How to Use External Speakers With a Dell Laptop

Updated February 21, 2017

Using your Dell laptop in place of a desktop to view media can be more enjoyable if you use an external speaker system. Speakers and sound capability vary greatly among laptop manufacturers, so it is important to listen to the computer's sound before purchase. External speakers are available if you want better sound than your computer's internal speakers provide. Speaker systems vary in the number of speakers and options, but the basic laptop connection is the same for them all.

Turn off your Dell laptop.

Connect speakers to the speaker control box. The speaker control box varies depending on the speaker system you have. Two-speaker systems will have a female jack on the back of one speaker that you plug the other into the second speaker. If your system has a subwoofer, all of the other speakers will plug into it. The connecting cords are colour-coded to the jacks on the back of the control box.

Plug an audio cable into the "Audio-In" port on the back of the control box. If the audio cable is colour-coded, it will be green.

Plug the other end of the audio cable into the headphone jack on your laptop.

Plug the speakers' power cord into a surge protector to protect your system from power surges. Plug the surge protector into a wall outlet.

Turn on your speakers and set the volume at a medium level. Be prepared to turn the volume up or down after you turn your laptop on.

Turn on your laptop and confirm that sound is coming from your speakers.


Set the volume on the speaker system at a level that allows you to use your computer's volume control to raise and lower the volume as needed. Dell laptops automatically disconnect their internal speaker when you connect speakers using the headphone jack. You will not have to adjust any settings in your laptop's control panel.


If you do not hear sound with the speakers connected, make sure the computer volume is not on mute. Click the speaker icon in the bottom toolbar of your computer screen to check the computer volume.

Things You'll Need

  • Speaker connecting cords
  • Surge protector
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About the Author

Specializing in business and finance, Lee Nichols began writing in 2002. Nichols holds a Bachelor of Arts in Web and Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.