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Is there something available that will enable one pair of headphones to get input from two or more sources?

If yes, what is it called (so I can search for it on New Egg and the like)?

I'd really like something very simple, so no amplifiers or anything.


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marked as duplicate by slhck Feb 24 '13 at 19:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Also here,…. Mods, maybe merge this? – hyperslug Feb 5 '11 at 15:10
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you are trying to combine the audio from two separate computers into one set of headphones, there is an alternative to buying/building a mixer. Here's what I did.

You can plug the audio line-out from computer A into the audio line-in on computer B, then plug the headphones into the headphone out on computer B. You will likely need to tweak the audio mixer settings on computer B to get the right sound level balance.

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It's to connect both a digital piano and an MP3 player together, but now that you mention this, indeed, I might try with the piano connected to a computer and then just use the computer instead of the MP3 player for playback. (+1) – houbysoft Dec 27 '10 at 2:05
For that kind of setup, I use a mixer similar to this: which allows me to connect a couple of different inputs, including a keyboard and guitar through a small amp and speakers. – Shannon Nelson Dec 27 '10 at 2:27
Will look into it, but for now, thanks a lot, it works! Strangely enough there was an about 1/5 sec (ie, a lot) lag on Windows 7 for the keyboard input, but on XP it works fine! – houbysoft Dec 27 '10 at 2:30
Quite a few digital pianos have line ins on them so plugging the mp3 player into that might be a solution if your particular piano has it. – Phil Dec 27 '10 at 8:47

It sounds like what you are after is a "Passive stereo mixer", which just use resistor summing networks to combine the 2 signals. They're pretty simple to make and there are instructions online which describe what to do. I've used them before to combine stereo signals to mono at line level, but I've never used them at headphone levels.

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It's called a "mixer" or an "audio mixer". You can't just connect the audio wires in a Y since this will create a path for current to flow from one output device to the next, which could damage them.

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I'm late to the party, and you've already selected an answer, but I think this would solve your problem and doesn't require a computer.

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This is basically what I use. It may be sold as a splitter, but it works perfectly well going backwards. You may need a male-female converter somewhere along the way, depending on what all you are plugging in. I plug the male into one device. I plug my headphones into one female, and then I run a male/male cable to the other device. Voila, I can listen to both. – wrosecrans Dec 27 '10 at 7:27
Careful - this doesn't always give very good results. As Ignacio mentioned, the signal (current) from one device can mess with the other, giving anywhere from messed up sound to messed up devices. – Shannon Nelson Dec 31 '10 at 6:12
It would have to be a very poorly designed device (I've never seen such a device) or an incredibly high gain signal to do so (possible, but unlikely to be used in this situation.) – jsejcksn Jan 1 '11 at 7:28

For the DIY crowd another neat solution is the Altoids Tin Stereo Mixer

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