To connect bookshelf speakers to your PC, you’ll need to use an amplifier that can bridge between the computer and speakers. A small PC amp will allow you to plug your computer into it and then connect speakers through RCA connections.
I’m Donovan, a musician, audiophile, and producer. I’ve built many home studios and theater systems over the years and have set up many different types of speakers. I know how to connect bookshelf speakers through first-hand experience.
This post will show you how to connect bookshelf speakers to a PC. I’ll provide you with some information on what you need to make this happen and walk you through the steps to get the speakers up and running easily.
Let’s dive in.
- Key Takeaways
- How to Connect Bookshelf Speakers to PC
- Final Thoughts
- You need a small amp to connect most passive bookshelf speakers to a PC.
- A PC amp will allow you to connect your computer to the amp via an AUX cable, and then you can connect bookshelf speakers with RCA cables.
- Some PC-specific bookshelf speakers can be directly connected to your computer if you have the right inputs.
- You can also purchase bookshelf speakers with built-in amps, allowing you to connect directly to a PC.
How to Connect Bookshelf Speakers to PC
You can connect bookshelf speakers to a PC in a few different ways. I’ll walk you through all of those here and provide tips and instructions to make this happen quickly and easily. It’s a simple setup, no matter how you choose to do it.
You’ll likely need some additional equipment and cables to get bookshelf speakers connected to a PC. While there are some types of bookshelf speakers that can connect directly, most of them are passive and need a power source.
How to Connect Bookshelf Speakers to PC with Amplifier
The most common way to connect bookshelf speakers to a PC is to use a small amplifier. This will power the speakers and give you a way to make all the necessary connections. Since most bookshelf speakers are passive, they require an external power source to work.
You’ll need to purchase a separate PC amplifier to make this happen. You don’t need a high-powered or expensive amplifier for this, and there are many affordable options that will do the job.
I recommend choosing an amp that has an AUX input and RCA outputs. That will allow you to connect the PC to the amp easily and then the amp to the speakers.
Follow these steps to connect bookshelf speakers to a PC with an amplifier:
1. Connect your PC to the amplifier using an AUX cable. This is the standard 3.5mm audio cable that has many applications. If your PC doesn’t have an AUX input, you’ll need to get an adapter to have one.
2. Plug one end of the AUX cable into the PC and the other into the input on the amp.
3. Now connect your bookshelf speakers to the amp using RCA cables. You just need to plug one cable into each speaker and match the corresponding stereo side into the outputs on the amp.
Some bookshelf speakers have built-in RCA cables, and others don’t. You’ll need to purchase extra cables if they don’t come with your speakers.
4. Power up the amp and turn on your PC.
5. Play audio from your computer to check that the speakers are working correctly. Adjust the volume as needed.
You should be able to adjust the volume on both your PC and the amp for this setup. That gives you multiple ways to tweak the audio until you get the desired levels. Start with the volume low so you don’t blow the speakers.
If your bookshelf speakers don’t have RCA inputs, you’ll need to get RCA adapters on one end to connect to the amp. These connectors are pretty easy to install, and you don’t need any special skills or equipment to set this up.
How to Connect Bookshelf Speakers to PC Without Amplifier
It is possible to connect bookshelf speakers directly to a PC without using an amplifier. But you’ll need to purchase active bookshelf speakers with a built-in amp to make this happen. These aren’t as common as passive bookshelf speakers, but they do exist.
The trick with doing this is also figuring out the inputs to connect the speakers to your PC. You still might need to get an amp or adapter if your PC doesn’t have the proper inputs to make the connection.
But as long as you have the proper inputs on your PC, you just need to plug those into the computer, connect your speakers to a power source, and push play. The exact cables or inputs you’ll need will vary based on the type of PC and speakers you use.
Active bookshelf speakers are typically more expensive than passive options. But you can get solid audio quality out of either, so the option that is best for you depends on whether you want to keep things simple or need an amp.
How to Connect Bookshelf Speakers to PC with Existing Audio System
If you have an existing audio system already set up with bookshelf speakers, it’s possible to connect your PC to it pretty easily. This can be a good option if you want to keep things simple and don’t need a separate PC-based audio system.
Your existing system needs to have an AUX input or other free input that you can plug your PC into. If there is an existing 3.5mm line coming from the receiver, you just need to plug that into your PC to get started.
Then you can choose the AUX input source on the receiver, and the signal from your PC should play from the system’s speakers. The receiver acts as an amplifier in this situation, so it’s essentially the same setup, but you are just plugging into one that already exists.
If your PC doesn’t have an AUX input, you’ll need to get some sort of adapter that will bridge the connection between the open input on the monitor and the existing inputs on your PC. A USB to AUX adapter is a good option for this.
Here are a few short answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to how to connect bookshelf speakers to a PC.
Do bookshelf speakers work with PC?
Bookshelf speakers can work with a PC, but you’ll likely need an external amplifier to connect the two. A PC amp will power the speakers and allow you to make the proper connections. You can also use bookshelf speakers with a built-in amp.
Can I connect speakers directly to my PC?
You can connect speakers directly to your PC if they are powered or active speakers. Passive speakers will require an external amp to power, so you’ll need to connect the PC to the amp and then to the speakers.
Can you connect bookshelf speakers to a monitor?
You can connect bookshelf speakers to a monitor as long as you have the correct cables and inputs to do so. You might need to also use a stand-alone amp to power the speakers if they don’t have a built-in amplifier.
Do bookshelf speakers need a receiver?
Most bookshelf speakers will need a receiver or amplifier because they are passive and don’t have a built-in power source. Some bookshelf speakers have built-in amplifiers, and these don’t require a receiver to operate.
Is it OK to put bookshelf speakers on their side?
It is OK to put bookshelf speakers on their side. As long as you don’t place the back of the speaker directly against a shelf or wall, you won’t affect the audio quality. But you can stand bookshelf speakers upright or on their sides without worry.
What cables do I need for bookshelf speakers?
For most PC to bookshelf speaker setups, you’ll need an AUX cable to run from the PC to the amplifier and then RCA cables to run from the amp to the speakers. This can vary slightly depending on the exact speakers you are using.
The most common way to connect bookshelf speakers to a PC is to use a small amp to bridge between the two devices. This will power the bookshelf speakers and give you the necessary inputs for plugging everything in.
You can purchase active bookshelf speakers that can technically plug directly into your PC. You still might need to get an adapter to have the necessary inputs, but this is a simplified option where you won’t need to purchase any additional gear or equipment.
Have you ever connected bookshelf speakers to your PC? Did you use an active or passive speaker setup? Let me know in the comments below.