Have you ever been sitting on a bus or hanging with your friends and you want to listen to music with them? Alright, so simple solution: you take one earbud and your friend takes the other. But wait, that’s not so simple. Now you’re awkwardly craning your neck to make sure that the earbud doesn’t fall out of your ear. Oh, and now you can’t stop thinking about how you’re sharing earbuds, so you’re probably going to have to clean them after this. Well, maybe this wasn’t as simple as you thought. So now what? Devices typically only come with one audio output socket. Even the most high-end laptops and phones only offer one area to connect auxiliary cords. Here is where the beautiful invention of the headphone splitter comes into play! Listen and share music and audio like never before. Headphone splitters turn one audio output into two or more! All you need is to buy a small device. But do headphone splitters reduce the quality? Let’s find out.
How Do Headphone Splitters Work?
Headphone splitters connect with your audio device of choice (phone, iPod, computer, mp3, etc.) and turn one headphone jack into two (or more). Now with two headphone jack outlets, you are able to connect two pairs of headphones at once and listen to the music simultaneously. There are many options for the best headphone splitter. What is important is to establish how many ports you will need. If you are only planning on sharing audio with one other friend at a time, a smaller splitter might work just fine. However, if you’re planning on sharing with more people there are options for upwards of five total headphone jack ports from one splitter. Obviously, the more ports, the bigger and bulkier the splitter will be, but it’s important to make sure you get whatever you’ll need.
Will the Splitter Reduce the Quality of the Sound?
The simple answer is no. When you are using a 3.5mm audio splitter, it will not reduce the sound quality on any perceptible level. If you have superhuman hearing, then maybe you’ll be able to hear a slight difference. But overall, there will not be any noticeable difference in the music you’re hearing or the show you’re watching.
The things that CAN affect the sound quality are the temperature, length of the cord, and material it is made out of. If you have an extremely long cord, that is in the blistering heat, with a bad and low-quality headphone splitter, then there is a chance that you will notice the sound being worse than usual. If you have a high-quality pair of headphones with a good headphone splitter you will not encounter any issues.
How Many Devices Can You Connect to a Headphone Splitter?
In theory, you can connect as many devices as can fit into your audio splitter. Research has been done by connecting hundreds of headphones from one original device using multiple headphone splitters. Turns out there is no real limit on how many headphones you can connect to one device. Although I do not recommend this approach. As we covered before, the longer the cord and the material it is made out of the worse the sound quality and volume of the audio.
Headphone Splitter vs. Microphone Splitter
When it comes to audio splitters there are two options, input splitters or output splitters. The basic function is the same. It takes one audio sound and splits it into two. If you want a headphone splitter that would be an output sound splitter. An input splitter, or a microphone splitter, is a different thing than what we’ve talked about in this article. One difference between an input and output splitter is that input splitters, microphone splitters, need an amplifier. A headphone splitter does not need an amplifier. Headphone splitters are “passive splitters” that do not require a power source, while microphone splitters are “active splitters” that do require a power source.
Conclusion On Headphone Splitters
Headphone splitters are a small device used to turn one headphone jack into more. They are a very useful device to use on car trips, bus rides, or any other time that you want to listen to music or watch a show with one or more people. The way it works is allowing the electrical current that typically travels through your headphones to travel through multiple paths at once. With the proper headphone splitter and pair of headphones, you will not notice any noticeable difference in the sound quality.
If you do not have a headphone splitter, then you might want to seriously consider investing in one. They typically do not cost a lot and can be a real asset for your travels and everyday life. Having a headphone splitter is extremely convenient and might be able to make you a friend on one of your future trips!
Written by Emma Santee