Windows 10: Non-powered Speakers and Windows 10

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  1.    26 Jun 2018 #1

    Non-powered Speakers and Windows 10

    I have some older Polk Audio computer speakers. I recently bought a refurbished HP with Win10 and the speakers don't work. Yes, I've gone through the myriad of suggestions found online re RealTek , etc., but with no success. I asked a tech at Fry's and he said it won't work with non-powered, I have to get powered speakers. Is that right? By the way, internal speaker works and also headset.


      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    26 Jun 2018 #2

    Hi DV1, welcome to 10F.
    Your problem has nothing to do with OS but with hardware only. Most PCs do not have amplified sound output but very low powered (few mWatt) output pre-amplifier that can't drive speakers directly, only low power devices like head/ear phones.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    26 Jun 2018 #3

    As stated, yes, you need powered speakers as has been outlined
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,917
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       26 Jun 2018 #4

    The best solution would be just to get a small powered amp, no new speakers needed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    26 Jun 2018 #5

    Old PC sound cards had amplifiers built in (back in the DOS days). Modern (and "old" Modern) sound cards do not have an amplifier built in thus they need either an external amplifier to drive speakers or "computer" speakers that have a built in amplifier.

    One other issue. Computer speakers have built in shielding to avoid any induced noise from the PC or components. Non computer speakers do not have the shielding.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    26 Jun 2018 #6

    My PC speakers have no shielding at all.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,391
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       26 Jun 2018 #7

    There's 2 types of speakers that work on Win10 computers, one uses AC-power and the other uses a USB port. Haven't seen battery-only speakers in awhile but may be some available, most likely are the Bluetooth variety.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    26 Jun 2018 #8

    Or you can use something like these and not depend on built in sound. Best Amp Combo DACs | June 2018 | Massdrop
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    26 Jun 2018 #9

    Thank you all for the responses.

    The thing that was puzzling is that in the old Dell computer I had I also couldn't get sound from the back-panel speaker-out. But when I plugged the speakers in the front (headset port) they really delivered. Sometimes the volume had to be brought down to 60 and 50. So, somehow the headphones port delivered more power to the speakers.

    Now, considering that I purchased a refurbished PC (not that expensive) and that it's basically a temporary replacement since the Dell went kaput, I've been looking at cheap, powered speakers at Walmart. Question: Is there any difference whether they are plug speakers or USB? I read a comment here re USB so I guess best to know beforehand.


    Plug - Blackweb by Walmart Multimedia Computer Speaker -
    USB - Logitech S150 2.0 USB Digital Speakers, Black -

    Thank You

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    26 Jun 2018 #10

    Ones like top one are powered from mains and connect to your output in the computer. Ones like second one have own digital to analog converter and are also powered by USB. Speakers powered from USB usually have lower sound levels because of USB's lower voltage and power output.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

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