Setting Up Computer Speakers

So you've got yourself an awesome set of computer speakers but you don't know how to install them? You've come to the right place. This article will walk you through the necessary steps to install computer speakers.

The Essentials

The basic computer speaker package includes two smaller speakers called satellites. These are placed to the left and right of the computer monitor and deliver quality sound as you game. The next step up includes a subwoofer icon(sometimes referred to as just a sub), which delivers the lower tones called bass. The package with two speakers and a subwoofer is known as a 2.1 speaker set, where the .1 denotes the use of a subwoofer.

Know that we've covered some of the key terms, let's set it up. The computer speakers will generally have an “L” or “R” labeled on them which indicates what side of the computer monitor to place them for the best sound. A sub is best placed on the floor so that it does not interfere with your legs while you sit and game away.

Whether you have a sound card or onboard sound through your motherboard, the connectors are the same. You will find a green circle on the back of the computer and this is where the computer speakers get plugged in at. Typically the subwoofer gets plugged into one of the two speakers or vice-versa. Be sure to check the manual if there is confusion. Once those connections are made, the rest is just configuring the settings through the software. If you are using one of the newer Windows operating systems, the sound is very easily configured in the control panel. Here you can change the treble, bass, and any other setting you can think of to your exact liking.

Wiring Speakers

Others may decide to run your computer sound through a receiver. iconUsing a receiver is great, especially for surround sound effects. You'll want a 5 speaker set at the minimum and the subwoofer can be optional but it really does complete the overall sound experience with the satisfying bass sounds. If you are unsure how to properly wire computer speakers, no need to fret, read on!

Speaker cables come in a variety of thickness and this is known as their gauge with the lower the number indicating the thicker the wire. Generally, the larger the thickness (i.e. the lower the gauge number), the better the wire. We have had very satisfying results using speaker wire rated at 16 gauge. You will want to avoid 24 gauge and higher. These wires tend to be very thin and just trying to expose the wire can be very difficult.

Before you buy the speaker wire, you need to get an idea of how much length of wire you need. It is best to place the speakers around the room how you want them set up then measure using a tape measure iconto get a total amount of wire you'll need. Having some extra speaker wire is never a bad thing and we like to have more in case we want to rearrange the speakers at a later date.

Speaker Wires with one wired colored blue for easy setup

Now that you have the speakers and wire, its time to set them up. You will need some wire strippers iconto cut the wires and expose the inner material. Once the wires are cut, be sure to keep track which side of the wire you put in the negative terminal and which in the positive. Thankfully, speaker wires will have one side of the wires with a black line running down the length of it which makes it easier to keep track. Be sure to match the polarity when you wire them into the receiver. For simplicity reasons, we like to use the speaker wire with the black line on the outside as our negative side because the receiver have generally have at least of of the connectors as black. This makes it easy to match the black labeled speaker cable to the black connectors on the receiver.

Configuring the Receiver

Once the speakers have been set up, all that is left to do is to set the receiver to your liking and you are good to go. Please refer to your speaker manual for the different settings and sound options available.


We hope that this guide explained effectively how to set up computer speakers and even how to wire them properly. All that is needed is the proper planning and the right tools to get the job done. Having a great speaker set can really enhance your gaming experience.

Other Articles of Interest

1. Installing a Motherboard into a Gaming Computer
2. Installing Memory into a Gaming Computer