How To Install Speakers To Computer

You have just brought home your first computer and are not sure how to install speakers to a computer. Among the plethora of wires and plugs are a set of speakers that you would like to use to hear sound on your system, but you cannot figure out how to install them. Installing speakers to a computer can seem daunting when looking at the numerous plugs and connectors, but once you learn what to look for you will have those speakers installed in a flash.

You will need:

  • Computer
  • Set of speakers
  • Empty electrical wall outlet (or empty outlet on power strip)
  • Flashlight (optional)


  1. Turn the computer off. This will help avoid electrial shocks while connecting the speakers to your computer.

  2. Gently pull the computer out where you can see the connections on the back easily. Take caution not to disconnect any cables already attached to the computer.

  3. Look at the connectors on the back on the computer. Use a flashlight, if needed. Starting on the top left with the round purple keyboard connector, count down to the sixth row.  This row will contain three color-coded female jacks which look like the headphone jack on an MP3 player. The center connector will be a light green and/or say "Line Out." This is the speaker input jack.

  4. Insert the male speaker connector into the light green female speaker jack on the computer. There are generally three female audio jacks, each of a different color. Pink is for microphones, blue is for a standard line in (connecting other audio equipment like cassette players) and green is for speakers.

  5. Connect the electrical cord attached to the speakers to an empty electrical outlet. (Note: some speakers are powered by USB instead of a traditional wall outlet. If your speakers have a USB connector instead of an electrical plug, attach it to an empty USB port on your computer.)

  6. Turn your computer and your speakers on. When the computer boots you will hear sounds as Windows loads.


Tips:

  • If your computer has an add-on audio card, your speaker jack may instead be located near the bottom of your computer. Look for the light green identifying color.
  • Older computers may not have the green coding convention. In this case, look for the symbol of an arrow pointing away from the sound waves to locate the output jack. If in doubt, try the jack and if no sound comes out, switch the speaker plug to another jack.
  • If all else fails, look for the headphone symbol and connect your speaker plug there. This jack is almost identical to the output jack.


References:

Mueller, Scot. (2004). "Upgrading and Repairing Computers, 15th Edition."


 

 

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