Nowadays, with almost every computer, TV, and laptop acting as a monitor AND a speaker, it might seem unnecessary to connect speakers to your PC monitor or any other device.
But sometimes, connecting a speaker to a monitor can greatly improve your audio output quality!
This tech support tutorial will teach you how to connect speaker to monitor to give you a fuller and more enhanced viewing experience.
Let’s get to it!
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Connect Speaker to Monitor
Connecting external speakers requires different steps, depending on what is being used.
There are a lot of different ways to go about connecting speakers, so let’s break down the different ways to connect a speaker to your computer monitor!
Since desktop computers and PC monitors do not have their own built-in speakers, you will have to manually connect your own external speakers to enable the sound.
There are a lot of different speakers with different outputs, so it would be best to check your audio output on your computer to make sure it MATCHES with your speaker.
Using Audio Cables
If you have a 3.5 mm audio output (just like your headphone inputs) on your computer, you need a 3.5 mm audio output speaker!
- If your computer has a headphone output, its sound card will have a digital-to-analog converter.
- Output or headphone level signals are too low to carry out speaker sound, so your speakers should have their own amplifier in line.
Once you have a speaker or a pair of speakers that match your computer, you will need a few extra things.
If you have two speakers with 3.5 mm inputs, you want sound coming from BOTH speakers.
Luckily, a 3.5mm stereo jack or headphone jacks are the most common types of jacks, and chances are your computer uses those too!
- First, you will need two 3.5 mm audio cords, one for each speaker!
- And second, you will need a SPLITTER CABLE. The splitter is what you will connect to the computer itself!
- Once you have all the cables present, simply connect each audio cable into one speaker each.
- Connect the opposite of each audio cable into the ends of the splitter.
- Finally, connect the splitter cable into the audio input port of your computer setup. Make sure the connections are secured!
And there you go! Once everything is connected in, and the connection is secure, the sound should come out of your computer!
The same process goes for any type of audio cable, whether it is a quarter-inch audio output, XLR, 6.5mm, or RCA.
The important thing is that the audio outputs of the computer and speakers MATCH!
If you have a computer or speakers that use an HDMI cable or has an HDMI port, then it works the same way too!
All you have to do is:
- Take the two ends of the HDMI cable
- Plug each to your speaker and computer!
It’s that simple!
You can also use an HDMI Audio Extractor to get great audio signal outputs!
An HDMI Audio Extractor takes the sound output and sends it to a separate device, such as SPEAKERS!
- This helps you hear the audio if your device does not have its own built-in audio system (like desktop monitors.)
- An HDMI audio connector is commonly used to also transfer a video signal together with the audio signals.
Here’s how the HDMI audio extractor connection setup works!
- Connect the HDMI output from the source to the input on the extractor itself.
- Connect the speakers through the analog outputs on the extractor.
- If your speakers have an AUX input, you will need an RCA to AUX cable for this part.
- Connect the AUX input from the RCA to the speakers.
- Once everything is connected, the sound should play through the speakers!
Every computer has its own USB port, and speakers also come with convenient USB ports! And the process is just as easy as the others!
- Plug in the two cords to the back of the speakers. If your speakers come with a subwoofer, plug that in as well. Once they are all connected, turn your computer on.
- Plug the ends of the USB into your computer if there is only one USB slot.
- If you have two USB ends, you can use a multi-port USB splitter to connect both ends, such as the Sabrent USB stereo adapter.
- Once you have everything connected, the audio should easily play through the speaker! It’s pretty straightforward!
The audio coming from your computer travels through the USB wire and goes through digital-analog conversion. The audio gets amplified and blasts through the speakers!
How to Install Audio Drivers
A lot of USB speakers have their own plug-and-play system, and the computer will automatically select them as the default.
But other USB speakers may require you to install additional drivers.
In case that happens, here is a quick tutorial on how to install additional drivers to get your computer to enable the speakers! (1)
- Go to the speaker manufacturer’s website, then find and download the corresponding drivers. You can find this in the SUPPORT or DOWNLOADS section.
- Once the driver is downloaded, launch the driver installer and follow the instructions.
- The instructions may be different depending on the driver.
- Afterwards, connect to the USB audio port.
- From there, you can set up your computer and use it as an audio output device.
- Right-click the volume icon on the lower bottom right menu and select Playback devices.
- Select your DAC (digital-analog converter) and set it to default. This indicates that your DAC (in this case, your speakers) are your preferred means of sound output playback.
If you want to connect speakers but don’t want a bunch of wires scattered around, do not worry! You can also connect external speakers through Bluetooth!
Simply follow these steps!
- TURN ON your Bluetooth wireless speakers (or any Bluetooth appliance you want to connect).
- On your computer, go to your computer settings or control panel and select device.
- Simply turn on the Bluetooth or toggle it ON.
- Once Bluetooth is turned on and set up, you will find a list of devices that you can pair up. One of them should be the name brand of your speaker!
- All that’s left to power your speaker is to PAIR it with Bluetooth.
- After a little waiting time, any sound from your computer should come out of your wireless speakers!
It is a similar process with a Mac computer!
- Go to your System Preferences and select Bluetooth.
- Under Devices, click the Pair button next to your speaker name.
- Test it out!
If you prefer using wires, you can also buy a Bluetooth cable to establish a connection if your device is USB-enabled.
Using External Audio Interfaces
If you are working on your music career and need to monitor your audio, you can use an external audio interface.
Audio interfaces are USB-powered devices that act as a single input/output appliance for the computer and outputting audio.
They are commonly used for active studio monitors, which have a built-in amplifier. You can connect speakers to the interface from the interface monitor or line outputs to the speakers.
Once the connections are secured, select the audio interface as the computer’s default output.
How this works is:
- The computer plays audio.
- The audio gets transferred to the audio interface.
- It is converted to analog audio.
- The signal transfers through cords and amps, which then drive the speakers to produce sound.
The audio interface is like the MIDDLEMAN between your computer and the speakers.
You can also connect an audio interface to a stereo to amplify the signal if you are using passive speakers, which do not have a built-in amplifier.
Using Audio Connector from Primary Device
If you have video gaming consoles, you won’t have to connect anything to your monitor since most consoles come with an OPTICAL AUDIO PORT for surround sound systems!
These ports are designed to give you an immersive playing experience!
You can also try connecting a 3.5mm auxiliary cable to your console and see if that works. You won’t need to connect anything else to your monitor!
Optical Out Connection (SPIDF)
For gamers, it could be helpful to use the optical audio connection from the monitor to the speakers. This method transmits audio without the digital to analog conversion.
However, this method is not recommended as monitors are only meant to transmit VIDEO. Your console’s video should be outputted to the monitor and audio to the monitor speakers.
Here’s how you set it up:
- Plug the optical cable into the monitor. The jack for this is usually located at the back of the monitor.
- Plug the other end of the cable into your console. You can also plug this into a receiver if you have a large audio system.
- Plug in your headphones and play away!
This method is also commonly used for consoles. These are designed to transmit audio in the left and right connection.
And the setup is very easy too!
- Connect the wire to the AV output on the console.
- Connect speakers using the L/R channels.
- Connect the required cables
- If you have a 3.5mm jack, then you will need a 3.5mm RCA adapter
- If you are using headphones, you will need a 3.5mm stereo coupler
- Once everything is connected, change the audio settings to make the sound output through the audio connectors.
Computer Won’t Recognize Speakers? Try These Troubleshooting Tips
Of course, there is the possibility that your computer cannot recognize your speaker, regardless of whether you are using Bluetooth speakers or not, and we know how annoying that can be!
In case this happens, here are some helpful troubleshooting tips you can try out!
Check Your Volume Control and Settings
Who knows? You might have just accidentally muted your audio.
But if you are certain it is not that, you can easily check your volume settings. NOTE: These steps apply to Windows 10 only.
- Right-click the sound icon on the lower menu and click Open Sound Settings.
- Click Sound Control Panel and open the Playback tab.
- Select your default device and click Test to run the Audio Test.
- If the sound works, you will hear an audio chime and see the green level meter moving.
- Otherwise, you will hear and see nothing.
- To fix this, right-click on the default device and click Properties
- Select the Levels tab and slide it upwards. Make sure the speaker icon is unmuted.
Try Connecting a Different Device
Have you tried turning it on and off again? You might have heard this question being tossed around as a joke, but it is a common solution!
Your computer might need a simple restart.
But if that doesn’t work, you can also try changing your audio device. Here’s how!
- Go to the Sound Control Panel and click the Playback tab.
- Select a different device from the menu.
- Set that one to default.
- Keep trying different devices until it works.
It is likely that the speaker itself is not the problem. It just means your computer did not recognize it or recognized the wrong one.
This is a common problem when you are switching between headphones or speakers.
If you keep switching back and forth between them, you may have to keep resetting the output settings to make your computer recognize which one.
For Mac OS users, to select your desired output:
- Go to your System Preferences
- Select sound, then output
- Select your desired output and test out the audio.
Wrong or Loose Speaker Connections
Your computer system has different jacks and outputs, so you might have plugged the speaker into the wrong port.
Make sure the speaker is connected to the SOUND CARD, which has multiple jacks.
- The speaker goes into the Line Out connector, which is indicated by an icon of waves and an arrow pointing outward.
- If the speaker’s LED light is off, or if the speaker is not working, it may be a faulty power source.
Additionally, your speakers may also be loosely connected to your computer. It is important to double-check if all USB ports and cords are tightly secured.
If you are using Bluetooth, and if the computer cannot identify the speakers, try turning Bluetooth off and on again.
This is basically the same as a hard reset, except with Bluetooth.
This step may require you to turn Bluetooth on and off a few times before it finally pairs with your speakers.
Why Connect Speakers to a Computer Monitor?
Simply put, a lot of devices and monitors do not have their own built-in speakers. It is common to buy external speakers that can transmit audio signals!
Most computer monitors have a DVI or VGA connection type, both of which are not capable of carrying an audio signal.
Devices that DO have built-in speakers, such as laptops or some monitors, have built-in speakers whose quality is not very good.
The sound and volume are quite tiny and soft, which is why powered speakers are a great way to BOOST that sound output!
And there you have it! That’s how you connect a speaker to a monitor!
Sometimes, the built-in audio speakers in your computer or a simple pair of headphones are enough to give you a pleasant home-viewing experience.
But no one stops you from going the extra mile and connecting external speakers!
We hope this tutorial was helpful, and we hope that your viewing experience is much better now than before!