear speakers are automatically shut off. This behavior can be configured within the sound settings.

My current PC behaves like this, and my two laptops before did, too. However, I am only using those headphone jacks, not HDMI. I don't know, if the sound driver would support this, too.

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Sadly, I don't think this will work for me, but good answer anyway. My laptop just has an integrated sound card and I can't find anything other than the usual Windows settings. – tnorthcutt May 21 '11 at 15:34

It looks like the monitor has a 3.5mm audio out jack. Go into Sound properties, switch to the recording tab, then the properties for the monitor's audio device, and check the "Listen to this device" box.

That port should now operate just like a headphone jack. It probably outputs at a sample/bit rate higher and with less noise than the on-board sound card as well.

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