View Full Version : ONe Set of SPeakers, Mulitple Computers

April 29th, 2017, 06:23 PM
Setup a KVM with 8 Computers of varying speeds / components...

Wanted to find a way to use one set of speakers for all of them as I will have only the computer I am using on with the others off at any given time.

Is this legit? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZwOTygmkWM

If I only have one computer on at a time, will the sound work OK?

Caleb Hansberry
April 29th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Oddly enough when I did that, one side was always quieter than the other. But I don't see why it wouldn't work. Back in the day I used the Audio-in port when the software allowed me to have continual audio pass-through and that worked great.

April 29th, 2017, 06:40 PM
I would not chain the systems off one another. That can complicate volume issues, and depending on the sound card the system will need to be powered on to pass the audio from the line in to line out. Instead, I would just look into something like this:


You can even chain them together if you cannot find one that has the sufficient connector count for your systems.

It really shouldn't affect the sound quality. However, you will get the sound of every system at the same time, which can be handy and annoying at the same time (which computer is that sound coming from?!). Also if a system/sound card has a grounding issue, you'll hear that buzz the entire time that system is on.

If you can invest a few more bucks, it may be worth looking into a KVM that also handles audio. I have one and it's pretty awesome. Keeps cabling very clean.

May 1st, 2017, 10:00 AM
Unfortunately, I dont have a lot of cash to get another KVM with Audio included as there are some other things I need to get...maybe down the road.

With that gadget, I'd still need to have a cable coming out of the line out on each computer and into the device.....isnt that really the same as the video just with a different adapter?

As for some cards needing to be powered on to pass through, if the computer was turned on but no software was running, i shouldnt hear anything coming from it, so the sound from the machine I wanted it from would be all I'd hear correct?

May 1st, 2017, 11:55 AM
I thought the person was chaining the computers together via the Line In and Line Out of each sound card. I re-looked and it appears Y cables are used. That would work.

May 1st, 2017, 11:59 AM
Wait, I really can't tell what the guy is doing exactly. If he's chaining them via Line In and Line Out, I would avoid that if possible. Yes, you wouldn't hear anything coming from computers that are not generating audio, but you'll have a bunch of volume controls in line between your speakers and whichever system you desire audio from. Say you have the following chain:

Line Out System A -> Line In System B -> Line Out System B -> Line In System C -> Line Out System C -> Speakers

System A would be at the mercy of the volume controls of System B AND C.

If you use a splitter of some sort, volume for each system is completely independent from system to system.

May 2nd, 2017, 11:36 AM
It looks to me like he is chaining Line Out's together....

May 2nd, 2017, 12:01 PM
To properly bring them together, you need either a switch or a mixer. A mixer would allow you to have all of them connected and adjust the volume on a per system basis.

Connecting all the outputs together would likely result in one heck of an impedance mismatch and some really dull sounding audio.