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How to Use a Single Jack Headset on PC Without a Splitter?

It wasn’t too long ago headsets had two separate jacks. An output for audio and an input for the microphone. Now, most new headsets are fitted with a single dual-purpose jack that can handle both input and output.

This means that your computer might still have two separate 3.5 mm ports, but your headset only has a single jack. So how do you use a headset with a single jack on a computer that has two separate ports?

Well, our handy guide will answer all your questions, so let’s get straight to it and find out exactly How to Use a Single Jack Headset on PC Without a Splitter?

How do the different jacks work?

Having a better understanding of how these headset jacks work will help with how to fix any issues that may arise. On the newer style headsets, you will notice three rings around the jack. What do the rings on a headset jack mean? Each ring represents either left audio, right audio, or the microphone.

On the older style headsets, if there is only a single ring, this indicates they are mono. If there are two rings, then the headset has stereo sound. If there are two separate jacks, then they probably both have two rings each.

Using a single jack headset

Using a single jack headset

When using a single jack headset, you should take a look at what type of ports are on your computer. Newer computers will have what’s known as a dual-purpose audio port, which can accommodate both audio and mic support together.

If you have an older computer, you might notice that one port has a pink ring and the other a green ring. The pink ring indicates the microphone port, while the green is for audio. Or, in other words, one input port and one output port.

Connecting to a newer computer

Many newer laptops will only have one dual-purpose audio port, which supports both input and output. If this is the case, all you need to do is plug your jack into the port, and you can enjoy your headset.

Some newer desktops and a few laptops still have two audio ports. Luckily, these are usually both dual-purpose ports. So, it doesn’t matter which one you plug the headset into. Furthermore, you can easily plug in two headsets if this is the case.

Connecting to an older computer

For older computers with pink and green style ports, it might be possible to change some settings. Not all of these ports will be compatible. So, you will need to be prepared and might need to purchase a splitter.

Here are the steps for adjusting the jack settings on a Windows computer:

  • Click on the [Start] button.
  • Select the [Control Panel].
  • Double click on [Sounds].
  • When the new window opens, click on the [Recording] tab.
  • In the list of devices, select the one you’re using and select [Default].
  • If you can’t see your device, click on [Set up microphone], and Windows will automatically detect the connected headset.
  • Once complete click [Apply] and the [Done].

This is how to adjust the settings on an Apple Mac computer running Mac OS:

  • Open the [Finder] and search for sound.
  • Launch [Sound Preferences].
  • When the window opens, select the [Input] tab.
  • Select your device in the list and set it as [Default].

What if that still doesn’t work?

What if that still doesn’t work

If you have followed all the above steps and your headset still doesn’t work, then you might need to purchase a splitter. The good news is that these are an inexpensive accessory to buy and incredibly easy to use.

So, what are some of the best headset splitters? We would recommend the following products if it turns out a splitter is required:

The ENVEL Headset Splitter Cable for PC 3.5mm Jack Headphones Adapter is color-coded to make using this device completely foolproof. It is compact and made from quality materials allowing you to use newer equipment on older style computers.

UGREEN has created this more modern style Headset Splitter Headphone Mic Y Adapter Cable 3.5mm, which is available in either black or white. With features like dual-shielding, aluminum housing, and gold-plated contacts, you can be assured of a quality signal.

The KOOPAO Headphone 3.5mm Splitter Mic Cable for Computer is also available in either black or silver and uses the same quality materials. As with all these products, it is plug-and-play. Meaning there is no need to install any software or files.

Looking for the Best Headsets?

Sometimes, the easiest way to get a better connection is to upgrade your headset. Thankfully, we have loads of high-quality headsets for you to choose from.

Check out our in-depth ASTRO A50 Gen 4 Review, our Astro A10 Review, our Turtle Beach Recon 200 Review, our AmazonBasics Pro Gaming Headset Review, and our Logitech G Pro X Wireless Review for more awesome headsets you can buy in 2021.

You may also like our comprehensive reviews of the Best Gaming Headset, the Best PC Gaming Headsets, the Best Wireless PlayStation 4 Headsets, the Best Razer Gaming Headsets, and the Best Nintendo Switch Gaming Headsets currently on the market.

How to Use a Single Jack Headset on PC Without a Splitter – Final Thoughts

We hope that you were able to successfully connect your headset so you can enjoy both listening and speaking online. No matter what issue you’re facing with technology, chances are there is a solution for it.

There is a huge range of available software and hardware available that is high-quality and affordable, especially when it comes to mixing older equipment with newer technology.

So, until we meet again, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what is what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear hear and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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