Muting Speakers on my computer whilst recording

Windows 7

Is it possible to mute the speakers on my computer and be able to record streaming media.

I do that by plugging in a 3.5mm stereo jack (with no lead attached) into the headphone socket of my PC.

Make sure that neither Windows or your soundcard software are adding “enhancements” to the headphone sound - some try to add bass-boost.


Sometimes catches me out the following morning though if I have set it that way for an unattended overnight timed recording.

I can then spend ages trying to figure out why I get no sound, adjusting various settings on the PC - until the penny drops :unamused:


What I mean is my headphones don’t mute the speakers at the moment, which is a problem that I am trying to fix. Is there any other way?

In which case I’m foxed as I’ve never had a windows PC do that :confused:

Googling “headphones don’t mute the speakers on my PC” yields several results a lot on Linux-based systems and a few on Windows - but I didn’t see any obvious windows solution there.


I can record streaming audio from the Web (for example from through Windows WDM-KS or Windows WASAPI and still not listen to what is actually being recorded. I know of 2 ways to do this:

  1. I switch the speakers AC power off using the dedicated button on the right speaker.
  2. I simply turn down the volume to zero on the right speaker.

I have an HP TouchSmart 520 which means the speakers are built in.

my headphones don’t mute the speakers

Some machines use a software switch to sense when headphones have been plugged in and do the switching that way. Most Windows machines use a straight mechanical switch which may fail if you don’t push the headphone plug in far enough, you’re plugging into the wrong socket, or the socket is worn out and broken.

This switching doesn’t work on a soundcard, but should work on a laptop.