An audio switch is used to control the sounds of several playback devices and sound sources connected to each other. So, the usual setup is that you have several sound sources, such as an MP3 player, CD player, tuner, tablet, and more.
You will switch them from your PC boxes and headphones or the audio input of a mixer, surround system, or stereo.
Once all sound sources are connected with cables, you can choose which source to hear using an audio switch.
Everything You Need to Know About an Audio Switch
Here is everything you need to know about choosing the best audio switch for your needs.
1. Audio Only Without a Picture
An audio switch is typically used to switch audio and not videos. It can come in handy when you want to switch between the speakers or headset connected to your phone, tablet, or laptop.
The common factor in all these playback devices is that they have one 3.5mm headphone jack.
So, instead of plugging and unplugging cables depending on which audio output you are using, you can use an audio switch to choose where to play the audio.
With an audio switch on board, you only have to ensure that all connections are correctly made, making it possible to switch between boxes and headsets using the device.
There are also certain switches with a reverse function. These switches allow you to hear audio coming from the source instead of the audio outputs.
2. Advanced Audio Switches
Over time, more features are added to audio switches to cater to the needs of different kinds of users. Before you get excited and buy the more advanced kind, check your devices and other requirements.
Upgrading will not always give you a better sound quality as this will still depend on the devices, cables, and other tools included in the setup.
Before buying one, you also have to understand the specs fully and add features of the more advanced audio switches. While the product comes with a manual to refer to when having troubles, it is better to get the kind that you need from the start.
There are audio switches available now that come with remote control. This makes it easier to manipulate sound sources, which are helpful when handling an event or presentation.
It is also possible to get an audio switch equipped with RCA plugs for stereo audio. These switches come with several ports that you can switch simultaneously.
For example, you can connect several devices to an audio switch with two up to six ports simultaneously and switch between them as needed.
The advanced audio switches can be obtained in different designs. So you don’t have to be stuck with a basic design, and you can get something that fits your personality better.
3. Switching Both Audio and Video
Instead of a basic audio switch, you will need an audio-video switch to connect several video and/or audio gadgets with composite connections.
Most devices these days come with HDMI connectors that are also capable of combining video and audio.
When shopping for this kind of switch, consider the possibility of switching scarf and S-video connections and the ports available in the older devices you intend to keep and continue using.
Aside from switching, you can do other things with your audio, such as mixing and splitting. This will require you to use other tools other than an audio switch.
This includes sources of mixed audio and a mixer. For instance, you will need an audio splitter to play audio simultaneously on several outputs.
In addition, you will need a loudspeaker switch if you intend to play your audio to several units of loudspeakers. Check the speakers’ terminal connections, and choose the kind of switch that fits them. You must also get an audio switch that matches the number of ohms of your speakers.
As long as you have an audio switch with specs compatible with the devices you will manipulate using the tool, you won’t have any problem handling it.
So it is a must to study the features of the switch and learn the requirements of the devices where you will use it.
If you are still uncertain about what to buy, you can take a picture of the available ports of your devices and ask a customer service representative to help you find the compatible switch for what you’ve got.
The Top Audio Switch in the Market
- LiNKFOR Digital Optical Audio Switcher
- Konig Audio Headset Loudspeaker Switch
- 4K HDMI Switch, Tendak 2 Port HDMI 2.0 Switch Box
- Coycoy 4 Port Audio Switch
- Nobsound MC104 4 (1)- IN-1 (4) -OUT