How to Connect Speakers or Headphones to a Dell Computer

How to Connect Speakers or Headphones to a Dell Computer




External speakers or headphones that are connected to a computer improves the audio quality while enjoying web content, digital music, and other sound sources.

Speakers or headphones for computers come in two variants:

  • Wired speakers or headphones - can be connected to a computer using a 3.5mm audio connector or USB.
  • Wireless speakers or headphones - can be connected to a computer using bluetooth.


Desktop computers have 3 or more audio connectors (Figure 1), and laptops have one headphone/microphone combo connector (Figure 2). Audio connectors on desktops and plugs on the sound card are color-coded to help connect the speaker correctly.

  1. Verify that the speakers are powered on.
    Note: Depending on the type or model, the speaker may use an ac adapter, USB cable, or batteries to provide power. See the user manual of the device to learn more.
  2. Connect the speaker or headphone jack to the 'line-out' or 'speaker-out' (green) connector on the computer.
  3. Set the volume using the volume knob on the speaker.
  4. Set the volume on the computer.
Audio ports on a desktop computer
Figure 1: Audio ports on a desktop computer

Audio port on a laptop computer
Figure 2: Combo audio port on a laptop computer

Wireless speakers or headphones can be connected to a computer using bluetooth. Some wireless headphones may come with a pre-paired USB dongle; which can be used to connect to a computer.

  1. Turn on the bluetooth speaker, and make it discoverable.
    See the user manual of the bluetooth speaker to learn about how to put the speaker in discoverable mode.
  2. Turn on bluetooth on the computer.
  3. Connect and pair the bluetooth speaker or headphone with the computer.
    Note: Some bluetooth speakers or headphones may require a passcode to connect and pair, see the user manual of the device for specific instructions.
    Note: The bluetooth speaker or headphone and the computer connects anytime the two devices are in the range of each other when bluetooth is turned on. The range of bluetooth signal may vary between different bluetooth devices.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the pairing process.

To change the default sound playback device in Windows 10:

  1. Click Start, and then click Settings (gear icon).
  2. Click System.
  3. On the left menu, click Sound.
  4. Under choose your output device, select the audio device that you want to use.

To change the default sound playback device in Windows 8 or 8.1:

  1. Right-click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. In the Playback tab, select the audio device that you want to use.
  5. Click Set Default, and then click OK.

To change the default sound playback device in Windows 7:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. In the Playback tab, select the audio device that you want to use.
  5. Click Set Default, and then click OK.


Article ID: SLN319604

Last Date Modified: 11/21/2019 02:46 PM


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