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I am involved in broadcasting for a school and want the two broadcasters to be able to communicate with each other through the headsets. We had this setup functioning properly on a laptop using a splitter until it randomly stopped working one day. Both the mics and the headphones work on the headset, they just can't communicate to each other. Any ideas as to why is stopped working randomly? How would you go about setting this up?

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Yes this will work, it's certainly not designed to function this way but it will work. The most likely reason this stopped working is a setting change.

Assumption:
You have a stereo to stereo (TRS to TRS) splitter and not a stereo to 2 mono or Left vs Right splitter. One for the headphones and one for the microphones.

Settings:
You can get to these settings several different ways and it may vary depending on the operating system. Since you tagged this with PC I'm assuming windows of some variety from XP to Windows 10. If that's not the case there should be a similar setting in any other operating system it just won't be found as described in the following instructions. In the control panel in all the Windows versions there should be a "sound" option. With that open click the "Recording" tab. Select the input device, most likely in this case it will be "Microphone" with a subtext that has the name of your soundcard. Click it, then click "Properties" then on the "Listen" tab there is a checkbox for "Listen to this device" select that and choose where you want to have the sound played to. Most likely it will be your "Default Playback Device" but depending on your setup you may want that to play to just the output the headphones are connected to. After that is selected click "Okay" and close the previous sound window. You're all set.

WARNING
You may want to just click "Apply" and test this before you close the windows as an incorrect setting may play this back through speakers or otherwise cause horrible feedback. Clicking "Apply" give you a quicker chance to uncheck the box and hit "Apply" again to turn this off until you can figure out what went wrong.
This setup will also very likely cause a bit of a delay with the voices speaking which can cause quite the cognitive dissonance and make talking hard to do. I'm sure you're probably already aware of this if this is how you were setup before but for anyone else it's good to know before hand as some people cannot speak coherent sentences when this happens.

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
A: Get a USB soundcard to use as a second microphone and headphone connection. This will eliminate any self echo but may not be ideal if there are clips/music playing that both need to hear as the computer will only let you set one device as default for all the other sounds to go to. You would set this up in a very similar way as described above however Microphone from soundcard A would be chosen to Playback on soundcard B and vice versa.
B: Get a more advanced setup with a small inexpensive 4 channel mixer/soundcard that can send the microphones into the computer, an aux channel that would send both voices to headphones (sometimes called Zero Latency Monitoring for the soundcards), and an input from the computer that could also be sent to both headphones. This eliminates all the delay that would cause stuttering and confusion by the broadcaster while allowing both to hear the PC.

  • Yes, we've turned on "listen to this device" and that is the only way we can get any communication between the headsets. The problem, as you mentioned, is that there is a delay when you turn that setting on. The delay is too significant and makes it too difficult to speak, so that will not work. Previous to when it stopped working, I believe "listen to this device" was not on and there definitely was no delay when speaking. – JKDriven Mar 16 '17 at 23:11
  • Then you had to have had some other setup that physically connected them together before the computer like the alternative B solution. – Micah Gafford Mar 17 '17 at 13:52
  • This was our setup: – JKDriven Mar 18 '17 at 22:23
  • This was our setup. A Windows Laptop. Plugged into that was a black rectangle with mic and volume options. On one of the sides, there was a microphone port and a headphone port. Plugged into those was a splitter each like this. (amazon.com/Belkin-Speaker-and-Headphone-Splitter/dp/B000067RC4/…) The two headsets like this (amazon.com/Etekcity-Professional-Headphones-Microphone-Splitter/…) were plugged into each splitter. – JKDriven Mar 18 '17 at 22:30
  • Little black rectangle... was it like this? amazon.com/Sabrent-External-Adapter-Windows-AU-MMSA/dp/… – Micah Gafford Mar 21 '17 at 2:35

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