How to Install Speakers on a Dell

By Jeff Grundy

In order to enjoy the multimedia and sound features of your Dell computer, you will need to install a set of speakers. If your computer does not currently have speakers or if you need to replace a defective pair, install a new set in about five minutes to begin enjoying music or multimedia sound features on your Dell PC

Things You'll Need

  • Set of powered computer speakers with AC adapter

Windows XP

Step 1

Locate the green 3.5-mm (1/8-inch) plug-in adapter hole on the rear of the computer. In most desktops, it is next to a blue and pink plug-in hole of the same size.

Step 2

Plug the 3.5-mm male adapter plug from the speakers into the green plug-in adapter hole. Then, plug the AC adapter into an electrical outlet. If necessary, insert the plug-in adapter for the AC adapter into the correct hole or slot on the speakers.

Step 3

Boot your computer and log-in to your Windows operating system.

Step 4

Click on the "Start" button and then "Control Panel" tab. Once the "Control Panel" screen is displayed, double-click on the "Sounds and Audio Devices" icon.

Step 5

Enable the "Place Volume Icon on the Taskbar" option. Also, ensure that the "Mute" option is not checked. Adjust the volume for Windows applications by adjusting the volume slider control with your mouse. Click and drag the slider until the dial is at the desired volume level.

Step 6

Click on the "Advanced" tab. Make sure the "Desktop Stereo Speakers" option is displayed in the drop-down box and click the "OK" button. Click "OK" again to finish the installation of the speakers.

Step 7

Turn on the power to the speakers. Insert a music CD into the CD/DVD drive of your computer or play other sounds on your PC to test the new computer speakers.

Windows 7

Step 1

Click on the "Start" globe or button and then the "Control Panel" label. The Control Panel main screen will display on your monitor. Click on the "Hardware and Sound" link.

Step 2

Click the "Manage Audio Devices" link in the "Sound" section on the Control Panel screen. The "Sound" configuration window will then open.

Step 3

Click the "Speakers" label under the "Playback" tab. Click the "Configure" button to open the "Speaker Setup" configuration window and select the "Stereo" option. Click the "Next" button.

Step 4

Enable the "Front Left and Right" option box by clicking the check box. Once the check mark appears in the box, click both small speaker icons to test the sound from the speakers. You should hear sound from the two right speakers when you click the speaker icon labeled "R," and the two speakers on the left should produce sound when you click the icon labeled "L."

Step 5

Click the "Next" button and then the "Finish" button to complete the speaker setup.

Step 6

Adjust the volume by clicking on the speaker icon near the time and date area in the taskbar. Use the slider control to adjust the volume to the desired level.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to install 5.1 or 7.1 surroundsound speakers, refer to the installation guide that comes with the speakers. Generally, the installation process is the same; however, you will use the pink and blue plug-in holes in addition to the green one. Furthermore, you will need to change the speaker settings in the "Control Panel" to "5.1 surround speakers" or "7.1 home theater speakers."
  • If you want to hook up external speakers to a Dell laptop, plug the speakers into the headphone jack on the computer.
  • Do not power on the speakers until you have installed them on your computer and plugged the AC adapter into a wall socket. If you plug the electrical cord into an outlet while the button or switch on the speakers is in the "On" position, damage to your speakers may occur.