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PC to Stereo Hookup - Wired and Wireless
How to listen to your computer on your home stereo system
By connecting your computer to your home stereo system you can listen
to music, such as MP3 files or WAV files, on large speakers and get
plenty of volume using your amplifier. Follow the instructions below
and you will have an amazing home jukebox!
Please use reasonable caution when connecting electrical devices. If at
any time during this installation you need assistance, consult the
manufacturer of your stereo and/or PC.
What you need:
- Laptop or
desktop computer with sound card or earphone speaker jack.
stereo receiver with available audio in jacks (i.e. Aux, CD, Tape2,
1/8" mini jack-to-RCA plugs Y adapter cable. Available for less than
$10 at local and online retailers. Radio Shack part no. 42- 2551
Y-adapter audio cable.
Cable to connect PC to stereo receiver
Cable has 3.5mm stereo plug for sound card connection and at the other
end is the two RCA plugs for left and
right stereo channels.
Amazon.com has some of these cables.
An example is available above.
There are other options available also.
Most PCs today have a soundcard already installed when you buy it. If
not, you can purchase a sound card and install it yourself. The sound
card has ports for connecting speakers, mics, etc. The green port is
for sound going OUT while the blue port is for sound coming into the
computer. The pink port is for a microphone. Most PC soundcards utilize
a 3.5mm (1/8-in) jack as the line input or output connector and most
hi-fi equipment uses RCA type sockets for connecting
The Sound card
in a personal computer typically has three round jacks color coded and
indicated with symbols for line out, line in and microphone in. The
jack of interest is the line
out usually color coded green or
having text label OUT possibly with a symbol showing an arrow going out
from concentric circles.
your laptop or desktop computer to your stereo receiver:
- Turn off
the power on your computer.
- Turn off
the power on your stereo receiver.
- Plug the
single end of the Y adapter cable into the sound card speaker jack of
your laptop/ desktop computer. This is the same jack you would plug in
- Locate an
available jack (i.e. Aux, Tape2, etc.) on the back of your stereo
receiver where you can plug in the other ends of the Y cable. Do
not use the Phono jack; this will cause interference.
You can use the AUX IN or even the CD
- Match the
red plug of the Y cable to the red jack on your stereo receiver and
- Match the
black (or white) plug of the Y cable to the white jack on your stereo
receiver and connect. Depending on the Y cable you select, this plug
may be black, white or gray.
computer is now successfully connected to your home stereo receiver.
- Turn the
power on both your computer and home stereo.
- On your
stereo receiver, select the mode where your computer is connected (Aux,
your music player on the PC, select music and play. The sound will now
be coming from your stereo speakers.
With a wired hookup, you can add distance easily by using audio
extension cable with 3.5mm male plug at one end and a female 3.5mm
connection at the other end. Several of these cables can be hooked
together for longer distances.
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SPEAKERS for PC or TV sound
Don't have an
amplifier or home stereo system? You can use powered speakers which are
loudspeakers with a built-in amplifier you connect to the computer or
The M-AUDIO AV40 powered speakers
M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Active Stereo Speakers
The amplifier is in the left speaker. Passive speakers are connected to
spring clips for bared wires. The rear panel also houses the Bass Boost
switch, a power switch, and two line-ins with RCA and TRS 1/4" (6.3 mm)
M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers
You connect a stereo RCA audio cable from the PC or TV to the white and
red RCA inputs on the left speaker. Connect speaker wires from the left
speaker to the right speaker. Your TV or laptop/PC can have 3.5mm
output jacks which are standard today or you can use adapters to
complete the wiring hookup from TV or PC to the speakers. The left
speaker also has a 3.5mm audio input and a headphone jack.
These speakers can be used in many ways. For the elderly or
hard of hearing, place the speakers near the listener's position to
boost the sound. The volume control on the left speaker can be used to
adjust the sound level. These speakers are excellent and are rated very
high by customers.
Buy from Amazon.com the M-Audio AV40 powered speakers
see for unboxing of these speakers
40 User Guide_EN.pdf
User Manual on the AV40 powered speakers
to hookup TV or laptop to powered speakers
Stereo system too far away from Computer?
There are many solutions for a wireless music setup. FM transmitter,
music bridge, WiFi and IR senders.
Transmit and receive video and hi-fi stereo, even through walls.
Watch your DVD movies on a television in another room.
Transmit the audio/video output of your satellite receiver to a remote
Wirelessly transmit audio or audio and video from any A/V source device.
Create wireless home surveillance system.
Need to distribute audio and video to another room? A GHz frequency
Wireless Audio/Video Sender can transmit audio and visual signals over
radio frequency, so there are no wires to run, and you'll avoid the
interference associated with crowded lower-frequency band applications,
such as 802.11b wireless LAN, cordless phones, and microwaves.
Products typically consist of one transmitter and one (or more)
receiver, cables and power adapters. The system transmits video and
hi-fi stereo sound wirelessly from a source device such as computer,
VCR, TV set, DVD player, satellite receiver or cable set-top box to any
destination device such as a stereo system, TV or monitor. It can also
be used in conjunction with a camcorder to turn into a wireless
security monitoring system. The signal can go hundreds of feet and
since it uses radio waves, it will even penetrate walls.
To experience wireless video and audio, just connect the transmitter to
whatever A/V source you would like to enjoy and connect the receiver to
a stereo, TV, monitor or speaker in another location. Cost is around
$80 to $150. Radio Shack or Amazon.com will have a product. Look for
wireless sender or audio/video transmitter.
Hookup Diagram for Wireless Connection
There are many wireless options for connecting your laptop or PC to
your home audio system. Be careful with wireless as there are some
pitfalls. Many of these products become quickly outdated as operating
systems are upgraded.
One of the most simple yet limited solutions is the FM transmitter. A
good FM transmitter can send your laptop or iPod music (or any device
with a stereo headphone output) across the room to your AM/FM stereo
receiver or audio/video receiver with speakers wirelessly using an
available frequency on the FM radio. Connect the laptop or iPod to the
FM transmitter using the 3.5mm stereo plug and it will send out your
music on a FM radio frequency you choose. Then on your stereo receiver,
tune in the FM frequency and you have music just like your own radio
Problems with the FM transmitter include bad reception if objects
obstruct the signal and distance is limited. You will achieve varying
results based upon many factors. Some report excellent reception and
can even get music in a different room and on multiple radio receivers
while others can hardly get any good results due to crowded FM stations
in their area or weak signals.
CCrane FM Transmitter
- Wireless transfer of
any audio to any FM receiver
- Highest Quality, full
stereo on any FM Frequency of your
- Listen to streaming
audio from your computer on your
- Send your MP3 audio to
your home stereo system
- Runs on AC power
adapter or 2 AA batteries
One option for wireless computer to home audio system hookup is APPLE
AIRPORT. With Apple Airport Express, you can play your music from
iTunes on your computer to your home stereo system wirelessly. The
Apple Airport Express unit is a small, hand-sized portable wireless and
wired device which plugs into a wall outlet for power and has ports for
ethernet, USB and analog/digital audio. To set up AirPort Express using
a Windows PC, you must have the following:
• A Windows PC with 300 MHz or higher processor speed
• Windows XP or VISTA operating system
You need iTunes to play audio from your computer to a stereo connected
to AirPort Express. To be sure you have the latest version of iTunes,
You can use AirPort Express with any wireless-enabled computer that is
the IEEE 802.11b or 802.11g standards.
Using AirPort Express with AirTunes to Play iTunes Music on Your Stereo
You can connect your AirPort Express to your stereo with a
Toslink-to-mini digital fiber
optic cable or a mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA cable, or mini-stereo to
depending on what type of connectors your stereo uses, and use AirTunes
play music from iTunes.
• Connect your AirPort Express unit to your home stereo or
powered speakers using a digital
fiber optic cable, analog mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA, or mini-stereo to
(depending on what type of connectors your stereo uses) connected to
You cannot use powered USB speakers with AirPort Express. Use powered
speakers with a stereo mini-jack connector.
• Use AirPort Utility to create a new network.
• Open iTunes on your computer and choose your stereo or
speakers from the speakers
pop-up menu in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window.
Wireless computers within range of AirPort Express can wirelessly
stream music to it
using iTunes 4.6 or later. Only one computer at a time can stream music
Express. You cannot stream music to more than one AirPort Express at a
CREATIVE LABS X-Mod Wireless Music System
The Xmod Wireless comes in 2 parts, a transmitter and a receiver. The
transmitter connects to your PC via USB, applying X-Fi sound
enhancement to any sound or music that is passed through it. Compressed
audio like WMA and MP3 files are upscaled to 24 bit quality and
surround sound effects can be added.
You can connect the receiver end of the Xmod Wireless to a good set of
speakers that you have in your family room for example.
The wireless receiver enables you to control and listen to your music
anywhere you place the receiver in your house. Your PC music collection
is streamed around the house with top notch quality and fidelity. You
can purchase additional receivers to play your music in multiple rooms.
# Listen to Xtreme Fidelity music and control playlists up to 100 feet
(30 meters) away from your PC using the X-Fi Wireless Receiver
# Use the remote controls with the Xmod Wireless transmitter or the
X-Fi Wireless Receiver to play, pause and skip through your music
# Add as many X-Fi Wireless Receivers as you like to get all that great
Xtreme Fidelity music in every room of your house
The range is great and there is no lag. You don't need to have your own
network or anything running. Just turn on the receiver and transmitter
and away you go. If you do have a network running, this won't interfere
with it at all. You also get a remote for each side and there are
inputs so that you can connect an MP3 player. With the remotes, you can
skip tracks, pause tracks, turn on and off the X-Fi features, etc.
Overall, Xmod Wireless is highly recommended. The unique combination of
a driverless and simple to use USB soundcard with a high quality
streaming device is an excellent way to introduce your PC to your home
theater setup or to any room of your house.
More than just a wireless music system, Xmod Wireless features X-Fi
technology that makes your MP3's and other compressed music files sound
better than the original CD. It plays all of the music from your PC
wirelessly throughout your house and since it doesn't rely on your home
network, there are no delays, dropouts or interference to deal with,
and no IP addresses to configure. Simple
to setup with no software, or
drivers to install and works right out
of the box.
iPad wireless Bluetooth to Stereo Connection
Logitech makes a Bluetooth receiver so your iPad or Smartphone can
stream music to stereo speakers.
Labs Wireless Audio
transmitter and receiver Sound Blaster
Plug in the USB transmitter to your laptop's USB port. Connect the
receiver to your stereo system using either the 3.5mm line out or the
two RCA stereo connections. Run your music player. Pair the transmitter
and receiver. You now
have wireless music from laptop to stereo system.
Good up to 100 feet.