How Do I Choose the Best Headphone Splitter?

G. Wiesen

If you are looking for a headphone splitter, then you should consider how many output connections you need and if you want the splitter to also boost the audio signal as it is split. A standard splitter typically has a single input, which connects to the audio player, and two or more outputs that can connect to headphones. You should choose a splitter with sufficient outputs for your needs, though you might also consider loss of signal through such a splitter. If you want to use a splitter for more than two outputs, then you might choose a splitter that also boosts the audio output for greater sound clarity and quality.


A headphone splitter is a device that can be used to connect two or more sets of headphones to one audio player, such as a portable media device or audio output on a stereo. One of the first things you should consider when looking for a headphone splitter is the number of outputs you want. A basic splitter usually has two outputs, allowing two sets of headphones to connect to the device. More complicated splitters, however, can include four or more output connections, and you should choose a splitter with sufficient outputs for your needs.

Headphone splitters allow more than one pair of headphones to connect to one device.
Headphone splitters allow more than one pair of headphones to connect to one device.

You should keep in mind, however, that additional outputs on a headphone splitter can have an impact on sound quality. Four people all using the same audio signal are likely to experience reduced sound clarity and quality, since the signal intended for one listener is being split up. There are also other effects that multiple outputs have on the signal, such as the fact that when one person turns his or her volume up, the volume for others is likely to go down. Similarly, if three people are listening to a splitter, and another person connects to it, then the volume for those three is likely to do down, and when one disconnects from the splitter, the volume goes up.

If you want to use a headphone splitter with more than two connections, then you should consider a splitter that also includes a signal booster. This boosts the audio signal from the player and allows each listener to experience audio quality and clarity that is more like that heard by a single listener. You should consider a booster that also includes independent volume controls, as this allows each listener to set the volume for himself or herself as desired. While a splitter with a sound booster is usually more expensive than a standard splitter, the benefits can certainly offset this cost.

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Discussion Comments


Most of the time, joining a splitter to a headphone is very troublesome. You can experience a sudden drop in volume after joining the second headphones. Some products like splitter key rings overcome the problem of volume change.

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