How to Play Your Device's Audio Through Your Computer's Built-in Speakers.





Introduction: How to Play Your Device's Audio Through Your Computer's Built-in Speakers.

Have you ever wanted to play something on your iPod just a bit louder than the built-in speakers allow you to? Maybe you wanted a way to play it through your computer speakers. Or maybe nothing like that has ever happened to you, and you just clicked on this Instructable because it sounded cool. Either way, that's what I'm going to teach you how to do in this Instructable, playing your device's audio through your computer's built in speakers.

Supplies needed:
-A portableaudio Device. (iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, etc.)
-A standard headphone jack size audio cable. Male to male. ("mini", or 3.5mm)
-A computer with built in speakers.

Step 1: Understanding the "Jacks"

The first thing that you will need to do is make sure you understand how the different "jacks" work on the electronics.

The headphone jack is another name for the audio output. So the headphone jack on your iPod is outputting the audio to your headphones that receive the audio to play it through the tiny speakers.

The microphone jack is another name for the audio input. This is where you plug any type of device that you need to output some kind of audio into, like microphones. When you plug a microphone into your microphone jack, or input, you are sending the audio from the mic and to the computer.

You can not plug headphones into a microphone port (input), and receive audio from the device. And you cannot plug a microphone into a headphone jack (output) and have the device receive audio from the microphone.

Now that you understand all of this, let's move on.

Step 2: Making It Work

Start out by taking your audio cable and plugging one end into the headphone jack of your Apple device. Now take the other end and plug it into the microphone port (input) of your computer.

Now if you play something on your iPod, you're probably not going to hear anything coming through your computer. So the way that you fix this on a Mac is with a program called LineIn.

LineIn allows you to play audio from other devices (like microphones) live through your speakers.

You can download it from here:

[I'm not as familiar with Windows computers, but I believe there is an option somewhere in your Microphone Properties to turn this on, but I'm not 100% sure.

There's a forum about it on Windows here:
(I'm not affiliated with them at all)]

When you finish downloading and installing LineIn, open up the program. On the "Input from:" section, choose "Built-in Input: Line In". Set the "Output to:" to "Default System Output". "Built-in Output: Internal Speakers" should work as well.

After you have those set, click "Pass Thru", play some audio from your device, and listen to it playing through your speakers!

Have fun with this. If it does not work for some reason, or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.



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    In desperate times, headphones can be used as a basic microphone. I teach in a computer lab and I had a student who needed a microphone to interact with something online, so I hooked up a headset and had them speak into an ear for it. It reverses the process. Instead of using an audio signal to move the speakers in the headset, you speak into the speaker and the vibration sends a signal into the computer. Just make sure its in the microphone jack if you want to try this!

    6 replies

    This is blatantly false. I've been doing audio for concerts and performances for over twenty years and this cannot possibly work. Speakers and microphones have different parts and the path of sound through these apparatus is not reversible. You wouldn't be able to record yourself talking into a speaker any more than you would be able to listen to a recording through the microphone.

    For someone who's been doing audio for 20 years you sure don't seem to understand the basic physics of the device. Conceptually a microphone and a speaker are the exact same physical device. A speaker isn't necessarily a very good mic, but it will work to some extent, and vice versa.

    Tell that to every DJ (including myself) that has connected their headphones into the mix port on their mixer to speak the crowd. You should also let my MC who has done this in numerous occasions when someone forgets a mic or he has to perform suddenly because none of them are aware that this is "blatantly false" and are living in a night mare shadow realm where they are made to hallucinate that this works. SAVE THEM

    It's blatantly correct - what do you think back emf is? The Beatles [or more specifically, Geoff Emerick] used a loudspeaker as a bass drum mic at Abbey Road.

    @AndrewT185. What kevinR238 said is true. I have used my headset,by plugging it into the mic port, to use it as a microphone by speaking through the speakers.The recorded sound is not mono,it is stereo depending on whether you are talking into the left or right ear piece. You may think it is impossible but give it a try on your PC.It's the best way to learn new thing. :)

    Heey Im having a problem I think you might know how to fix. I have my own sound studio and Im having an issue with the sound of my computer. I work with the mic constantly plugged in my computer(macbook) and this causes no sound to come out from the built in speakers from the computer. I already checked system preferences and the computer thinks the microphone is a headphone and thats why it doesn't give out any sound. Do you know how can I fix this? and have the mic still plugged in and be able to listen to sound from the built in speakers? Thank you very much and Great post btw!! thank you for your time

    My personal computer is a Mac Pro laptop, I can plug an input to the Mic jack and speakers to the speaker flawlessly. On my work laptop, a dell, not so much......only get feedback, very annoying

    I travel a lot so I spend a lot of time in my hotel room. I have a lot of movies on my laptop, plus I have netflix, hula, etc. I do get tired of watching these movies on the lap top or an Ipad. So I recently bought an extra long cable to hook my laptop to the big screen tv in the room. Of course the problem with that is the audio comes from the laptop and not the TV. What I would like to do is access the movie audio via bluetooth on my bluetooth headphones. I tried to run the audio to my iphone then access it via bluetooth but the audio quality wasnt there. I could buy more cable and hook the laptop to the tv via cable and use the tv audio. Any suggestions and an easy way to connect. The reason I would prefer bluetooth is because not all of the tvs have connections.

    1 reply

    Hi Randy, We always travel with an extension cord, a 3-way outlet tap and an HDMI cable to play movies from the laptop.....ever notice the lack of outlets in hotel rooms?

    Hi, I am interested in playing the sound from my computer through the speakers on my mp3 docking station. The docking station has a jack in back. Would it work to plug one in of a male audio cable into my computer headphone jack and the other

    into the back of the mp3 docking station. Thanks.

    into the back of the speakers

    1 reply

    All you need to do to accomplish this is plug an aux cord in your computer and then the other end into the dock. It will act just like your car speakers with your phone.

    My computer doesn't have a microphone port, only a headphone jack, so in addition to the above instructions, I went to preferences>sound>input and chose "sound input" under "use audio port for", and then put the cord in headphone jack.

    Would this work if I wanted to input audio from an external USB microphone?

    do you think you can do this with any of the build in software? garageband maybe?

    3 replies

    There is a way to record audio from your iPod, if that's what you want. But as far as play audio live from it, I don't think so.

    I can do an Instructable on this, if you'd like, but basically you need to plug an audio cable into your phone's output, and plug the other end into your computer's input. Then go to System Preferences, click sound, and set your "Input" to "Line In", which is your computer's built-in input jack. Now go to Garageband, make a new "Voice" project, and click record at the bottom. Now it will record whatever is currently playing on your iPod.

    Hope this helps! Thanks!

    Your a genius .. least I hope so lol. I am in need of recording voice messages.. you think it would work the same?

    Hmm... Could you describe your project a little more so I can figure out what you need to do exactly? Are you trying to get your voice memos on the computer you mean? Or something else? Thanks!