How to Hook Computer Speakers to a TV

By Ryan Bauer

Home theater speaker systems are often expensive. Using computer speakers can be a cheaper alternative. The two types of speakers use different connectors, however.Computer speakers have a 1/8-inch male plug that contains the connections for both right- and left-channel signals. TVs and home entertainment devices use RCA connections, which provide a separate jack for each audio channel. You'll need one adapter for each 1/-inch plug that your speakers have. Most speaker systems will have one of these plugs for every two speakers. For example, a six-speaker surround-sound system will have 3 1/8-inch plugs and will require 3 adapters.These adapters can be purchased at most electronics stores and home theater retailers.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/8-inch female to RCA male audio adapter

Step 1

Locate the speakers in a convenient location. Surround-sound speakers should be placed throughout the room for optimal sound quality. Depending on the type of speaker set, the audio cables from each speaker may need to be connected at a central location, such as a subwoofer or power amplifier, or the speakers may already be wired together. This will vary greatly from one model to another. Plug the speakers into a wall outlet, but don't turn them on yet to avoid hearing line noise while making the connections.

Step 2

Connect the audio cable of the speakers to the output on the back of the TV or home theater system. Use the 1/8-inch to RCA audio adapters when needed. One RCA connector will be red, and the other one will be either white or black. When plugging them into the system's audio output, make sure to match the colors properly. This will ensure each audio signal is sent to the proper speaker.

Step 3

Turn both the speakers and the TV on. Depending on your TV, its integrated volume control may control the speakers. If not, you'll have to manually adjust the volume control on the speakers as needed. If the speakers are connected to a home theater system instead of directly to the TV, the volume can always be adjusted directly through the theater system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Speaker cables can also be plugged directly into the headphone jack of a TV without the use of an adapter.