I have a Lenovo desktop PC running Windows 8.1. I have two speakers plugged into the audio jack in the back and a pair of headphones plugged into the audio jack on the front panel.

Is there a way to keep both devices plugged in and choose which one of them is active via software?


Right-click on the speaker icon in the notification area and choose Playback devices. Windows will allow you to choose the active / default device there.

  • Thanks. I tried that already. I only see a single playback device called "Speakers" (Realtek High Definition Audio). No reference to headphones or to back/front panel. – urig Jun 23 '15 at 20:11
  • If this also means your speakers switch of whenever you plugin your headphones, it's probably a hardware / firmware switching mechanism. Your chances of changing this are very slim, unless the RealTek drivers / control panel provide an option. Otherwise I guess you're out of luck. – R-D Jun 23 '15 at 20:14
  • My speakers did switch off when I plugged my headphones in. Then I disabled "front panel jack detection" and now they're both on. Now I turn the speakers on/off via their (physical) power buttons - sort of a workaround for my problem. – urig Jun 23 '15 at 20:20

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