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I'd like to get together with a bunch of friends at home, and be able to practice without paying for a studio, and without the neighbors kicking me out of my house...

I'm thinking of some sort of device like a mixer where I can plug in a couple of guitars / bass, my electronic drums, and a mic, set the volumes, blah, blah, but then be able to split up the output so that everyone is wearing headphones, and everyone can hear everyone else, but it's essentially almost silent to anyone outside.

I'm guessing I need two devices, a mixer and some sort of mini-amp that'll take one output and amplify it a bit so that it can feed multiple headphones. Individual volume settings for each headphone would be a plus too...

What is the best way to do this? Also, obviously, the cheaper, the better.

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    It would sound hilarious to anyone who walks into the room :-)
    – scrowler
    Aug 28, 2014 at 20:37

5 Answers 5

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Jam Hub is your saviour !It's an all in one piece of gear with inputs,mixer and headphone facility to do exactly what you need.With a different mix for each member, if needed.

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  • That is exactly what I need, but i'd love to see a solution that's waaaay cheaper than this... If I get a mixer for $80, what do I need to connect the output of the mixer to, that'll split the signal to 5 headphones, and will ideally but not necessarily let me set individual volumes for each headphone? Aug 10, 2014 at 2:30
  • Behringer do a headphone mixer, 2 stereos in and I think 5 or 6 headphones out. I use one in the studio, it works well. But then you'll maybe not be able to use different mixes for each player. Don't know if cans come in the hub price.
    – Tim
    Aug 10, 2014 at 6:34
  • Yeah, the different mixes for each player sounds nice to have, but it's not essential. When you're all playing loud in a studio you don't get that anyway, so I can live without it. Thank you for your help!!! Aug 10, 2014 at 10:20
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    It's true . That's the trouble in the studio. Each player wants to hear himself, so it becomes a battle. That's where the hub scores, as each one can make himself the loudest without fighting for the 'privilege'. Never understood why people have to play loudly in a studio, though...
    – Tim
    Aug 10, 2014 at 10:39
  • It's easier to adjust volumes up rather than down, because it's your own volume you adjust, rather than others'. That's why :-) Thanks for all the help! Aug 10, 2014 at 16:31
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You are looking for a headphone amplifier. Many models have more than a single stereo output.

Professional models often have more than one output (channeL) in the same module, and sometimes allow you to either feed the same signal to all the channels or have a separate signal for every channel (as you would do with a mixer that supports auxiliary outputs).

Using a good enough mixer, you can then assign different "mixes" to specific people, so that, for instance, the singer only hears the bass and the drums, etc.

Example of an entry-level headphone amplifier

Professional-grade headphone amplifier, 4-channel

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Have you tried simply splitter cables? For example, I had bought a curious-looking thing-- a regular 3.5mm headphone (male) plug to THREE headphones jack (female) cable for $1 at a thrift store. (It's a Radio Shack, but online megastores likely have these cheapest.) I thought I'd have to get a GF or something before having use for it, but it came to mind when yet another pair of headphones went silent in one ear-- at which time I remembered I had this, combined two such half-broken headphone pairs, and ended up walking around looking bizarre with two pair on my head for some time! Upshot: this would be the cheapest method, just stacking such Y splitter cables until you have all participants covered-- headphones don't take all that much power so you might just make out.

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Since the JamHub seems to be dead as a company at this moment, the only viable product with separate submixes seems to be Zoom LiveTrak L-12 (or L-20).

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The Jamhub was a great idea but terrible quality. These days Zoom Mixers have 4 headphone outs - the L8 l12, l20 and L20r - are the new Jamhub...

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  • Do the Zoom mixers also allow each person to have their own mix? I never used a Jam Hub, but it seems like the capability of giving each participant their own custom balance was key.
    – Theodore
    Jan 11, 2023 at 23:06

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