Computer speaker

Computer speaker
A pair of speakers for notebook computers that are powered and audio-connected to the computer via USB

Computer speakers, or multimedia speakers, are speakers external to a computer, that disable the lower fidelity built-in speaker. They often have a low-power internal amplifier. The standard audio connection is a 3.5 mm (approximately 1/8 inch) stereo jack plug often color-coded lime green (following the PC 99 standard) for computer sound cards. A plug and socket for a two-wire (signal and ground) coaxial cable that is widely used to connect analog audio and video components. Rows of RCA sockets are found on the backs of stereo amplifier and numerous A/V products. The prong is 1/8" thick by 5/16" long. A few use an RCA connector for input. There are also USB speakers which are powered from the 5 volts at 500 milliamps provided by the USB port, allowing about 2.5 watts of output power.

Computer speakers range widely in quality and in price. The computer speakers typically packaged with computer systems are small, plastic, and have mediocre sound quality. Some computer speakers have equalization features such as bass and treble controls.

The internal amplifiers require an external power source, usually an AC adapter. More sophisticated computer speakers can have a subwoofer unit, to enhance bass output, and these units usually include the power amplifiers both for the bass speaker, and the small satellite speakers.

Some computer displays have rather basic speakers built-in. Laptops come with integrated speakers. Restricted space available in laptops means these speakers usually produce low-quality sound.

For some users, a lead connecting computer sound output to an existing stereo system is practical. This normally yields much better results than small low-cost computer speakers. Computer speakers can also serve as an economy amplifier for MP3 player use for those who wish to not use headphones, although some models of computer speakers have headphone jacks of their own.

Contents

Common features

A common computer icon representing a speaker

Features vary by manufacturer, but may include the following:

  • An LED power indicator.
  • A 3.5 mm headphone jack.
  • Controls for volume, and sometimes bass and treble
  • A remote volume control.

Cost cutting measures and technical compatibility

In order to cut the cost of computer speakers (unless designed for premium sound performance), speakers designed for computers often lack an AM/FM tuner and other built-in sources of audio. However, the male 3.5 mm plug can be jury rigged with "female 3.5 mm TRS to female stereo RCA" adapters to work with stereo system components such as CD/DVD-Audio/SACD players (although computers have CD-ROM drives of their own with audio CD support), audio cassette players, turntables, etc.

Despite being designed for computers, computer speakers are electrically compatible with the aforementioned stereo components. There are even models of computer speakers that have stereo RCA in jacks.

See also

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Computer-assisted language learning — (CALL) is succinctly defined in a seminal work by Levy (1997: p. 1) as the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning .[1] CALL embraces a wide range of ICT applications and approaches to teaching… …   Wikipedia

  • Computer crime — Computer crime, or cybercrime, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network.[1] The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target.[2] Netcrime refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet.[3]… …   Wikipedia

  • Computer facial animation — is primarily an area of computer graphics that encapsulates models and techniques for generating and animating images of the human head and face. Due to its subject and output type, it is also related to many other scientific and artistic fields… …   Wikipedia

  • Computer Consoles Inc. — Computer Consoles Inc. or CCI was a telephony and computer company located in Rochester, New York, USA, which did business first as a private, and then ultimately a public company from 1968 to 1990. CCI provided worldwide telephone companies with …   Wikipedia

  • Computer Weekly — Editor Bryan Glick Categories Computer magazine Frequency Weekly First issue September 1966 Final issue 5 April 2011 Company Reed Business Information …   Wikipedia

  • Computer port (hardware) — Examples of computer connector sockets on various laptops …   Wikipedia

  • speaker — noun 1 person who makes a speech ADJECTIVE ▪ brilliant (esp. BrE), good, great ▪ featured (esp. AmE), keynote, main, principal ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • Computer-assisted dispatch — The central idea is that persons in a dispatch center are able to easily view and understand the status of all units being dispatched. CAD provides displays and tools so that the dispatcher has an opportunity to handle calls for service as… …   Wikipedia

  • Computer graphics — This article is about graphics created using computers. For the article about the scientific study of computer graphics, see Computer graphics (computer science). For other uses, see Computer graphics (disambiguation). A Blender 2.45 screenshot,… …   Wikipedia

  • Computer programming — Programming redirects here. For other uses, see Programming (disambiguation). Software development process Activities and steps …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.