Audio Connecting multiple speakers to my laptop and controlling them individually

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.

TIA!
 

jobeard

Posts: 13,934   +1,770
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.
upload_2014-12-4_16-9-46.jpeg
The speakers in parallel like this create a load 4x heavier than just one speaker.
Get 8ohm speakers like these http://www.radioshack.com/8-ohm-mini-speaker/2730092.html
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.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
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!
 

jobeard

Posts: 13,934   +1,770
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
Code:
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