How to Connect a MacBook to Speakers

By Maxwell Payne

The Apple MacBook has a single audio out jack. This functions as a line to both speakers and headphones, allowing you to connect the MacBook to headphones, external computer speakers or a stereo system. Depending on your speaker setup, you may need optional items such as adapters. When connected to the audio out jack, the computer's built-in speakers are disabled.

Things You'll Need

  • 3.5mm audio jack adapter (optional)
  • Audio line cable (optional)
  • Audio line Y-cable (optional)

Connecting Computer Speakers to a MacBook

Step 1

Plug the speakers' power supply into a wall outlet or power strip. If the speakers are USB-powered, connect them to an available USB port on the MacBook.

Step 2

Connect the "audio out" line from the speakers into the headphone jack on the left side of the MacBook. The headphone jack doubles as a "speaker line" jack. If the speaker "audio out" line is not the standard 3.5mm jack, connect it to a 3.5mm adapter and then plug the adapter into the headphone jack.

Step 3

Press the power button on the speakers and verify that the volume is turned up on the MacBook. Press the "speaker volume" keys on the top right of the keyboard to increase or decrease the volume. Verify that the volume control on the speakers is turned up.

Connecting a MacBook to stereo system speakers

Step 1

Connect one end of a standard 3.5mm audio line to the headphone jack on the MacBook.

Step 2

Connect the other end of the audio line directly into your stereo's "audio in" or "line in" jack. If your stereo has a two-channel line in setup, such as red and white jacks, connect the audio line to the single black input connection on the Y-splitter. Connect the red and white connectors on the Y-splitter to the corresponding jacks on the stereo.

Step 3

Turn on the stereo and verify that the proper audio input option is selected. For example, if you connected the MacBook to "audio line in 2", verify that the stereo is set to that input. Confirm that the volume on the MacBook is turned up.