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I have two unpowered stereo speakers on my porch that I'd like to connect to my computer somehow. I understand I need a receiver/amp to power and convert the signals from my PC to the speakers, but I was hoping I didn't have to buy a full-fledged stereo receiver just to achieve this one simple connection. Is there a simple and inexpensive device I can use to connect my outdoor speakers to my PC?

I should also mention that my PC has connections for optical and aux out.

Thanks in advance for all your help!

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3 Answers 3

Depending on the size of the speakers your PC's audio adapter's built-in amplifiers may be enough. If they are larger/higher wattage speakers (say from a home stereo) then you'll need some kind of amplifier. You'd set it as being line-out on the PC, and then the amp will amplify it for the speakers.

You'll want to check the speakers for markings to try and determine their OHM and amperage ratings and find an amp that agrees, so you don't end up over-driving the speakers.

You probably aren't going to need more than a 40-80 watt amp to power those speakers, and they can be had in the US and Canada for less than $100 in many places.

As an example here's a 40 watt stereo amp from Pyle, that has an MSRP of around $100; overstock.com (for example) has them listed for ~$60-70 right now.

You should be able to find something similar at Radio Shack, or an audio (car or home) store, or perhaps even check out a local surplus store.

You can also get build-it-yourself kits for low power amps from various electronics stores on-line.

HTH.

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that's just what i was looking for, thanks! –  dr dork Mar 9 '10 at 18:45
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You'll need a 3.5mm to RCA adapter to connect your computer to the amp "pchcables.com/auadca.html";. –  Doltknuckle Mar 9 '10 at 18:53

My vote is for the Lepai LP-2020A+ Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply. Although it sounds like it could be dodgy (coming from a relatively unknown Chinese manufacturer, and with a fairly Engrish-y sounding manual and product description) It is actually really well built (case is made of metal!) and sounds amazing for the price, and is well reviewed (and well liked) by many hi-fi enthusiasts. Also there are quite a few mods and hacks out there for it that further increase its capabilities, if you are feeling adventurous (and are handy with a soldering iron). I use this unit combined with a pair of cheap old Sony speakers that came with a long-dead "bookshelf" stereo system as my computer speakers, and they sound better than even some of the more expensive dedicated computer speakers out on the market.

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If I understand you correctly, you just want to connect some speakers(big) to your PC.

You can connect them directly, and for this you only meed cables, I had a similar problem a few years ago, and I did the cables my self (used an old Headphone cable and the cables from my HI-FI).

But If the speaker are big you can connect them, but the volume will be way too low. For a good enough volume you'll need an amplifier.

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Agreed, It really depends on how much amp's your speakers require. since you have two speakers you want to plugin to one output you are goign to be halfing your amp's. There are some pretty cheap simple amp's on the market you can buy. I would use something like LP-2020A+ by Lepai they are about $20 –  LightlySalted Sep 5 '13 at 0:41

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