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  • Speaker connection converter?

    Posted on CWBillow Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  CWBillow 2 years, 5 months ago.

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    • #508336 Reply

      CWBillow
      AskWoody Plus

      I have two Creative speakers that have plugs that are “short and narrow.” I was able to plug them into my bass speaker that then connect to my HP laptop via the “standard” audio plugs.

      I don’t have the bass speaker any longer, and so the speaker male plugs are too narrow for the HP female sockets.

      Is there some type of adapter that would allow the thinner shorter speaker plug to work with the (standard?) HP audio socket?

      Regards,
      Chuck Billow

      Chuck Billow

    • #1592842 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Well, “short and narrow” isn’t much of a description to go on, so it could be anything. Three-piece systems weren’t intended to have interchangeable parts (IOW, one manufacturer’s subwoofer wasn’t expected to work with another manufacturer’s left/right satellite speakers), so the types of connectors the manufacturer might use between the components is entirely discretionary. While the connector from subwoofer to computer is usually a standard 3.5mm plug, there is no defined standard for the connectors between the subwoofer and satellites.

      There’s a lot more to it than that, though.

      For starters, what kind of jack is on your laptop? It’s typically 3.5mm in size, but is it three-position or four-position? (Note the number of segments on the plug in those two links.) Does your laptop have two 3.5mm jacks, or just one? If there’s just one jack, it’s probably a four-position with left-right-common-mic. If there are two similar looking jacks, most likely one is a mic input and the other is a three-position left-right-common output. It’s not likely you have separate left and right output jacks.

      Since you most likely have one 3.5mm audio output jack, at a minimum you’ll need some kind of adapter to connect that to two separate mono plugs. Here’s an example of the type of adapter you’d need, though this one is for 3.5mm mono plugs so you’d need to daisy-chain it with (I’m guessing) a pair of 2.5mm-to-3.5mm adapters. Beware that there are tons of look-alike adapters, but most are “splitters” intended to split one stereo input into two identical stereo outputs, which is not the same thing as splitting one stereo input into left and right mono outputs.

      Third, what kind of plugs are on your two mono speakers? You mentioned “the speaker male plugs are too narrow for the HP female socket”, so it sounds like it’s smaller than 3.5mm and could perhaps be 2.5mm plugs. Are they the same shape as the plugs in the above links, or are they barrel plugs like this? I’ve seen both types used for satellite speakers over the years (as well as DIN plugs).

      And finally, here’s the most important detail, which may render everything else above moot. If your speakers were intended to be plugged into a subwoofer, they are almost certainly designed to be powered by the subwoofer. Without the subwoofer amplifying the signal, the output from the laptop isn’t likely to be sufficient to drive the speakers.

      That last issue is fatal. The speakers are most likely worthless without their accompanying subwoofer.

    • #1592850 Reply

      access-mdb
      AskWoody MVP

      I have a set of Creative speakers and the plugs which plug into the subwoofer are not standard jacks – 3.5 or 2.5 but look like RCA plugs. Assuming yours is the same then they need suitable RCA sockets on the PC, which most (all?) PCs don’t have. It’s not obvious to me that the subwoofer is powering them, but the subwoofer has the amplifier (?) which feeds the relevant channel to the relevant speaker. They might fit into a amplifier which has RCA outputs, but I’m not convinced they are the same as RCAs anyway. I’ll check with some of my (stored) RCA plugs later.

      Whatever, I agree with dg that not having the subwoofer is fatal to them working on your PC.

    • #1592874 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      You can get RCA to 3.5mm plug adapters at loads of places.
      The real question is, do the speakers have a built-in amplifier – a mains adapter will plug into them. Most likely they do not and plugging them into your laptop will produce very little volume and may not be an improvement on the internal speakers.
      You may be better off buying a pair of amplified speakers or just use some decent headphones – you could always do it properly and connect the laptop to a stereo amp and run some real speakers.

      cheers, Paul

    • #1592885 Reply

      CWBillow
      AskWoody Plus

      Oh my/well, it seems like I am a bit out of luck “adapting” as opposed to just starting from scratch.

      Thanks guys.
      Chuck

      Chuck Billow

      • #1592892 Reply

        CWBillow
        AskWoody Plus

        I have learned from this what I did not before know about the “mechanics” of PC Speakers.

        So now I ask…if I have USB powered speakers (just purchased from HP) how much can I expect them to deplete my battery life per charge assuming continuous use?

        Regards,
        Chuck Billow

        Chuck Billow

      • #1593006 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Oh my/well, it seems like I am a bit out of luck “adapting” as opposed to just starting from scratch.

        Thanks guys.
        Chuck

        Chuck:

        Go to amazon.com and look for speaker adapters, headphone adapters, etc. Read carefully what people write about them, not only in the product descriptions, but also in the comments. Someone may describe exactly what you are looking for. Or, they may give some information/terminology which you can search on in order to find what you need.

        In my case, I have an old headset which worked great with my really old cellphone. But a few years ago, I got a new cellphone with an iPhone-type connection. So I had to get an adapter to plug the old headphones into the new cellphone; and the adapter had to correctly “adapt” the connection so that my earphone and microphone would work. I found language to that effect in one product’s comments, and so I bought the product, and it worked correctly. However, another adapter was described as not working with a microphone/earphone type headset, so I avoided that one. Another product kind-of said that it would work; but I could tell that the person writing it had not personally verified that it would work, so I avoided that one as well.

        Good luck. If you are persistent, you will likely find what you are looking for.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #1593026 Reply

          CWBillow
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes Jim, often it is a simple case of how badly one wants “it.”

          Chuck

          Chuck Billow

    • #1592899 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Depends on how loud you run them. If you are running on battery use headphones.

      cheers, Paul

      • #1592900 Reply

        Rick Corbett
        AskWoody_MVP

        Depends on how loud you run them. If you are running on battery use headphones.

        But wired, not wireless, headphones. Any use of radio (e.g. Bluetooth) on a laptop may deplete your battery quite quickly (depending on how old/worn the battery is).

      • #1592923 Reply

        CWBillow
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks Paul.

        Chuck

        Chuck Billow

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