How to Connect Audio Devices to Computers

This emindsca teaches you how to connect an audio device, such as a speaker, to your computer via an audio cable or, if supported by the device, Bluetooth.

Method 1 Connecting via Audio Cable

1. Locate the audio-out port on your computer. This port is typically located on the back of the CPU box on desktop PCs, whereas iMacs have a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack located on the back of the monitor. The following are some common audio-out methods:

A pentagonal optical port. Optical cables are typically compatible with high-end, modern speakers.

RCA – A red and a white port connected together. These ports are wired with 3.5 millimetre cables in the same colours.

Headphone jack – The 3.5-millimeter headphone jack is usually found on the side of a laptop or on the back of a computer case. The plug for speakers or headphones is green and usually has a headphone symbol to identify it. The pink jack is for microphones, while the blue jack is for Line-In, which functions similarly to an aux input.

HDMI – HDMI slots function in the same way on a computer as they do on a television, including audio transmission.

The audio-out port on laptops is usually the headphone jack.

2. If necessary, locate the microphone jack. The microphone jack is the same size as the headphone jack (3.5 millimetres), and it is typically accompanied by an image of a microphone. If you’re connecting a device that requires a separate microphone input (for example, some gaming headsets), you’ll need to know the location of the microphone port.

USB ports can also serve as audio-in ports.

3. Determine whether you require a converter. If you have new speakers but an old computer, you may require an optical-to-RCA adapter because your computer most likely only supports RCA or headphone input.

Audio converters, also known as “audio extractors,” can be found in most tech departments of retail stores or online.

If you must use an audio extractor, you must also purchase a separate set of cables to connect the extractor to your computer.

4. If necessary, connect your audio device to a power source. Speakers and condenser microphones, for example, will almost certainly require a power source (e.g., a wall socket or your computer’s USB port) to function.

You may also need to turn on the main speaker unit by pressing a “On” switch on the back.

5. Connect your device to your computer. The main unit of the device (e.g., the headset or main speaker) should have an audio cable that connects to your computer’s audio output port.

If necessary, first connect your device to an audio extractor.

6. Put your device through its paces. You can test the audio output by playing a video or listening to music, or by recording a voice memo with your new microphone (if applicable).

If your device does not work at first, you may need to change the audio output, restart your computer, or update the software on your computer.

Method 2 Connecting via Bluetooth on Windows

1. Click. To do so, either click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen or press the ⊞ Win key.

2. Click. It can be found near the bottom-left corner of the Start window. This will bring up the Settings page.

3. Click Devices. This option is in the top row of items on the Settings page.

4. Click Bluetooth & other devices. It’s a tab on the far-left side of the page.

5. Turn the Bluetooth switch “ON”. To do so, click the switch below the “Bluetooth” heading that’s at the top of the page.

If you see “On” to the right of the switch, Bluetooth is enabled.

6. Switch on your Bluetooth device and enter pairing mode. Make sure your Bluetooth audio device is in “pairing” or “discoverable” mode. Connect it to a power source if necessary.

Because every device is different, consult the manual that came with your audio device to learn how to put your device into “pairing” mode if you don’t already know how.

7. Click + Add Bluetooth or other device. This button is at the top of the page.

8. Click Bluetooth. It’s the top option in the Add a Device window.

9. Select the name of your audio device. It should show up in the “Add a Device” window, with a name that is a combination of the model number and the manufacturer’s name. When you click it, it will automatically begin pairing with your device.

If the device does not appear, double-check that it is in “pairing” mode, then scan for nearby devices again.

10. Click Done. This button will appear in the bottom-right corner of the available Bluetooth devices window.

11. Click, then type audio in. You should see several results appear in the Start window.

12. Select Manage Audio Devices from the drop-down menu. This option is denoted by a speaker symbol. This will launch your audio manager.

13. Choose your Bluetooth device. If you’re using a laptop, you should see its name in the Sound window, along with your computer’s default output device.

If you’re connecting a microphone, go to the top of the window and select the Recording tab.

14. Click Set Default. It’s in the bottom-right corner of the window.

15. Click OK. Your device should now be the default in its category on your computer.

16. Put your device through its paces. You can test the audio output by playing a video or listening to music, or by recording a voice memo with your new microphone (if applicable).

If the device does not work, you may need to restart your computer or update the software on your computer.

Method 3 Connecting via Bluetooth on Mac

1. Turn on your Bluetooth device. Depending on the device, you may first need to connect it to a power source.

2. Click. It’s the B-shaped icon at the top of the screen on the right side of the menu bar. This will bring up a drop-down menu.

3. If necessary, click Turn Bluetooth On. If your Mac’s Bluetooth isn’t turned on, you’ll need to enable it before you can see your Bluetooth device.

4. Select the name of your Bluetooth device. This is most likely a combination of the model number and the name of the manufacturer.

If you don’t see your device’s name, press the “pairing” button or turn it off and back on.

5. Click Connect. Doing so will prompt your Mac and the device to pair with one another.

6. Select the Apple Menu option. It’s the apple-shaped icon in the upper left corner of your screen.

7. Click System Preferences. This option is near the middle of the drop-down Apple menu.

8. Click Sound. You’ll see this speaker-shaped icon in the System Preferences window.

9. Click the Output tab. It’s at the top of the Sound window.

If you’re attaching a microphone, click the Input tab instead.

10. Double-click the name of your Bluetooth device. This will make it your Mac’s primary output (or input, if you’re using a microphone).

11. Put your device through its paces. You can test the audio output by playing a video or listening to music, or by recording a voice memo with your new microphone (if applicable).

If your device does not work, you may need to restart your computer or update the software on your computer.

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