Computers are a wonderful thing but sometimes, the simplest tasks seem to be the most difficult to accomplish. Have you ever been frustrated by repeatedly having to unplug your headset from the front of your computer just so you can hear audio from your speakers? Or are you savvy enough to have used a splitter so that both your headset and speakers output audio simultaneously. I am one to hate spending money on parts when there is absolutely no need to do so. So I am one of those who just plug in and unplug my headset. This workaround became such a chore and annoyance that I finally dug into my Windows 7 sound card setup and figured out how to output audio simultaenously from the speakers and the headset! It sounds like a silly discovery but for those of us who regularly use Gmail calling, Skype and various audio tools like Audacity (for editing our podcasts), this solution finally brought peace and harmony back to computing.
The following are instructions and screenshots of a Dell Vostro 410 with an on-board Realtek sound card and the Realtek HD Audio Manager. Your setup may be different and simultaneous audio output to speakers and headset may not be supported by your sound card, but for those of you who also have this common setup, here is your solution.
Step 1: Open Realtek HD Audio Manager
Step 2: Click on Connector Settings Folder Icon
Step 3: Make sure “Speakers” is set as default device
This should allow you to send audio to your speakers and headset simultaneously without needing an external splitter. Also, be sure to go into your settings and select a higher Default Format since most speaker setups will only have a medium setting and most headsets can deliver a higher audio resolution.
So enjoy using both your speakers and headset without ever having to unplug and re-plug in the headset jack. I know I am!