Hooking up Laptop to Home Speakers?

By RJ831 ยท 8 replies
Nov 19, 2005
  1. Is there any way to do this? I'm trying to hook up my Dell Inspiron 5100 to my home speakers that are in the garage...The speakers are not rca, they're the kind with wire at the tips and they plug into my home receiver that way. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it. My ultimate goal is to buy some DJ equipment and run everything out of this laptop (I saw a DJ at a wedding running everything out of his mac laptop). :approve:
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You will have to use your receiver or some other amplifier. Computer soundcards are not meant to drive speakers.
  3. RJ831

    RJ831 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Is there anyway to hook up an amp or receiver to the laptop?
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    If your laptop has an audio out jack (and most do), then yes. You can connect your amp to your laptop quite easily.

    You just need one of these cables

    Plug the white and red into audio in of your amp, and the black one into your audio out jack of your laptop.
  5. RJ831

    RJ831 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    damn my laptop doesn't have an audio out...Could you use the headphone, or mic plug in? I plug in my computer speakers into the headphone one and it works fine....Also, what kid of amp would you use? I only have experience with car audio amplifiers and those have to be hooked up to the battery somehow (ground, power etc...) thanks for the help guys...
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You'll have to use the headphones connector.

    You plug normal amps to the wall outlet.. No need to get a new amp though - if your receiver has a free input then just use that.
  7. RJ831

    RJ831 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    ^Thanks for the help guys! Any suggestions on what kind of amp to get? (I really don't want to pull the one I have out of my car)... :bounce:
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Do you not have a home stereo with your speakers? You ONLY have the speakers?

    If you don't have a home stereo with "audio in" jacks, then I don't know how you can hook up your home speakers to your computer.

    ANY home stereo will do, as long as it has "aux in" jacks.
  9. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    This is nearly exactly what I am doing. First off I would suggest scraping your laptop's built-in audio right from the get-go. Go get yourself a good external USB soundcard like the Creative Sound Blaster Extigy: http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=244&subcategory=249&product=585

    Once you get this, you have many better options for audio in/out, midi, recording, playback etc... Such as 5.1 channel sound, line-level inputs/outputs. Though this Extigy I can't see if it has line-out. If you plan on using an amp you definitely want to have line level outputs for the cleanest signal.

    For your amp you'll need to leave the PC world and get in the audio world. Check out amps from the likes of AudioSource http://www.audiosource.net/amplifiers.html : Behringer http://www.behringer.com/02_products/group_index.cfm?mid=2&ID=200&lang=ENG : Mackie http://www.mackie.com/products/amplifiers/index.html : and anybody else who sells "power amps".

    If you are on a budget, you can get by with using your headphone jack into an amp into your speakers. But don't expect high quality.
    On the other hand, if you want to pump a DVD movie out to your 5.1 speakers, you'll want the USB sound card with a 5.1 decoder.
    You have a lot of options, but the AMP may cost you some booku bucks. Because you'll soon find out that audio amps are a lot more expensive then car amps. But I would highly suggest not trying to fuddle with using a car amp, not wise. And car amps are nowhere near the quality of standard audio amps. Just not as clean, they don't have to be. And the power supplies are a real issue.

    Lastly, don't buy an amp with such high watts it blows out your speakers! You want to match them up fairly close.

    To be honest, I've yet to find a decent AMP I can afford to drive the two tower speakers I have right now! I'm in the same boat you are. And they use the two-wire speaker cable as well. Which you'll want to be sure the amp outputs to this, or often called banana plugs too.
    If you end up buying an amp, tell me which one you got and if it works good! lol
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