double stereo switch?

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 26, 2011
so... i've found a zillion places on the web where people have written something like: "I hate crawling under my computer to switch from my headphones to my speakers, and I can't find a resale switcher box that does this, so here's my DIY project!" And then they proceed to show how to build a stereo switcher box that takes 3.5mm plugs. Ok, that's great. But I am trying to up the ante in two ways:
1. I'd like to switch between two different sets of headphones and two different sets of speakers. Big deal, right? Just make it a 4-way switch instead of a 2-way switch?
2. I'd like to use headSETS instead of headPHONES, which means that I'd like to not only switch the audio out from the computer, but also the mic in. I *could* build two boxes to do this, but that's a pain to operate since you'd always have to switch both boxes and user error (or confusion) could end you up listening to the earpieces of one headset and talking into the mic of another.

So what I'd really like to do is to make a switch that has 3 or 4 settings:
1: computer audio out -> headset 1 earphones; headset 1 mic -> computer mic in.
2: computer audio out -> headset 2 earphones; headset 2 mic -> computer mic in.
3: computer audio out -> speakers; nothing to computer mic in.
4 (optional): computer audio out -> speakers 2; nothing to computer mic in.

So it would be great to have a single switch that does all this? Questions:
- does such a switch exist? I *think* it's a 4-way, 4-pole (not sure if this is the right term), non-shorting switch. if so, where would i find it? i'm in Palo Alto if it matters.
- do i just wire ALL the grounds together - is that okay?

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 26, 2011
awesome. thanks. ok, not cheap, but still cheaper and better than buying two switcher boxes that don't even do what i want and require me to hit multiple buttons. :)

so am i right in assuming that a "deck," in this case would apply to either the computer audio out or the computer mic in? i.e., each deck is, in essence, a switch for a different signal, and these can be wired independently?

and 2 poles means that each deck would work with stereo?

sorry... i'm very rusty on all this stuff.

and re the grounds, okay to mash 'em all together or should i would i mash 'em all together in each deck only?


Joined Apr 30, 2011
You're not too far from HSC (electronic surplus store). You might do well to browse there. Jameco is in Belmont and you can pick up an order will-call there.