How to Set Up Surround Sound Through a PC

Updated July 20, 2017

Most surround sound speakers are 5.1 speakers. There are surround sound speakers that go higher than 5.1 such as 7.1, but the set-up is similar. Six speakers are used for surround sound, the left front, centre front, right front, left rear, right rear and subwoofer. Setting up surround sound speakers to your PC can be tricky because not all sound cards are the same. Some sound cards aren't compatible with surround sound speakers. In this case, you will still be able to hook the speakers up, but will not receive the same quality.

Plug the speaker cables into the volume control box or the subwoofer if there is no volume control box. The wires are colour coded most times, so match the tip of the speaker wire with the circular hole of the same colour.

Plug in the power cable which will be permanently connected to the subwoofer or volume control box.

Plug the other ends of the speaker wires into speakers with the same colour holes as the end of the speaker wires if they are not permanently connected to each speaker. Plug the subwoofer wire in the same way as you would plug in the speaker wires.

Check your PC's audio inputs and outputs. All PCs have three audio connections: green for "line out," blue for "line in" and pink for "mic" in. PCs that are 5.1 compatible have two more connections: rear out which is black or blue and centre or subwoofer out which is orange or yellow.

Plug the speaker to PC wires which come with your speakers into your computer. The green tipped wire will plug into the green line out, the blue tipped wire will plug into the blue rear out which is the one not located next to the green line out or the black rear out, and the orange, yellow or pink tipped wire will plug into the subwoofer out which is yellow or orange. If your computer isn't 5.1 compatible you will need to plug the blue tipped wire into the blue "line in" hole and the subwoofer wire into the pink "mic" in hole.

Configure your PC to run surround sound by going to your audio driver properties. You get to your audio driver properties by clicking "Start," "Control Panel," "Sound, Speech, and Audio Devices" and then clicking your audio driver. In your driver, select "6 channel mode for 5.1 speaker output." If you have 7.1 speakers, select "8 channel mode for 7.1 speaker output."

Things You'll Need

  • PC computer with compatible sound card
  • 5.1 or better surround sound speakers
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About the Author

Ziggy Thomas started writing professionally in 2010, specializing in fitness, business and technology, among other topics of interest. He works as a financial analyst in Austin. Thomas holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in finance and economics from the University of Nevada, Reno.