How to Stream Music to Hi-Fi

Streaming music is a great alternative to downloading and is increasing in popularity as more services offer access to their catalogues by subscription. Streams don't sound so great when played through tinny computer speakers or cheap headphones. It's easy to connect your computer to your Hi-Fi system and enjoy your streams at near CD/WAV quality.

Check hardware. Before connecting a computer to a hi-fi system, you'll need to determine which audio cable is required. Check the computer's audio out ports at the back of its sound card and the hi-fi's audio in ports. You'll most likely require a 3.5mm jack to twin phono lead.

Buy an audio cable. Visit a computer hardware store or search for an online retailer who sells the necessary cable.

Connect the jack to the computer's audio out port, which is usually black and often has an audio out symbol next to it. Next, connect the phono plugs to one of the hi-fi's auxiliary audio in ports.

Configure your software. Navigate to the "Control Panel" through the "Start" menu and select your audio settings in "Sounds and Audio Devices." Set the volume to "High" on the first "Volume" tab and select other settings according to your preferences.

Download a media player, if you don't already have one installed. Some stream services require additional software or plug-ins to be installed on your machine. Media players include Real Player and Windows Media Player. If additional plug-ins are required to stream your media, your computer will prompt you to download them.

Find music to stream. Navigate to MySpace, Soundcloud, radio stations, YouTube or any other service that streams music for free. Alternatively, sign up for a subscription from an online catalogue for access to a library of millions of tracks.


Buy a high quality audio cable form a reputable retailer. The quality of the cable could drastically affect the sound quality of your stream.

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About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.