Most modern monitors aren’t designed with built-in speakers. However, let’s say you want to connect your gaming console like a PS3 or xBox the monitor, then you will need sound for an immersive gaming experience. Maybe you are connecting your laptop to a monitor and you want to play sound through external speakers.
So, how do you get sound from a monitor without speakers, meaning a monitor without inbuilt speakers?
You can get sound from your monitor without inbuilt speakers by using an HDMI audio extractor, the 3.5 mm output on the monitor, the optical connection on the monitor, composite or component adapters, or using wireless speakers.
In this article, we explore in detail, 6 easy and useful ways to get sound output from your monitor without inbuilt speakers.
1. Use an HDMI Audio Extractor
An HDMI audio extractor can be used to connect a source device using HDMI and then pull your audio from the extractor.
You can connect almost any audio device to the extractor including speakers, a soundbar, a sound system, etc. Of course, this source device must have an HDMI output port for this to work.
The source, in this case, would be your laptop, console, Apple TV, Fire TV, or whatever you are connecting to your monitor. Keep in mind that audio extractors only support one HDMI input device, but you can get an HDMI switcher if you wish to hook up multiple devices.
Here is the process for connecting up your audio extractor. In this example, we will be connecting up an xBox to a JBL speaker.
1. Connect the HDMI output from the source device (in this case the xBox) to the HDMI input of the audio extractor.
2. Connect the speaker to the extractor using the audio analog outputs on the extractor. For this, you will need an RCA to aux cable if your speaker has an AUX input. Check out our list of Bluetooth speakers with AUX input.
3. Connect the auxiliary input from the RCA to AUX cable to the speaker. If you are using headphones, you would just connect to the AUX output on the extractor.
4. Now, you will end up with a setup like this:
At this point, sound from the XBox will play through the speakers or headphones or whatever audio device you connect to the extractor.
Steps to Troubleshoot The Connection Using an HDMI Audio Extractor With a PC
To enable audio output using HDMI audio extractor, you should do the following:
Step 1: Ensure all the computer has an up-to-date sound driver installed.
Step 2: Right-click on the output devices and select the suitable audio output from the external speakers
Step 3: Use an HDMI splitter if using multiple input devices to connect all the ports and enable the sound
Step 4: If no sound is being produced, restart the device
2. Use The 3.5 mm Output On The Monitor
If your monitor has 3.5 mm audio out, then you can easily connect external speakers. In fact, you can connect two speakers for the L/R channel using an audio splitter cable.
Of course, for this to work, your speakers should have 3.5 mm inputs.
Here is the process:
2. Connect the 3.5 mm cables to the speakers
3. Connect the 3.5 mm cables to the female end of the splitter
4. Connect the male end of the splitter to the monitor
That’s it, another quick and easy way to get sound from your monitor without inbuilt speakers.
3. Use The Optical Out Connection (SPDIF)
Many gamers who use gaming consoles such as XBox and PS4 may choose to use the optical audio out connection from the monitor to their speakers or another audio device.
This type of connection is a standard for transmitting high-quality digital audio without going through an analog conversion process.
We generally do not recommend this because your monitor shouldn’t really be outputting anything but video. Your plan should be to output your console’s video to the monitor, and audio from the console to the speakers.
In any case, if you choose to use the optical out connection, here is how you can go about it:
- Connect the optical cable to the monitor
- Connect the next end of the optical cable to an optical enabled device like a mixamp. You could also connect the optical cable to a receiver if you have a larger surround sound system and want to enjoy a truly immersive gaming experience!
- Connect your headphone to the mixamp and enjoy!
4. Use Composite Cables (For Consoles)
A standard Av multi-port cable comes with a video connection and left and right audio channels.
This is a composite connection that will deliver standard definition audio and video. This means you will not be able to view HD content using this cable.
All you need to do is to connect the display cable to the console and then connect the speakers using the L/R audio channels. If your speaker uses a 3.5 jack, then you will need a 3.5mm male to RCA female adapter like the CERRXIAN 3.5mm Stereo to 2-RCA Male to Female Adapter [Amazon link].
If you are using headphones, you will also need a 3.5mm stereo coupler like the Monoprice 107185 3.5mm Stereo Jack to 3.5mm Stereo Jack [Amazon link].
Keep in mind that you can also try a composite to component converter if for some reason you have to use a composite cable. We explain more about component connections below.
5. Use Component or RGB Cables (For Consoles)
Another way to connect your speakers is to use a component cable. With component cab less, you will be able to achieve high definition quality.
With these cables, audio is supplied to the left and right connections. Here is how you can connect with component cables:
- Connect the cable to the AV multi-out on the console
- Connect the speakers using the L/R channels
- as with composite cables, if your speaker uses a 3.5 jack, then you will need a 3.5mm male to RCA female adapter like the CERRXIAN 3.5mm Stereo to 2-RCA Male to Female Adapter [Amazon link]. If you are using headphones, you will also need a 3.5mm stereo coupler like the Monoprice 107185 3.5mm Stereo Jack to 3.5mm Stereo Jack [Amazon link].
- Change the console’s audio settings so that sound is output through audio input connectors.
5. That’s it, your system should now be ready to go!
6. Connect Speakers Wirelessly
The emergence of Bluetooth technology makes it possible to get sound from your system with ease. In addition, we also have wireless speakers which are speakers that receive audio signals using radio frequency (RF) waves.
Check out our list of the best affordable Bluetooth speakers available as well as the best wireless or wifi speakers available. If you are using a PC, check out our list of the best speakers for PCs with subwoofers.
However, to get the desired sound output wirelessly, you have to invest in wireless speakers.
If your computer or other source device does not have Bluetooth, you can buy a USB to Bluetooth cable if your device is USB enabled. This way, you can get the benefits of Bluetooth-enabled devices without buying new machines.
Once you purchase a USB to Bluetooth cable, you will be able to establish a Bluetooth connection at your convenience.
How To Pair A Bluetooth Device
The following is just a quick description of how to connect a Windows device to a Bluetooth enabled speaker.
- Turn on your Bluetooth device and make ensure it is discoverable. Normally, the device will tell you it is ready to pair.
- On your PC, select Start > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices > Add Bluetooth or other device > Bluetooth. Choose the Bluetooth device and follow the on-screen instructions then select Done.
- The devices should then connect automatically.
If your monitor does not have inbuilt speakers and you want to get sound from it, use one of the above methods based on what is best for you. In most cases, you won’t need to purchase expensive devices or replace anything, one of these quick methods will surely solve this for you.