USB Sound Card / Internal Speakers

  dkeat 11:34 31 Aug 2008

Greetings! The headphone jack on my Sony Vaio notebook has a "loose contact" and it is no longer possible to listen with headphones. So I bought a USB sound card and plugged it in. That works fine when you are listening through the headphones but the card seems to hijack the whole sound system. It installs itself as THE sound card and the original card is disabled. If I boot up the machine with the USB card it automatically installs itself (logical enough). If I then want to just briefly listen to a file without searching for my headphones it is not possible. The internal speakers are not running through the USB sound card. If I go into the Control Center and change the sound card under "Audio" I can then listen through the internal speakers. But this is a real pain. I tried using Device Manager and the Audio in Control Center to see if I could re-route the internal speakers through the USB card but I couldn't even locate them let alone re-route them. If anyone out there knows how to do this I would appreciate the tip. Maybe it's just not possible. One or the other.

I was also wondering if I would have the same problem if I bought a PCMCIA Sound Card?

Thanks, Dave

  jack 12:07 31 Aug 2008

It is normal to have an either or situation under the usual [ mechanical switch] Headphone/Speaker jack.
Speaker then plug in phones - no speaker
So I amgine 'plug in' devices whether USB or PCMCIA
will follow- electronically- the same route.

  dkeat 12:14 31 Aug 2008

Hello Jack and thanks for your reply. I wasn't actually referring to plugging or unplugging headphones. I meant that I am unable to listen to my internal speakers even if no headphones are plugged in - unless I change the sound card in Control Center. I was wondering if there were some way to route the speakers through the USB sound card so I could hear them without changing the card.


  DieSse 14:01 31 Aug 2008

I can't see how that could be possible.

  DieSse 14:03 31 Aug 2008

I think what you should have got were USB headphones - like my Logitech ones.

When I plug them in they work - when I unplug them, the regular sound works - all automatically.

  dkeat 14:07 31 Aug 2008

Now there you go. I didn't even know there was such a thing as USB Headphones! That would be just the thing. Stickem in and the internal speakers go off. Take it out and they come back on. I will look into that one. Thanks!

I just thought maybe there was some way to route the internal speakers through the USB Soundcard so that when the headphones were disconnected they would be in operation. Guess not then.

Thanks again to all.


  DieSse 14:21 31 Aug 2008

Since it's the software that does the sound switching - I can only guarantee it works this way with this Logitech headset and this soundcard - so just double check with wherever you buy them from

Headset - model A-205A and presumable other that use the same software.

Sound - regular, common, Realtek AC'97 on-board sound

  dkeat 14:26 31 Aug 2008

Thanks again.

  jack 15:01 31 Aug 2008

Well I never- it just goes to show - some thing.
There I was trying to fathom out the question in terms of external sound cards.

DieSee you are right about USB phones being a 'Software' switch
How do I know?
Because sitting right next to me is a 'Silvercrest'
Vibratrophone headphone and mic set- from LIDL and very good they are too

  dkeat 15:29 31 Aug 2008

So let me ask you then, are the USB headphones also suitable for listening to music and DVDs? I looked at them online - they all seem to have microphones attached to them and the padding seems minimal - maybe not the best for long listening. Do they have a dongle or is the whole thing integrated into a "headphone"?


  dkeat 15:32 31 Aug 2008

Do they have their own sound card or do they work with the on-board soundcard?


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