There is a closely related question for windows 7, though 8 has a lot of changes, so I am hoping things may have changed.

My laptop speakers need to be at 100% and still it would be nice if the sound was louder. But I usually run my headphones at about 8%.

The problem is when I forget that I have the volume set for speakers and plug in headphones and start some music. OUCH!!! And it may damage the headphones too.

Is there a way to automatically cap playback volume over headphones?

  • My computer recognizes when I plug something into the headphone jack. Tell us a little about the PC. Sometimes there are hardware options. Also, are you plugging into the headphone jack on the computer or on the speakers?
    – CharlieRB
    Mar 30, 2015 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


If they both use the same mini-phone connection, there's no way for the PC to distinguish between speaker and headphones. However, there are some easy solutions:

  1. Use a headphone splitter, and add two small potentiometers (or a ganged pot) of about 200 ohms on the side for the headphones (two outer leads to the PC-side, one outer and center to phones). You can leave the phones attached all the time.

  2. Use a headphone volume control or make your own with a couple of pots (or just series resistors, experimentally determined) as above.

  3. Put silicon diodes in parallel back-to-back across the headphone leads. Si diodes don't conduct until ~0.6 V, at which point they limit the voltage across the phones. Use two in series on either side for ~1.2 V limit.

  • By laptop speakers, I meant the ones built into the laptop. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Mar 30, 2015 at 20:09
  • In that case, the second and third suggestions still apply, but there should also be separate volume control settings for headphone and for internal speakers.in the Windows Control Panel or an add-on CPL (e.g. SmartAudio) that was installed by the laptop maker. You can also install a third-party utility, such as Volume2; see alternativeto.net/tag/volume-control/?platform=windows . Mar 31, 2015 at 3:02

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