How to Connect Audio Devices to Computers

Three Methods:Connecting an Audio DeviceModify Sound Settings - Windows ComputersModify Sound Settings - Macintosh Computers

Audio devices such as speakers, microphones, headphones, and music players can enhance certain experiences while performing tasks on your computer. To connect an audio device to your computer, you must first locate the jacks and ports that attach the device to your computer. In most cases, your audio device will be ready for use after you have plugged it into your computer; however, some devices may require you to modify your computer's sound settings before use. Continue reading this article to learn about the exact processes for connecting audio devices to either a Windows, or Macintosh-based computer.

Method 1
Connecting an Audio Device

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    Examine your computer for jacks and ports that support your audio device. The location of certain jacks and ports will vary depending on your computer's make and model. For example, most jacks on a desktop computer will be located in the back; whereas jacks on a laptop computer are usually located on its sides.
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    Look for symbols next to each jack that indicate its purpose for use. For example, if you want to connect headphones to your computer, look for the jack that features a headphones symbol.
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    Determine whether you need an adapter to use the audio device with your computer. In most cases, audio devices will either require the use of a jack, a universal serial bus (USB) port, or both; whereas some audio devices will have a specialized cable or port that will require you to purchase an adapter.
    • Refer to the audio device's instruction manual, or consult with its manufacturer to determine the type of adapter or extra accessories you will need in order to use the device with your computer.
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    Physically connect your audio device to your computer using the appropriate jacks and ports. If you are still having difficulty locating the jacks and ports on your computer for use with audio devices, contact your computer's manufacturer or consult with your computer's manual.
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    Verify that the audio device transmits sound. If your audio device is not playing sound or working as intended, you will need to modify your computer's sound settings using the procedures outlined below for either a Windows or Macintosh computer.

Method 2
Modify Sound Settings - Windows Computers

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    Click on the "Start" button on your Windows desktop. On newer versions of Windows, the Start button will resemble the Microsoft Windows logo.
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    Open "Control Panel" from within the Start menu.
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    Select "Hardware and Sound," or "Sound." Your menu options will vary slightly depending on the version of Windows you are running.
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    Click on "Sound" to display the Sound dialog box.
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    Click on the tab labeled "Recording."
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    Click directly on the audio device you have plugged into your computer. For example, if you plugged in a microphone, the audio device will display as "Microphone."
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    Click on the "Properties" button located at the bottom of the Sound dialog box.
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    Click on the "Levels" tab within the new dialog box that displays.
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    Verify that the button depicts an image of speakers emitting sound.
    • If the button depicts an image of speakers with a red circle and slash, click directly on that button to enable sound, then click "Apply."
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    Click on the "Listen" tab.
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    Place a check mark next to "Listen to this device."
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    Click on the "OK" buttons to exit out of the Sound dialog boxes. Your audio device will now be officially connected to your computer and ready for use.

Method 3
Modify Sound Settings - Macintosh Computers

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    Navigate to the "Apple" menu on the desktop of your Macintosh computer. The Apple menu is located in the main menu bar and depicts the Apple logo.
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    Choose "System Preferences" from the options within the Apple menu.
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    Select "Sound" from the "View" menu. This action will open the Sound preferences pane.
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    Click on the tab labeled "Input."
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    Select the audio device you currently have connected to your computer from the list of options presented.
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    Click on the "Output" tab.
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    Choose the name of the audio device you have attached to your computer.
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    Exit from your Sound preferences pane. You will now be able to use the audio device with your computer.

Warnings

  • If you discover that your audio device is not listed as an option upon navigating to your Sound preferences menu, you may need to install drivers for your audio device. Visit the website for the manufacturer of the audio device, or contact the manufacturer directly to locate the drivers you need installed on your computer in order to use the audio device.


Article Info

Categories: Computers and Electronics