Repair News Articles from the Tech Industry
November 22, 2008
Computer speakers do not work.
This issue could be caused by any of the below reasons.
1. Sound card does not work
2. Speakers are not connected properly
3. No power to the speakers
4. Volume on speakers turned down
5. Volume on sound card turned down
6. Bad hardware
Windows 2000 and Windows XP speaker setup
If you are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP make sure the speaker setup is correct. It is possible that during an installation of another program that the speakers software setup was changed causing issues with your sound. To do this follow the below steps.
1. Open Control Panel
2. Open "Sounds and Multimedia Properties" or "Sounds and Audio Devices" in Control Panel.
3. Click the "Audio" tab.
4. In the Audio tab click the "Advanced" button under "Sound Playback."
5. In the Advanced Audio Properties window make sure your speaker setup is correct. If you're not sure what to set this setting as, set it to the default "Desktop Stereo Speakers" option.
6. If you changed this setting click "Apply" and close out of all windows.
Sound card does not work
Ensure that the sound card works properly by connecting either another pair of speakers to the computer, or a pair of headphones.
Note: Do not test the sound through a game or other program, but instead by playing either a CD or a sound file. It is possible that a program or game may be unable to play the sound for other non-related issues.
If you are unable to successfully get the sound card to work see sound card page for sound card troubleshooting.
Speakers are not connected properly
Internal laptop speakers can vary on configuration and setup. If you are troubleshooting a laptop computer, skip this step unless you are a service depot repairing the laptop.
Verify that the speakers are connected properly.
The above diagram to the left illustrate a basic example of how speakers are generally connected. If your speakers include a subwoofer, this may be different. In addition to the connection illustration is the connector symbols that are on the majority of all sound cards (back of the computer). Finally, the illustration to the far right is what your sound card may look like.
As illustrated, the left speaker will generally have a cable that cannot be removed from it. This cable should be connected to the other speaker (generally this cable has no color or is white / gray). The next cable is the line out cable, it is generally green in color and should go from the right speaker to the line out hole in the back of your sound card.
Finally, the power cable generally should be connected to the back of the right speaker, or in some cases, the sub woofer. The power cable can vary; while most speakers are in the above configuration, some speakers may also not utilize a power cable connection but instead have batteries, while other speakers that connect to the side of your monitor may use a portion of the power from the monitor itself (via another type of cable).
No power to the speakers
Most speakers will have a small LED (light) indicating if the speaker is on. Verify that if this light is present that it is illuminated.
If no LED is seen or the speakers don't appear to be getting power, verify the power cable is properly connected to a working outlet or if your speakers use batteries that the batteries are good. Finally, most speakers can be turned on either by using a button or by moving the volume knob from left to right.
Volume on speakers turned down
Verify that the volume knob on the speakers is properly turned up. If you are un-certain what direction to turn the knob, play a long sound file or CD and while the sound is being played, adjust the knob left to right or up to down.
Note: Almost every pair of speakers with knobs will increase the volume by turning it left to right or clockwise.
Volume on sound card turned down
The sound is also able to be turned up and down through the software installed on the computer. Verify the sound settings in the software are properly turned up. Additional information about this can be found on document CH000208.
Finally, if all of the above recommendations do not resolve your issue and connecting another pair of speakers or headphones to the computer does work, it is likely that the speakers are bad. It is recommended that you contact the manufacturer of the speakers or computer for a new replacement.