Although most modern speakers have immediate plug and play connectivity, PC speakers are notorious for having installation and play issues, especially as they age. Luckily, there are a few simple things that you can keep in mind when troubleshooting your computer’s speakers.

1. Time Frame:
If you have had your speakers for more than six months and less than three years, you will want to try and fix them yourself. If you have had them for less then six months, the speakers are probably still in warranty, and you will probably be able to contact customer support with any issues. If the speakers are more than three years old, they may have become obsolete or incompatible with current hardware, and will probably need to be replaced. If the speakers in question are between six months and three years old, you should be able to troubleshoot effectively.

2. Considerations:
There are several things you should look for when trying to troubleshoot malfunctioning computer speakers. First, try to listen to any sound that the speakers make. Is there a hissing or popping noise? This may indicate a hardware problem. If there is no sound coming from the speakers at all, then there may be a connectivity issue, which means you may need to re-configure your audio software and/or drivers.

3. Types:
Most problems with computer speakers fall into two categories: connectivity and hardware. Connectivity issues stem from your computer’s inability to properly transmit audio through your speakers. This can be caused by improper computer connections, dirty or dusty connection ports or outdated drivers. The easiest way to combat this is to unplug your speakers and plug them back in. This should loosen any dust and ensure proper hardware connection. If the speakers still don’t work, run your OS driver ‘s search program (which in Windows this can be found in the Control Panel).

Hardware issues are a little tougher to fix, and generally stem from old or faulty wiring. If your speaker makes funny poping or static noises, chances are good that you will need to open the speakers and replace the copper-colored wiring with speaker wire. This can be found at most electronics stores, but you should only attempt to install new wiring if you are confident in your electronic ability. If not, you may want to consider purchasing new speakers.

4. Misconceptions:
Although your first reaction when your speakers stop working may be to go out an buy new speakers, this will not always solve the problem. For instance, if your speakers aren’t working because of a driver or software issue, new speakers will not solve the problem. It is worth the time to find out why your speakers aren’t working; you may avoid an unnecessary purchase.

5. Prevention/Solution:
There are several ways to prevent malfunctioning speakers. Keeping your computer area clean and dust free is the best way to prevent hardware issues. It is also important to keep driver and audio software updated to prevent connectivity issues.

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