Connecting multiple speakers to my laptop and controlling them individually

By kpks
Dec 3, 2014
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  1. Hi,
    I am creating a small demo software wherein 4 simple mono-audio speakers need to be connected to my laptop, the main program, written in Java will play audio from one of the speakers depending on the input cue.

    How do I go about achieving this? Any tips, hints most appreciated.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,158   +598

    First, the laptop audio is not a home sound system and can be easily overloaded with what you are attempting - - don't drive this at high output volumes!

    this will show the wiring to get all 4 with output at the same time.
    The speakers in parallel like this create a load 4x heavier than just one speaker.
    Get 8ohm speakers like these
    which will reduce the load to only 2x.

    The red circles are individual volume controls. Place a toggle switch between the controls and the speakers and you can play 1, 1+2, 1+2+3 or all four.
  3. kpks

    kpks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you so much for your response! I have one more doubt:
    I will be playing 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, never more than one speaker at a time. How do I control the speakers so that only one of them is played at a time?

    Thanks a lot!
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,158   +598

    You need (1) single-pole switch per speaker between the volume control and the speaker.
    I would make a control box:
    • one phone-jack marked INPUT for the laptop output line
    • four phone-jacks marked OUTPUT {A,B,C,D}
    • place a switch and volume control in a column
    • and make four columns
    the internal wiring per column is
    output    <--- switch --- volume control --+----> input
    jack      <--------------------------------+----> jack
    Now you can just run ac line cords(4) from the box to the speaks and plug them into the OUTPUT jacks

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