Listening to music is one of my favorite pastime activities. Sometimes I like playing top hits at full blast on my speakers, other times I prefer to keep things private and enjoy the latest tunes on my headphones.
My premium headphones rarely fail me whenever I need to listen to music privately. However, one day I had an embarrassing moment when I visited my local library. I plugged my headphones into my computer only for the speakers to start playing at the same time. All eyes were on me since a library is a noise-free zone. I didn’t know what to do and had to leave to save face.
Since I’m not ready to experience a similar situation, I researched and discovered how to stop headphones and speakers from playing at the same time.
- Headphones and speakers playing at the same time might be because of a loose connection, damaged headphones, outdated sound drivers, or incorrect audio settings.
- You can stop headphones and speakers from playing simultaneously by disabling one audio output.
- Changing the default audio output can prevent both output devices from playing simultaneously. Go to your device’s sound settings to change the default output.
- If streaming audio on external speakers, unplugging one output device and disabling the internal speaker will prevent them from playing simultaneously.
- Your computer has a built-in audio troubleshooter. Running this program can help diagnose and fix common sound issues.
How to Stop Headphones and Speakers from Playing at the Same Time (Windows 10)
Why Are My Headphones and Speakers Playing at the Same Time?
Here are a few reasons your headphones and speakers are playing at the same time and how to fix them.
Clogged Headphone Jack
Before messing around with your headphones and speakers, check the headphone jack first.
Accumulated debris and other sediments in the headphone jack might clog the port, causing your audio outputs to act up because of the loose connection. Your headphones might produce some sound, but the audio will be low quality because the plug is not firmly in place.
Cleaning and unclogging the headphone jack can help solve the issue. You can use a pin or blower to remove the debris and ensure the headphones plug in firmly. When connected correctly, your computer or smartphone detects the headphones and deactivates the speakers, preventing them from playing alongside your headset.
Damaged Headphone Plug
A damaged headphone plug might prevent your headset from plugging in correctly, causing your headphones and speakers to play simultaneously. Fixing the issue depends on the extent of the damage. The headphone plug or jack might be bent or loose.
Sometimes you may have to replace the headphone plug to solve the problem and ensure a firm connection. However, replacing a damaged headphone plug is an intricate process. It requires some expertise and tools, such as a soldering gun. You may also need to buy a replacement plug or jack. Once repaired, you shouldn’t have any problems playing from one audio device.
Fixing a Bent Headphone Plug
Sometimes the problem might lie with your headphones rather than your audio source. The headphones might be defective, leading to audio issues. Try connecting your headset to a different phone or computer to see how it performs. If the problem still exists, you may need to replace your headphones. You can try another pair of working headphones with your device and see if that makes a difference.
Incorrect Audio Output
Often, your computer or smartphone will automatically select the default audio output. When you plug in your headphones, your device will switch from playing audio via the speakers to your headset. Your headphones will become the default audio output.
However, even the most advanced gadgets can act up and cause issues. Instead of selecting one audio output, your source device will stream audio on your headphones and speakers. If so, you must manually select the default audio output.
Here’s how to go about it:
Selecting the Default Audio Output on a Windows 10 PC
- Right-click the speaker icon on your computer’s system tray.
- Click Sound.
- Click the Playback tab.
- Select one audio output and right-click on it.
- Click Set as Default Device.
- Alternatively, right-click the device you want to stop from playing and click Disable.
How to Set the Default Audio Output in Windows?
Selecting the Default Audio Output on a Mac
- Click the Apple logo on your Mac computer.
- Select System Preferences.
- Under Hardware, click the Sound icon to open the audio settings.
- Click the output tab to see a list of connected audio devices.
- Select your headphones or speakers as the default audio device.
- Uncheck the mute checkbox to ensure sound plays through the selected device.
How to Set Audio Output in macOS?
Outdated Sound Card Drivers
Headphones and speakers might stream audio simultaneously due to outdated sound card drivers. The drivers convert audio signals between the computer’s processing unit and the installed sound card into a meaningful context.
Depending on the operating system, your computer should be able to update the drivers automatically. If the drivers are obsolete, they can cause audio issues. Your PC won’t be able to select the appropriate audio output, causing your headphones and speakers to play simultaneously.
Here’s how to update sound card drivers on a Windows PC:
- Right-click the start button (Windows logo).
- Go to Device Manager.
- Scroll down to Sound, video, and game controllers.
- Expand the menu to view your sound devices.
- Right-click your sound card driver.
- Select Update Driver Software.
- Windows will automatically check for the latest drivers and install them.
For Mac computers, you only need to run a system update. MacOS will automatically update the sound drivers to the latest version.
- Click the Apple icon on your Mac computer.
- Go to Settings.
- Select System Preferences.
- Click Software Update.
- Click Update Now.
- The MacOS Utility will install available driver updates.
If playing audio from a smartphone or tablet, firmware issues can cause your device to play via two outputs simultaneously. Updating your device firmware to the latest version can help solve the problem.
Here are the steps:
- Tap the gear icon to open Settings.
- Go to System updates.
- Tap on Check for system updates.
- A pop-up message will appear if a system update is available.
- Tap Yes to start the update.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update.
Updating Firmware/Software on a Samsung Galaxy Phone
For iOS Devices:
- Tap on the Settings app.
- Go to General.
- Tap on Software Update.
- Tap on Install Now.
- Enter your passcode to start the update.
Updating Software on an iPhone
Sometimes your headphones and speakers might play simultaneously because of insufficient RAM. Running numerous applications all at once might hog your RAM, causing your device to act up.
Restarting your computer or smartphone can help clear temporary caches and refresh the system. If that does not work, consider performing a reset. Restoring your device to factory defaults can correct minor issues.
Other Ways to Stop Headphones and Speakers from Playing at the Same Time
If you are unsuccessful in stopping your headphones and speakers from playing at the same time, you can try the following hacks.
Run the Audio Troubleshooter
Your Windows computer has a built-in audio troubleshooter that you can use to diagnose and fix common audio problems.
Here’s how to use Windows audio troubleshooter:
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard.
- Type Audio Troubleshooter in the search bar.
- Click Fix and find problems with playing sound.
- Click Next.
- Windows will scan your computer for audio problems.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to fix detected audio issues.
Unplug One Audio Output
If all else fails, consider unplugging one audio output. You can disconnect your headphones and use the speakers, or vice versa. If your computer has internal speakers and you want to use a headset, disable the speakers via the control panel.
Go to your computer’s control panel and click Hardware and Sound. Under the Sound menu, select Manage audio devices. Next, go to the playback tab to see the list of connected audio devices. Right-click the default audio output and click Disable to deactivate it.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Why are my speakers and headphones playing at the same time?
- Answer: Your speakers and headphones might play simultaneously because of several reasons. Incorrect audio settings might cause this problem. Go to sound settings and select the correct audio output. The headphone jack might be clogged or dirty, causing a loose connection. Clean the port and plug in the headphones to see if it solves the problem. Outdated sound drivers can also cause this problem. Updating the drivers can help solve the issue. If that doesn’t work, update your device firmware to the latest version.
- Question: How do I change the audio output from headphones to speakers?
- Answer: You can change the audio output from headphones to speakers via your device’s sound settings. On a Windows 10 PC, right-click the speaker icon on the system tray and click Open Sound Settings. Under the output menu, choose your preferred output device. You can also access sound settings via your computer’s control panel and select manage audio devices to change the default output.
- Question: How do I manually disable audio output?
- Answer: Go to your computer’s control panel and click Hardware and Sound. Under the Sound menu, select Manage audio devices. Next, go to the playback tab to see the list of connected audio devices. Right-click the default audio output and click Disable to deactivate it.
- Question: How do I stop my speakers and headphones from playing at the same time?
- Answer: First, find the root cause of the problem. Check the headphone jack for dirt and debris. A clogged port can lead to a loose connection, causing your headset and speakers to play simultaneously. If that doesn’t work, inspect your headphones for issues. Plug them into a different device to see if they work. If they are okay, go to sound settings on your device and select the correct audio output.
- Question: How do I set my headphones as the default audio output on a Mac?
- Answer: Click the Apple logo on your Mac computer and select System Preferences. Under Hardware, click the Sound icon to open audio settings. Click the output tab to see a list of connected audio devices. Select your headphones as the default audio device. Uncheck the mute checkbox to ensure sound plays through your headphones.
Setting Default Audio Output in Windows 11
Stopping your headphones and speakers from playing at the same time can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do or where to start.
Fortunately, solving this issue is easier than you think. You only need to change the default audio output. If using external speakers, you can unplug them and disable your computer’s internal speaker.
Sometimes, it is just a matter of cleaning the headphone jack to ensure the headphone plug connects to your device securely.