I am trying to find a device for which I don't know the name. Please help me find the name based on the following function functional description:

It should be an audio splitter (e.g. one input I, two outputs O1 and O2). The splitter outputs the audio to O1, unless a device (e.g. headphones) is plugged into O2; in that case, only O2 receives the output.

This is very similar to what many computers do: They have an audio line out in the back, and a headphone jack in the front. Normally, the audio is sent out the back, but if something is plugged into the headphone jack, the rear line out is muted and only the headphone jack receives audio.

A use case for the type of device that I am searching the name for, would be a computer that does not have this headphone jack. Simply adding such a device in between the audio output in the back and and the connected amp + speakers would add the functionally of a headphone jack.

  • 1
    I don't think there's a particular name for this kind of device. You can build it yourself quite easily (get a stereo jack with two "bypass taps", and wire it parallel with two ordinary stereo jacks: one to the contacts and one to the bypass taps). Or, perhaps more reasonably, just use a manual switcher: plugging in and also flipping a switch isn't such a big deal, is it? Dec 23, 2014 at 0:11
  • In addition to leftaroundabout's comment - you don't want to have headphones on the same output as speakers.
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 28, 2014 at 23:10
  • How about a (pre-)amp and speakers?
    – derabbink
    Jan 6, 2015 at 10:23

2 Answers 2


It is called a normalled bay when in the context of a patch bay. See graphic explanation below.

enter image description here

In your case though, it sounds like you want a monitor controller or small mixer.

See: Mackie Big Knob as an option with a lot functionality.

Also, do note that headphone output and speaker outputs tend to be optimized differently.



I think the name is "automatic switch router". Q-)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.