How to connect audio devices to computers

Connect a Bluetooth audio device (Windows 10)

To connect your Bluetooth headset, speaker, or headphones to your Windows 10 PC, you’ll need to pair the device first.

Turn on your Bluetooth device and make it discoverable. The way you make it discoverable depends on the device. Check the device info or website to find out more.

On the taskbar, select the action center icon and make sure Bluetooth is turned on.

In action center, select Connect, then pick your device.

Follow any additional instructions. Otherwise, you’re done.

Miracast wireless displays

Wirelessly connect your PC to a TV, projector, another PC, or other kind of external display that supports Miracast.

Turn on your TV or projector. If you’re using a Miracast dongle or adapter, make sure it’s plugged in to the display.

On your PC, make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.

On the taskbar, select the action center icon > Connect > pick your display.

Follow any additional instructions on the screen. Otherwise, you’re done.

WiGig wireless displays

Wirelessly connect your PC to a monitor, projector, or other kind of external display that is connected to a WiGig dock.

Turn on the TV or projector.

Turn on your WiGig dock and make sure it’s connected to the display.

Make sure your PC supports WiGig and that it’s turned on. If your PC supports WiGig, you’ll see a WiGig control in Settings > Network & Internet > Airplane mode.

On the taskbar, select the action center icon > Connect > pick your dock.

Follow any additional instructions on the screen. Otherwise, you’re done.

Report abuse

Replies (10) 

I’m John an Independent Advisor and a Microsoft user like you. I am here to work with you in this issue and I’ll be glad to help you. With regards with your concern. What is the make and model of your device? Please visit your device manufacturer’s Support page. Download and Install the latest audio/sound driver.

You may also check for updates in Windows Update Settings to download and install drivers.
Select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further concerns.

John DeV
Independent Advisor

Report abuse

7 people found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

First, let me update my problem: Win 10 DOES NOT detect a sound driver/device, so much for my typing skills, HA!

I have attempted ti find and download the audio device driver to no avail. In the lower right hand corner of the screen there is a speaker icon with a red “X” beside it, It suggests troubleshooting, a fix is suggested,then restart PC, problem not fixed.

Report abuse

6 people found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Report abuse

1 person found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Thank you for updating me that information. I’m sorry it didn’t resolve the issue.
What is the brand and model of your device? I will try to look for the audio driver.

Press Start then search Device Manager
Select Sounds, video and game controllers
Please take a screenshot and post it on your next reply. Thanks

John DeV
Independent Advisor

Report abuse

1 person found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Report abuse

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Thank your for updating me that information. Please try to download the audio device driver and check if the sound will work again.

Kindly install the Audio and Chipset drivers then Test.
https://support.hp.com/ph-en/drivers/selfservic.

**Please take a screenshot and post it on your next reply. Thanks
Press Start then search Device Manager
Select Sounds, video and game controllers

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further concerns.

John DeV
Independent Advisor

Standard Disclaimer: This is a non-Microsoft website. The page appears to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the site that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the site before you decide to download and install it.

Report abuse

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Report abuse

1 person found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Thank your for updating me that information. Please try to download the audio device driver and check if the sound will work again.

Kindly install the Audio and Chipset drivers then Test.
https://support.hp.com/ph-en/drivers/selfservic.
Please click the “Choose a different OS”
Select Windows 8.1 then click Change
Under Driver Audio you will see an IDT High Definition Audio Driver. Kindly download and install the driver.

**Please don’t forget to take a screenshot and post it on your next reply. Thanks
Press Start then search Device Manager
Select Sounds, video and game controllers

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further concerns.

John DeV
Independent Advisor

Standard Disclaimer: This is a non-Microsoft website. The page appears to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the site that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the site before you decide to download and install it.

When you connect other hard devices (e.g. phone, USB flash drive…) with your Windows 10 PC, you’ll hear a sound indicating their successful connection. If you dislike the default sound, you can change it according to the following guidance.

Video guide on how to change device connection sound in Windows 10:

Steps to change device connection sound in Windows 10:

Step 1: Type sound in the search box and choose Sound in the result to open Sound settings.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Step 2: In the Sound window, choose Sounds and select Device Connect in program events.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Step 3: Click the bar where Windows Hardware Insert is under Sounds, choose an option in the list provided and tap OK.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Tip: During this step, you can also click Browse to select music from your PC.

In this tutorial, we show you 6 different ways to connect an audio mixer to your computer. The first four options will give you a mono input to your computer, and the last two options will give you stereo input to your computer or laptop.

You may be looking to record audio, stream video, or participate in a video conference. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, this tutorial will show you 6 different ways to connect an audio mixer to a computer.

Depending on the outlets of your audio mixer, the following solutions will work for you:

  1. RCA to 1/8″ Cable > USB Sound Card > Computer
  2. Dual 1/4″ to 1/8″ Cable > USB Sound Card > Computer
  3. XLR to 1/8″ Cable > USB Sound Card > Computer
  4. XLR to USB Cable > Computer
  5. USB Audio Mixer > Computer
  6. USB Audio Interface > Computer

USB Sound Cards

How to connect audio devices to computers

Before you choose one of the first three options, please note that the quality of USB Sound Cards can vary GREATLY. They are the least expensive option for a reason. The quality and consistency are different depending on the company that you buy from and the batch that they are produced in.

If you can find one that works for you, then you’re in luck, but 99% of the time we recommend avoiding this option.

USB Sound Card Pricing:

XLR To USB Cables

How to connect audio devices to computers

Although it’s technically possible to use a XLR to USB cable, we don’t recommend this as a good long term solution.

XLR to USB cables are generally expecting a mic level XLR input, since we’re connecting it to the line level XLR output of our audio mixing console this can cause some problems. The output level of the audio console needs to be reduced to about 5% for this solution to work, but it is technically possible to get an audio signal into a computer as demonstrated in the video above.

USB Audio Mixing Consoles

How to connect audio devices to computers

Our favourite option is to us a USB Audio Mixing Console like the Yamaha MG10XU.

It’s more expensive than the previous options, but we believe it provides you the most value.

Using a USB Audio Mixer opens up a whole new world for you in terms of being able to connect directly to your computer, iPad, or any other device without worrying about too many adapters or quality issues. The simplicity of this solution makes it a top choice.

Some popular USB Audio Mixers Include:

  • Yamaha MG10XU Audio Mixer: https://currentprice.io/mg10xu
  • Mackie ProFX10v3 Audio Mixer: https://currentprice.io/profx10v3
  • Soundcraft Notepad-12FX Audio Mixer: https://geni.us/I5jxUKj
  • Allen & Heath ZED-10FX Audio Mixer: https://currentprice.io/ah_zed_10

USB Audio Interface

How to connect audio devices to computers

Another high-quality option is to connect your audio mixer to a USB Audio Interface. These interfaces can vary between $50-3,000, depending on quality. But they are a great way to connect audio signals to your computer.

Some examples of audio interfaces include:

Pricing & Specs For Equipment In This Video:

  • Yamaha MG10XU Audio Mixing Console: https://currentprice.io/mg10xu
  • Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone: https://currentprice.io/shure_sm58
  • USB Sound Card: https://currentprice.io/sabrent_usb – Mono Input Only
  • RCA to 1/8″ Cable: https://currentprice.io/18_rca
  • 1/4″ to 1/8″ Cable: https://currentprice.io/14_to_dual_18
  • XLR to 1/8″ Cable: https://currentprice.io/xlr_headphone
  • Presonus USB Audio Interface: https://currentprice.io/audiobox
  • XLR Cable: https://currentprice.io/6ft_xlr

Topics Covered In This Video

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:22 – Mixer & Microphone
  • 1:14 – RCA to 1/8″ to USB Sound Card
  • 2:11 – 1/4″ to 1/8″ to USB Sound Card
  • 3:11 – XLR to 1/8″ to USB Sound Card
  • 4:03 – XLR to USB Cable
  • 4:48 – USB Audio Mixing Console
  • 6:07 – USB Audio Interface
  • 7:28 – Summary Of 6 Options
  • 8:18 – Final Thoughts

Disclosure: If you purchase an item or service from an outbound link, we may receive a referral fee, which helps to support Kettner Creative.

Most Windows users have more than just one audio output device connected to their computers – the most common example of this being the average Windows user having a pair of headphones for when they want to keep the sound to themselves and a speaker or set of speakers for when they feel like sharing the music. Another common example of this is users having different speaker setups such as one normal setup and one surround sound setup both connected to their Windows computer.

When you have more than one audio output device connected to your computer, switching from one to the other whenever you want the audio to be played through one specific device is not only an inconvenience but can also be quite tedious. Wouldn’t it be much better if you could just have the audio be played through ALL of the audio output devices you have connected to your computer at the same time so you can listen to the audio through whichever device you want? On older versions of the Windows Operating System, you could do exactly that using the Stereo Mix option. However, the Stereo Mix option isn’t available on Windows 10 – or it’s at the very least not available upfront.

Thankfully, though, you can still have audio on a Windows 10 computer be played through two or more audio output devices at the same time. The following are the two methods you can use to achieve this:

Method 1: Enable and use Stereo Mix

As stated above, the Stereo Mix option is at least not available upfront in Windows 10. However, it is still there – it’s just disabled by default on the latest and greatest iteration of the Windows Operating System. That being the case, you can enable the Stereo Mix feature and use it to have audio output through multiple devices on Windows 10. To do so, you need to:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for “sound” and click on the search result titled Sound.How to connect audio devices to computers
  3. Click on Speakers to select it and click on Select Default to set it as the default playback device.How to connect audio devices to computers
  4. Navigate to the Recording tab.
  5. Right-click on an empty space and click on Show Disabled Devices.How to connect audio devices to computers
  6. You should now see an entry for a recording device titled Wave Out Mix, Mono Mix or Stereo Mix. Locate this specific entry, right-click on it and click on Enable.
  7. Once you’ve enabled it, right-click on it once again and click on Set as Default Device.
  8. Double-click on the Wave Out Mix, Mono Mix or Stereo Mix entry and navigate to the Listen tab of the Properties dialog.
  9. Locate the Listen to this device checkbox and check it, and then open the Playback through this device dropdown menu and select your secondary audio output device from the menu.
  10. Click on Apply and then on OK.
  11. Click on Apply and then on OK.
  12. Restart your computer.

When the computer boots up, check to see if audio is now played through both your primary and secondary audio output device at the same time.

Method 2: Use Voicemeeter

How to connect audio devices to computersIf Method 1 for some reason doesn’t work for you, if there is a small delay in audio output when you use Method 1 to play audio to multiple devices on your computer or if you try using Method 1 and a Wave Out Mix, Mono Mix or Stereo Mix entry doesn’t show up for you, fear not – all is not lost yet. You can still output audio to multiple devices on your Windows 10 computer using Voicemeeter. Voicemeeter is a third-party program for various iterations of the Windows Operating System including Windows 10 that can be used to send the same audio being played through one audio output device to be played through another audio output device on the same computer at the same time.

Voicemeeter is freeware, meaning that you do not have to purchase it and can download it for free (although freeware developers always welcome donations with open arms!). You can get Voicemeeter for your computer here.

There are many ways to play audio from the phone through your PC speakers. There are also various reasons why you might want to do this, but the most common one is to use the speakers or headset connected to the machine.

If an AUX-cable is not enough for you or you got a fresh phone without a headphone jack, check out the 3 different methods to accomplish this below.

Casting the audio with Built-in Mobile Cast

Probably the simplest way to play audio from your phone to a PC or other devices is by Casting. Most if not all smartphones nowadays support casting off the bat.

All that is required is two Bluetooth or WiFi capable devices. You can activate casting from your phone settings, but the path may be slightly different depending on your phone operating system.

The first step to connect your devices audio is to activate Bluetooth on your phone and computer or connect both devices to the same WiFi network.

Once that’s done, navigate to the phones settings. In the settings, look for ‘Bluetooth & device connection’. Within that menu, select ‘Connection preferences’ and you will find a Cast button.

After pressing the Cast button, you should be able to find all devices in the same network or Bluetooth range. Finally just choose your computer or audio device from that list and you’re good to go.

This will play your phone audio through any device you connect to, including your PC and any headphones or speakers connected to it.

  • How to connect audio devices to computers Bluetooth & device connection
  • How to connect audio devices to computers Connection preferences
  • How to connect audio devices to computers Cast
  • How to connect audio devices to computers Select Bluetooth Speaker

Play Audio using DLNA and a Media Player

DLNA or Digital Living Network Alliance is a system built into many devices like TV’s, computers and phones to share video and audio between one another.

To get phone audio playback from a PC or a laptop, you need software to play the audio. One of the most notable and popular applications that take advantage of DLNA is Windows Media Player.

Although, most people don’t tend to use WMP anymore, it has its uses. In order to utilize DLNA, you have to enable media streaming in your Windows Control Panel.

Follow the steps below to enable media streaming and select the devices that you want to stream through. Then just launch Windows Media Player or any other DLNA capable player like the 5K Player to start playing audio.

  • How to connect audio devices to computers Media Streaming Options
  • How to connect audio devices to computers Turn on Media Streaming
  • How to connect audio devices to computers Select Device

Use Google Home and ApowerMirror

Another interesting method to accomplish streaming audio through your computer for improved audio quality is by using Google Home and a separate screen mirroring app.

This method will not only allow for audio playback but it will also let you control your phone with your PC. Most Android phones come with Google Home pre-installed, but if yours doesn’t, you can install it from the Google Play Store.

Next you need to download and install ApowerMirror for you computer. It will allow for casting your mobile device to your monitor.

After the software has installed, download the ApowerMirror app for your Android or iOS device.

Finally all you need to do is launch the software on both devices and connect them together. Now you’re ready to jam out!

These methods have become increasingly useful due to the removal of headphone and microphone jacks from newer phones.

If you need more music to play, you can easily download songs and videos to from YouTube. We made an extensive guide on how to do that for free in 2020.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Audio plays a critical role in our experiences when using Windows. Whether it is listening to music, movies, or communicating with family and friends over Skype, depending on the type of computer you own, your choice of audio output might be different. Laptops and some desktops will have onboard audio, while both can accommodate external speakers to enhance sound quality.

Update: If you are looking for a quality alternative sound app that adds extra features, check out the Ear Trumpet App.

Adjust Volume and Audio Settings in Windows 10

Basic audio settings can be accessed from the Speakers notification on the taskbar. You can use the slider to increase or lower the volume.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Audio can mute audio by clicking the speaker icon on the new volume menu.

How to connect audio devices to computers

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update now makes it easier to switch between different audio devices. To do so, click the audio icon in the Notification Area.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Click the audio output device you would like to use. This is especially handy if you want to switch between built-in audio or your headphones.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Additional audio options can be accessed from a right-click menu.

How to connect audio devices to computers

The Volume Mixer provides options for managing volume per desktop application. Not all applications support this feature, though. If they do, you’ll see them in the Mixer and can adjust the volume levels. For example, you might want to mute specific applications such as system sounds when watching a movie.

How to connect audio devices to computers

A handy function of the Windows sound settings is the ability to modify audio behavior when multi-tasking. If you use a smartphone, you might be aware of an option that lowers the audio of the active application when you receive a notification. If you use an application such as Skype to send and receive video calls, Windows can automatically adjust the volume when communication activity is detected.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Connected external audio devices such as speakers or headphones can be modified from the Sound Settings playback options. Enhancements such as bass, loudness, and surround sound quality can be applied.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Troubleshooting Audio In Windows 10

If you’re unable to hear audio, there are some things you can try. First, check if the volume is turned down or muted.

How to connect audio devices to computers

If you have recently upgraded to Windows 10, your previous audio driver might not be compatible. Uninstalling and reinstalling your audio device might resolve the issue. Press Windows Key + X and click Device Manager. Then expand Sound > video and game controller. Select your audio device, right-click it and Uninstall. Please restart your computer and let Windows redetect it. You can also check Windows Update for the latest drivers for your sound card.

How to connect audio devices to computers

If the problem persists, try running the Troubleshooting audio playback to fix it.

How to connect audio devices to computers

Check out our other articles about managing audio:

8 Comments

If one does not want to simply use the basics of W 10 audio settings and the two major reasons for not doing so comes from the desire to play music in programs such as Paltalk or other VOIP programs. The problem that can occur is that the computer is not equipped with a sound card that has Stereo Mix or What You Hear or the user may be using a USB mic/headset. A super alternative is to use a program called Voicemeeter. For those using Paltalk, I have created a .rtf file of information on exactly how to setup VM to allow either type of user to use VM in order to play music and use the fine program as the default sound mixer in Windows 10.

I have sound much of the time but once in a while it simply disappears.
I don’t know how to get it back. Can you help me.

From you Speaker icon in the Notification Tray (R side of the Taskbar) R click and choose sound settings and then make sure that your playback device is selected as sometimes I have found that after an update, the incorrect source gets selected by Windows. I still use Voicemeeter although I have not been to PC Tech in Paltalk for a couple years as other activities take up my time.

Make sure recording items are also correctly selected.

Be sure that whatever means of listening you have whether headset, built in or external speakers you use are actually turned on, plugged in etc if that is required.

Also, it never hurts to simply reboot your computer either at the beginning or if nothing else works. Make sure all your updates are done and current. It is quite amazing as how a simple reboot often will solve issues. Remember — Its a Computer!

Hello. My 1 left click on “sound” function has gone and i don’t know what to do. I can access volume settings only via right click “open volume mixer” and this is taking much longer and it’s annoying. Please help.

First — reboot the computer and see if anything changes.
Two — if nothing, is sound working ok other than the icon in the notification tray not responding to L click?
Three — have you tried a double click?
Four — are you only trying to increase or decrease the sound volume and not do other settings?
Five — is there any override on your headset that might be not allowing for the L mouse to function — not likely but I always like to eliminate any possibilities. Also if you can adjust the volume via the headset, that might provide as simple an alternative as there is. If using external speakers, there usually is a volume adjustment on them too.
Six — if the computer is a laptop, perhaps a setting via FN has been adjusted causing the L mouse not to function. I don’t use lappy with sound so not sure and another reader may have more info.

I tried a quick search on the internet and did not find this specific problem and have not experienced it myself so let the group know if you find a solution, from where and what the solution is please.

Your USB audio port can be surprisingly useful–giving you even better sound than your computer’s regular audio output. Here’s how to use it.

Once upon a time, there was this scary idea that computer manufacturers would lock down our machines with a purely-digital, “protected,” end-to-end music delivery system. The fear driving this shift, which did not happen: the so-called “analog hole.”

The analog hole can allow someone to record otherwise “protected” audio on its way to speakers. The person who recorded the song can then share it via P2P with millions of music fans who would never bother connecting an analog recording device to a computer’s output and hijacking the audio that way.

One solution that was bandied around back then: to create a Secure Audio Path (SAP) all the way from the playback software to our speakers, protecting then whole chain with digital rights management (DRM). This would close the analog hole. Happily for music fans, that vision was never realized, meaning that USB Audio devices–a standard compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux–can play music from any source normally handled by your regular analog output–the one most people connect to headphones or speakers.

Connected devices have largely obviated the need for onerous DRM technologies in the first place by letting listeners prove they have the right to listen to a piece of music simply by signing in to an app or Web site. DRM is invisible. Luckily for us, it doesn’t care whether your output is analog (the regular kind) or digital (USB).

Now, to the main topic at hand: your computer’s USB audio port, which can connect to external audio devices that play music from any Web site, file, music service, or app.

So why would you want to use USB Audio instead of your computer’s regular input?

The answer is simple: mainly, because USB Audio devices tend to sound better than your computer’s regular output, because they process the audio (turning it from digital to analog) farther away from your computer’s other electronics, which tend to add audio interference. (Using the regular output, you can actually hear a buzz from some computers with sensitive headphones–especially with a laptop.) In addition, USB Audio devices can offer surround sound (5.1- or 7.1-channel sound), even if your computer lacks that option.

This is probably the simplest tutorial I have ever written in terms of the steps you’ll need to take. The trick is mainly just knowing that USB Audio works with everything.

You can buy any USB Audio-compatible module, amplifier, speaker, headphone, or microphone (examples below), and simply plug it into your computer and you’re pretty much good to go. It will be able to play music from any desktop or web app: MOG, Spotify, Rdio, Hype Machine Radio, Turntable.fm–you name it.

Here’s how you switch your output to a USB audio device in Windows:

Eliot Van Buskirk/Evolver.fm

Then select the USB audio device:

Eliot Van Buskirk/Evolver.fm

And here’s how you do it on a Mac (I’m not on a Mac today, so this screenshot comes courtesy of Chris Bowler):

Plenty of options exist for USB Audio devices online and at your local tech store. All of them will work with all of your desktop and web music apps, making them sound better.

Altec Lansing Orbit Stereo USB PC speakers have a nice, tubular design, and any USB-powered speakers make for easier travel, because you don’t need to carry a power cord with you–they get all the juice they need from your computer. (Frequent travelers might also consider a completely cordless Bluetooth option like the Jawbone Jambox.)

Courtesy of Glow Audio

That said, larger speakers that get their power from the wall rather than from your computer’s USB port will always sound better. If you’re looking to boost your sound quality in your home, dorm room, or office, go with a USB audio module like the ones listed here on CNET (disclosure: I worked at CNET from 1997 to 2005) and then connect those to powered speakers or your sound system of choice.

There is one more, far more “out there” option for music fans with some extra scratch (about $800) who want to turn extremely “digital” sources like Spotify into warm, tube-amplified sound: the Glow Audio Amp One (manufacturer’s Web site), pictured to the right, which runs your sound through four vacuum tubes–the same kind found in some high-end audiophile systems.

It’s a great conversation piece, and sounds great too, although it’s definitely for the desktop at 5 watts per channel for powering speakers (you can also use headphones). More practically-minded folks will want to stick with the less-expensive (and still great-sounding) digital options listed here.