How to Use SPDIF Out Header on a Motherboard

Written by dave wilson
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How to Use SPDIF Out Header on a Motherboard
Many computer motherboards include headers supporting cool features barely mentioned in the manual. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Computer motherboards that feature a built-in S/PDIF (Sony/Phillips Digital Interface Format) header -- rather than an S/PDIF connector -- require the user to connect a cable from the header, either directly to another device or to an external S/PDIF connector. Install an external S/PDIF connector to the computer motherboard to use S/PDIF computer speakers. You'll need S/PDIF cable with a three-pin header connector that matches the mother board header pin out on one end, and coaxial or optical output connector with a mounting bracket on the other end. You'll also need speakers with S/PDIF support and S/PDIF cable that matches the external connector of the internal computer S/PDIF cable.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Windows 7 desktop computer
  • Computer motherboard manual

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Power down the computer. Remove any screws that secure the service panel to the computer and remove the service panel.

  2. 2

    Locate the S/PDIF out header using the motherboard diagram in the computer motherboard manual. Note that the S/PDIF header looks like three pins (may have a space between two of the pins) with "S/PDIF" written on the motherboard next to the connector.

  3. 3

    Plug the three-pin, flat connector into the S/PDIF out header so that the cable connector "snaps" to the header.

  4. 4

    Mount the bracket at the other end of the S/PDIF cable into an open card slot in the chassis next to the PCI slots on the motherboard. Secure the bracket to the chassis using the fastening method included with the chassis, which is either a screw or a latch located next to the open card slot on the chassis.

  5. 5

    Place the service panel back on the computer chassis and secure the panel latches. Secure the panel with screws if provided.

  6. 6

    Plug one end of the external S/PDIF cable into the speakers and the other end of the external S/PDIF cable into the newly-mounted S/PDIF connector on the computer.

  7. 7

    Power up the speakers. Boot the computer and make sure sound is audible from the S/PDIF speakers.

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