In the System Preferences -> Sound -> Output tab in my MBPr running Mavericks, I see the following 3 options:

1) Headphones/Internal Speakers (currently only ONE of these appears)

2) BoomDevice (from the Boom Application I use)

3) JBL Flip (Bluetooth Speakers)

Is there a way to make it so that it lists options for both Headphones AND Internal Speakers separately, so that I can manually select the one I want sound routed to?

I ask this because there is some issue in my Mac (MBPr, Mavericks) due to which plugging in headphones into doesn't have any effect -- neither in the actual sound output, nor in the change from Internal Speakers to Headphones in the Sound->Output pane mentioned above. (And one time it got stuck the other way round: It continued to show Headphones irrespective of whether the headphones were plugged in or not; and sound would only come from the headphones when they were plugged in, otherwise nothing).

It's not a hardware issue though. Because everything works fine after the Mac is restarted (That is, inserting and removing headphones has the expected effect, which is also reflected by the first item in the Sound -> Output tab changing from Headphones to Internal Speakers and vice versa.) However, the problem reappears after a while or after the Mac sleeps and wakes.

EDIT: I just booted into the Windows partition on my Mac (bootcamp) and found that Windows actually allows the user to manually select if Sound is routed through Headphones or Internal Speakers. If Windows has it, I want that feature in Mac too!! :D

[I had asked another question for the same issue here: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/142927/macbook-pro-plugging-headphones-into-audio-jack-has-no-effect ]

2 Answers 2


Headphones and the Internal speakers are only OR option.

You can not have AND.

If your headset sometimes does not switch, check the plug for dirt stuck in it.

If it is not the hardware, reset your SMC.

  • 1
    Yes, they seem to be only OR option. In windows they can be AND. So maybe there is a way to do the same in Macs. Let's wait to see more replies. I have already reset the SMC and PRAM.
    – Himanshu P
    Aug 24, 2014 at 15:42

I had a similar issue as you where I wanted audio played through my headphones and separate audio played through my speakers. From what I know, the moment you plug in headphones, OSX automatically disables the internal speakers and you can't choose between them(via software). But you can use an external usb sound card to get this functionality, then you'll be able to switch between the USB device and the internal speakers.

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