How to Hook Up 7.1 Surround Sound Computer Speakers

Written by james clark
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How to Hook Up 7.1 Surround Sound Computer Speakers
Use the labelled jacks on the back of the sub to connect a 7.1 system. (subwoofer image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from

A 7.1 surround sound system for a computer consists of seven speakers and a powered subwoofer for bass. Two speakers flank the computer monitor with a centre channel speaker either above or below the monitor to reproduce dialogue in movies, video games and programs. A pair of side speakers and a pair of rear speakers provide sound effects for a circular audio experience. The subwoofer delivers low-frequency effects for room-rumbling sound. The speakers in a 7.1 system connect with cables and 3.5mm plugs to labelled jacks on the subwoofer, which then plugs into the computer.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Arrange the seven speakers around the computer desk or work station. The two front speakers should be placed on the left and right sides of the monitor, with the centre speaker below or above the screen. Set the side-firing speakers to the left and right of the user's chair, pointing directly at the chair. The two rear speakers should be placed behind and slightly above the chair, on a bookshelf, for example. The subwoofer needs to be within reach of the computer tower for connecting audio cables.

  2. 2

    Insert the 3.5mm plug on the end of each speaker cable into the jack labelled for that particular speaker. For example, the speaker on the left on the monitor should be plugged into the left front jack on the back of the subwoofer. On many 7.1 systems, the cables are permanently attached to the speakers.

  3. 3

    Connect the audio cable from the subwoofer to the Line OUT jack on the back of the computer tower, or use the headphone jack if connecting the system to a laptop.

  4. 4

    Plug the subwoofer power cord into a wall outlet, then turn on the system by pressing the "Power" button on the front of the subwoofer. Adjust the volume control knob to the preferred setting.

Tips and warnings

  • Connect all the speaker cables before plugging the subwoofer into the electricity.

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