It definitely sounds like your cables are just standard mono Y-cable splitters -- which is not the cable you need. You need a cable that converts the headphone style connector into seperate L/R channels with RCA connectors. A stereo headphone connector will ALWAYS have 3 rings. A mono cable will USUALLY have only 2 -- though sometimes they have 3 also. To be certain, you can take a meter to the cable to check out how it is wired. Your description pretty much already confirms it though.