You have just bought a high-end 4k monitor and a 6k one too. You plan to rotate in hooking up your gaming laptop, desktop PC, and your brand new PS5 and Xbox Series X for an ultimate gaming experience. However, after you get your devices connected, you realize something you did not account for sound! Your monitors do not have built-in speakers.
If you want to get sound from your monitors, you could use a variety of options. To get sound, you can settle on the primary device’s built-speakers, use an HDMI extractor, connect external wired speakers, connect wireless speakers, use the audio jack, or use optical audio connection ports.
Depending on your circumstances, like your budget, the type of device you are connecting to the monitor, and the spare equipment you might already have, you may find one of these options works best for you. Read on to learn all about these six methods, plus a few bonus ones too.
Use Built-in Speakers of Your Connected Device for Sound on Monitors Without Speakers
If your monitor does not have speakers, the easiest way to get sound is to use the built-in speakers of the device you are connecting to the monitor. Realistically this will only work with a few devices like laptops and a Nintendo Switch.
Using built-in speakers is not an ideal scenario. According to the Monitor Users Manuals I read, built-in speakers are typically not the best quality and have a much lower maximum volume than external speakers. This limitation is due to constraints on their physical size.
Using built-in speakers is not a viable option for speakerless devices like desktop PCs, a Playstation 5, an Xbox Series X, a Chromecast, or other similar devices. The limitations of this option are valid for any other machine that does not have built-in speakers.
Using an HDMI Audio Extractor to Get Sound from a Monitor Without Speakers
If your monitor does not have speakers, you can use a tertiary device called an HDMI extractor to split the audio from your HDMI cable to analog audio or a SPDIF audio output.
An HDMI audio extractor, like this J-Tech Digital Premium Quality 1080P HDMI to HDMI + Audio Extractor (SPDIF + RCA Stereo) on Amazon, pulls the audio from the HDMI cable and allows you to connect to a monitor and speakers with only one HDMI cable connected to your input device.
If you connect a laptop or desktop PC to a monitor and plan to use an HDMI audio extractor, you should ensure you enable audio output over HDMI on your computer. You may need to go into sound settings and update audio drivers to enable sound over HDMI; however, most computers will automatically enable audio over HDMI once plugged in.
An HDMI extractor is a relatively simple and intuitive device to set up. However, it requires you to have two-channel analog or 5.1 channel speakers. Since many HDMI audio extractors are available on the market, it is best to check their specifications to determine your speakers’ compatibility.
Use an Audio Jack to Get Sound in Monitors with No Speakers
Some monitor manufacturers had the foresight to help you get sound out of the monitor by including an audio jack. If your monitor has a built-in audio jack, you will be able to quickly and easily connect wired speakers to it to get some sound rolling.
An audio jack is also known as a headphone jack or a 3.5 mm audio connection. However, some monitors have separate headphones and speaker connectors. If you want to use the audio jack sound option with your monitors, the first step is getting an auxiliary cable.
An aux cable works excellent if you have speakers with an audio jack input. You can also use an RCA audio cable to connect to stereo speakers too. Monitors with built-in audio jacks make getting sound from your monitor one of the lowest cost and most straightforward methods.
Connect Wired Speakers to Your Device get Sound from a Monitor Without Speakers
For monitors without speakers, another method to get sound from them is to connect wired speakers to your input device, i.e., your computer, gaming system, etc. These devices will often have a separate audio jack or another type of audio connection available on them.
However, suppose you are also connecting your device to the monitor with an HDMI cable. In that case, you may have to adjust some sound settings to enable audio over the other audio output. Here are some common devices you can connect to wired speakers:
Laptop – Typically, laptops have a built-in audio jack that you can easily connect to speakers. Newer laptops may have USB-C ports which could connect to hubs or docks that offer more connectivity.
Desktop – Desktop computers usually have an audio jack as well, but because they are so configurable, you might have a dedicated sound card for high-definition audio connections. And here are some devices that will not directly work with wired speakers:
- Xbox Series X – The Xbox Series X only supports audio through HDMI. You will have to use an HDMI audio extractor.
- Playstation 5 – PS5s do not have digital output audio. The sound can only be provided through HDMI. Similar to the Xbox, you will need an HDMI audio extractor.
- Chromecast – Chromecasts only support sound through HDMI too, so if you connect it to a speakerless monitor, you will need an HDMI extractor for this device.
Use Wireless Speakers to Get Sound to Speakerless Monitors
Another easy method to get sound in situations of monitors without speakers is to utilize wireless Bluetooth speakers. Using Bluetooth speakers will, of course, require your device to have Bluetooth connectivity.
Devices that do not support Bluetooth audio, like the Xbox Series X, Playstation 5, and Chromecast (just to name a few), will not work with Bluetooth audio. Devices like laptops, PCs, and tablets support Bluetooth audio, so this is an excellent option in those cases. For best performance, you may have to configure sound settings on your device.
Alternatives Methods to Get Sound with Speakerless Monitors
Besides the easy methods listed above, there are some additional out-of-the-box methods to get “sound” in cases where you have a monitor without speakers. These options might require some additional setup and work.
Use Audio Connection on Xbox or Playstation Controllers
Both the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 provide an audio connector on their controllers intended to be wired into a gaming headset. If all you have is a gaming headset with your speakerless monitor, it is possible to get full audio through the headset and not just online multiplayer banter.
Getting full audio through the headsets on the Xbox Series X and the Playstation is really simple. All you have to do is enter into the settings, navigate to the sound settings, and enable audio over the headset.
Turn on Subtitles
This option is not truly providing “sound,” but if you have no other option enabling subtitles is the next best thing to hearing your games, movies, music, and other media on your speakerless monitors.
Buy a Monitor or TV with Built-in Speakers
If you do not already have a monitor and want to avoid this problem altogether, you can opt for purchasing a monitor with built-in speakers! When searching for a monitor with speakers, just make sure it states something along the lines of “built-in speakers” or “built-in audio” in the specifications and packaging.
Top Monitors with Built-in Sound
Besides monitors with built-in speakers, you could also purchase a TV. TVs have speakers built-in by default and will not require you to second guess and comb through the specifications for verification.
However frustrating monitors without speakers may be, there are always alternatives options to get sound. If your monitors have a built-in audio jack, you can just connect wired speakers, or if your input device has an audio jack, you can use that connection too.
For devices that have Bluetooth capabilities, like laptops and PCs, you can use wireless Bluetooth speakers.
If your device and monitor both lack audio connections, you can use an HDMI audio extractor which will allow you to connect to wired speakers. Lastly, if you have not yet purchased a monitor, you can preempt this issue entirely by purchasing a monitor with built-in speakers.