There are two types of monitors depending how they are connected to speakers; those with builtin speakers and those without builtin speakers.
Those with builtin speakers play sound without having the need to connect to external speakers. There are very few models of monitors with builtin speakers. However, if a monitor does not have builtin speakers, there are several alternatives.
Basically, in order to play sound through the monitor, you need to have built in speakers.
If builtin speakers do not exist, you need to check whether the monitor has output ports for external speakers or headphones.
These ports are likely to be labelled with names such as H/P(for headphones), HDMI or DP-IN (for display ports).
Essential Ingredient: Builtin Monitor Speakers
In order to play sound through the monitor, you obviously need speakers.
Some monitors are manufactured with internal monitors that produce average sound that works well in corporate environment. In such cases, you do not have to connect an external sound device to the monitor.
To check if your monitor has builtin speakers, you will find a headphone/Audio in port at the back.
Advantages of builtin speakers are it saves you money, desk space and time to set up.
How to Enable Builtin Speakers
First ensure that you have sound card installed on the computer. Don’t worry, most modern motherboards come with sound cards built in.
- Right-click the volume icon at the system tray and choose Playback devices.
- Scroll down the list, select and right click the Speakers.
- On the popup menu that appears, set the monitor speakers as defautl. If you have multiple audio devices connected i.e monitor speakers, headphones, bluetooth speakers, then chances are that your computer may not select the right set of speakers. In this case it is important to set the monitor speakers as default.
- To test whether the builtin speaker works, click configure and then click Test.
Audio and Sound Output Ports
The two main interfaces that carry audio as well as video together are DVI and HDMI.
Other ports include DVI and VGA. DVI and VGA to not carry audio channels. In such cases, monitors with built in speakers that do not have either DisplayPort or HDMI have Audio Line in.
We discuss the three methods below
3 Ways to Play Sound Through the Monitor
If you have a monitor with built in speakers, you need to make sure what port configuration it has.
Does it have:
- VGA/DVI with Audi Line in
With Displayport and HDMI connecting is straight forward. However with VGA/DVI you will need an extra Audio 3.5mm wire.
The DisplayPort interface includes both audio and video signals. Besides, they also carry USB and many other forms of data. It was designed to eliminate the limitations of DVI, VGA and FDP-Link.
You require three components to enable the audio transmission through the DisplayPort: video output device such as laptop or pc, sink device to support audio playback and dual-cable adaptor.
The video output device has to transmit both audio and video signal. To enable this function to work, ensure that the video card and graphics driver are installed and that they support it. Besides, ensure that the graphics drivers are up to date.
How to Set Up Connection with DisplayPorts
First, connect DisplayPort cable between the monitor and audio source. Go to the control panel and choose Sound and then change the playback device to Display Audio.
Ensure that the sound is not muted or not low before testing the sound. To test the DisplayPort, click configure then click Test. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so. Otherwise, click okay button to complete.
2. HDMI Ports
HDMI interfaces replaced the analog video standards by transmitting both audio data and uncompressed video data from a device that is HDMI compliant to compatible monitor, digital TV, digital audio device and video projector.
Advantage of using HDMI is that there is no quality loss for both audio and video, and there is no need for conversion.
When connecting the monitor to PC through the HDMI ports, it is important to ensure that you use an HDMI cable that is well connected on both ends and it is of good quality.
This will enable you to avoid issues of poor resolution, lack of audio or image noise. Confirm that the volume at the onscreem menu is not muted or too low to hear.
Enabling Audio Output on PC Via HDMI
Before you begin, check the sound card configuration and connect the HDMI cable to each ends.
Right click the volume icon on the onscreen task bar. A pop up menu appears. Select playback devices to open sound properties. In the list, monitor or TV always appears first while other devices may include speakers or devices connected to the computer.
You then need to enable HDMI audio output by right clicking the monitor and then choose set as default from the menu list that pops up.
Test whether it worked by selecting Configure then click Test. If it works, click okay to complete the task. Reboot computer if prompted.
3. Using Audio Line In
As mentioned earlier, using DisplayPort and HDMI for playing sound through the monitor is quite straight forward.
However, if you have a older monitor or an older PC, you may not have these ports. Instead you would either have a DVI or a VGA port.
These interfaces only carry video signals. They do not carry the audio channel.
In order to then play the sound through the built in speakers on the monitor, you would need to find the headphone jack on your PC and Audio In port on your monitor.
If you did not get a 3.5 mm (both ends) cable with the monitor, you will need to purchase one separately. You will need to connect your PC and monitor with that cable to transmit audio.
Make sure that you have selected the monitor as the audio output device from the audio settings.
Testing Monitor Sound and Adjusting Volume
When testing for sound, you first need to ensure that you choose a specific speaker between the builtin speaker or external speaker that works best for your needs.
If you choose to work with HDMI port or DisplayPort, use the right cable for the right port. In case you have done everything right and nothing works, you can allow Windows to troubleshoot the problem for you.
To use Windows to troubleshoot sound problems, navigate to control panel from the start menu, ckick on Troubleshooting. Below the Hardware and Sound, select Troubleshoot audio playback.
The administrator password may be required at this point. Once the sound troubleshooter is launched, click the next button and Windows will identify the problems that may cause sound problems.
Follow the instructions on how to repair sound problems once the troubleshooting is complete.
The volume of the sound or audio output of the monitor can be adjusted from the control panel. You can also use control panel to test if both speakers are working fine.
Select sound and audio devices and then choose adjust system volume.
A window for sound and audio device properties will open and you can adjust the volume percentage using the sliders.
If the sound is not good enough, you may also adjust it through the software that you use to play video or audio.