Do you want to hear your favorite songs stored on your hard drive at a higher volume and with higher sound fidelity? This article will tell you how to connect your computer to your stereo.
Step 1. Locate your audio output by looking at the back of the computer
In general, the audio output connector will be identified by the color green.
Step 2. Connect the stereo cable (jack plug)
Plug your stereo audio jack into the audio output you identified on the back of the computer.
Step 3. Take the other end of your stereo jack connector and insert it into the female connector of a “Y” cable that separates the two audio channels
Step 4. Connect one end of your RCA cable to the female connectors of the “Y” cable, at its split end
Insert the white RCA male connector and the red RCA male connector into the corresponding audio inputs on the “Y” cable.
Step 5. Locate the “AUX IN” input with red and white ports on the back of your stereo
The red port receives the right channel of audio, while the white port receives the left channel.
Step 6. Connect the other end of your RCA cable to the audio input ports on your stereo
Insert the white RCA male connector and the red RCA male connector into the correct audio inputs on the back of your stereo.
Step 7. Choose the "AUX" channel on your stereo to play the audio it is receiving from the computer
In some stereos you can do it with a remote control, and in others by hand.
Step 8. Check connectivity with your computer
This may vary depending on the type of computer or operating system you use.
Navigate to your Control Panel (you can usually access it from the Start menu). Click on Hardware and Sound, and then on the Sound section. Go to the Playback tab. Look at the field where the Speakers are. If it has a green check mark, it means that it is recognizing the audio input. If a red arrow appears pointing down, there has been a problem with connectivity. Check that all cables are properly connected and try again to get your audio input recognized
- The process can be simplified by purchasing a single cable that has a 3.5mm headphone jack on one end and two RCA connectors on the other. In addition to reducing the number of cables you have to use, it can save you quite a bit of money.
- You may run into a problem with cables carrying an unwanted current, known as a ground loop, in which a soft hum produced by electrical cables will also be heard through your stereo speakers. This is quite common, but you can solve it by buying an insulator to correct the passage of unwanted current between the two ends of your stereo cable, protecting the fidelity of the audio signal. You can buy these devices at stores that sell electronic components online, such as RadioShack and Amazon.
- To adjust the volume settings:
- Tune your stereo to a radio station playing a song and adjust the volume to a level comfortable for your listening standards.
- Manually reduce the volume on your computer to 0% (slide down the volume bar instead of using Mute or Silence). Now play an audio CD, raising the volume of the program that is playing it (e.g: Windows Player) to the maximum, leaving the general volume of the computer at 0%.
- Change your stereo to the "Aux" channel where the computer is connected. Gradually raise the volume on your computer until you reach the same comfortable level that you were listening to the radio station at. This way you can use a consistent volume for all the channels of your stereo.
- Make sure to start your audio tests very low on both systems, or you could damage the stereo speakers.
- Although not necessary on newer equipment, you can safely turn off your stereo and / or computer until you finish installing the cables.