While a laptop will usually have built-in speakers, most desktop computers don’t. So, if you want to hear sounds from your computer, you’ll probably need to have speakers plugged in.
a computer with a sound card
a power socket to plug the speakers into.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to attach speakers to your computer
Step 1: Ensure that the computer is turned off.
Step 2: Plug the speakers into the power socket.
Step 3: Locate the 3.5mm jack connected to the cable at the back of the speakers. You’ll use this plug to attach them to your computer tower.
Step 4: On the back of the computer tower are a number of small, round, coloured-coded sockets. The one to plug your speakers into is usually green. It may also be marked with a headphones symbol or be labelled ‘Audio out’.
Push the jack into this socket firmly to get a good connection. But don’t continue pushing if you meet any resistance – the socket is attached to the sound card on the computer’s mother board, and if you push too hard, you could damage it.
Step 5: In some speaker set-ups, there’s an additional ‘subwoofer’, a larger third speaker that provides bass sounds. Before plugging this in, find out if your sound card can support multiple speakers. If it does, follow the colour coding on the back of the tower as you connect the jacks – plug the green jack into the green socket, the black jack into the black socket and so on.
Step 6: Turn on your computer and speakers and adjust the volume control. Your computer is probably set to play a small tune when it’s turned on. If you now hear it, you’ll know that the speakers are on and working. But don’t worry if you don’t hear it.
Step 7: The computer should recognise the addition of speakers to your system and will respond accordingly. Possibly it will say ‘New driver detected’ and run through a short set-up process. You’ll need to click ‘Yes’ to allow it to make the appropriate changes.
Step 8: To test that your speakers are working, play something you know has a soundtrack. Pop a CD or DVD in the DVD drive or watch a clip on YouTube. You may also notice that sounds now occur when simple functions are carried out – for example, a noise when you click a button or open a window or when an email arrives.
Siobhan O’Neill is an experienced freelance writer living in Surrey.