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HP Notebook PCs - Connecting Speakers or Headphones (Windows 7)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq notebook computers with Windows 7.
This document shows how to connect headphones or speakers to your computer. Use this document to configure the audio settings, determine the correct connection port, and begin using your external audio device on your computer.
  note:
This is not a troubleshooting document. If you have problems with sound coming from your speakers or headphones, see one of the following documents:
If there is no sound coming from your speakers or headphones, see HP Notebook PCs - No Sound from the Speakers (Windows 7).
To setup headphones with wireless Bluetooth technology see, Using Bluetooth Devices (Windows 7).
Connecting headphones
This section describes the ports, plugs, and connectors needed to use your headphones with your computer.
Headphone plugs and ports
Plugs
Headphones have either a three-segmented or four-segmented connector plug, and both produce sound when plugged into a headphone connector. The three-segmented plug is for headphones only. The four-segmented plug supports a headphone and an attached microphone.
Figure : Three-segmented plug
Three segmented plug
Figure : Four-segmented plug
Four segmented plug
Ports
Either the three or four-segmented headphone plug works in either of the ports on the computer. The port marked with a diagram of the headphones supports sound only. The port marked with a headphone with a microphone attached supports sound and a microphone, but will work with the three-segmented plug to produce sound in the headphones.
Figure : Headphone connector
Headphone port diagram
Figure : Headphone with microphone connector
Headphone and microphone port diagram
Insert the headphone plug into the computer's port. The connecter on the computer is marked with a small diagram of a headphone.
Connecting external speakers
With Speakers and Headphones selected in the sound properties, you are ready to plug in the external speakers. Insert the speakers' plug into the computer's port.
This section describes the ports and the plug needed to use speakers with your computer.
Speaker ports and plugs
Ports
The ports on the computer for the external speakers are marked with a diagram of a set of headphones. The other port, probably next to it, is marked with a headphone and a microphone and supports sound output and input from a microphone.
Figure : Headphone connector
Headphone port diagram
Figure : Headphone with microphone connector
Headphone and microphone port diagram
Plug
The plug for speakers is three-segmented. It should not be four-segmented as there is no microphone, or input device, with the speakers.
Figure : Three connector plug
Three-segmented speaker plug
The three-segmented plug for the speakers works in either of the ports on the computer. The port marked with a diagram of the headphones supports sound only and is intended for use with the speakers. The port marked with a headphone with a microphone attached supports sound and a microphone, but will work with the three-segmented plug to produce sound to the speakers.
Speakers
Most speakers compatible with your computer have external power to them. The speakers are plugged into a power source, and then plugged into the port on the computer.
Figure : Power from the outlet to the speakers
Power from the outlet to the speakers
Setting Speakers and Headphones in the Sound properties
Windows outputs sound to only one device at a time. You can select which device to use by setting the default in the Sound properties. With Speakers and Headphones selected as the default, Windows automatically switches to the headphones or external speakers when properly connected. On notebook computers the same connector is used to plug in headphones or external speakers.
Use the following steps to set the speakers and headphones as default.
  note:
Depending on the operating system installed and the type of sound chip being used, the images of the sound controls displayed in this document might differ slightly from the following graphics.
  1. Click Start, then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. Click Speakers and Headphones.
    Figure : Speakers and headphones
    Sound Playback tab with Speakers and Headphones selected
  5. Click Set Default and then click OK.
    Figure : Set Default
    Set default
Making alternate connections
You might want to connect your desktop computer to a television to view photos, watch on-line videos, or surf the web viewing a larger screen. This can be done with the correct cables. The computer and the TV must have the same connections. If they do not, you need to use adapters. For more information see Connecting a Monitor, Projector, or TV (Windows 7).
You need an adapter cable to connect a home stereo, TV, or recording device to your computer. Cables for VGA, DVI, and component video do not support audio signals. However, HDMI cables do support audio signals, but not all HDMI-enabled video cards support audio. If your HDTV has an audio input, you might be able to connect a separate audio cable from your computer sound card directly to the TV. If it does not, you need to connect the audio signal to a different device, such as external computer speakers or your home stereo system.

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