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How to Connect a Gaming Headset to Your PC Easily

If you play video games using your computer, it’s important to know how to connect your gaming headset to your PC and how to troubleshoot common connection problems.

So you’ve decided to take your PC gaming experience to a new level and enjoy a more immersive virtual world with an awesome new gaming headset. It’s a definite step up from your computer’s built-in speakers and microphone. You can finally look forward to a rich, natural audio reproduction and clearer communication with your fellow gamers.

But for all their supposed simplicity, connecting a gaming headset to your PC can be complicated. Perhaps the mic on your PC’s webcam is hijacking your audio output, or some additional drivers need to be installed. This should be simple, but sometimes it isn’t.

Not to worry; we’ve put together a few steps to take when connecting your gaming headset to your computer.

1. Check the PC’s Physical Audio Output

The first step is locating your computer’s audio ports and making sure they are not physically damaged. If you’re using a laptop, the audio-out ports will typically be located on the sides or the front. Desktop PCs, on the other hand, may have these ports on the front or back of the CPU box.

There are three main types of PC audio ports and which one you use will depend on the connectors of your gaming headset. These are:

Let’s take a closer look at each one so you can understand how the connections are made.

3.5mm Audio-in and Mic Ports

These are the ports to use for wired gaming headsets with 3.5mm Jacks. This headphone jack belongs to a family of electrical connectors used for analog audio signals and is typically known by other names like audio jack, phone jack, and aux input. Gaming headsets that use 3.5mm jacks need two audio ports – mic input and audio output (pictured below).

3.5mm audio input and output ports

Note the color differences between each port. Your gaming headset should have corresponding colored connectors so you know which plug goes where. Some laptops don’t have color-coded ports. So instead, look for an image of headphones next to the audio-in port and the image of a microphone next to the microphone input.

USB 3.0 Port

Also known as SuperSpeed USB, the USB 3.0 is a specific generation of USB ports designed for faster transfer rates and better power efficiency. The location of your USB 3.0 on your computer will depend first on the age of your computer. If your computer was manufactured before 2008, then it won’t have a USB 3.0 port.

Other than that, the USB port locations tend to vary from computer to computer, but you’ll normally identify a USB 3.0 by the blue color of the plastic inside. USB 1.0 features a white plastic color inside while the USB 2.0 is black. USB-powered gaming headsets usually offer enhanced experiences thanks to inline amplifiers and simple controls.

USB 3.0 port on PC

Not all PCs USB 3.0 ports are colored blue, especially in newer PCs where there is no longer a need to differentiate between USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. The foolproof way to be sure is to check your computer’s Device Manager by following these steps:

1. Right-click the Windows icon and select Device Manager from the list.

2. Select Universal Serial Bus controllers in the Device Manager window.

3. Locate the USB port by its type (e.g. 2.0, 3.0, 3.1). If there aren’t 3.0 or above ports, then it means your computer is not USB 3.0 enabled.


An HDMI cable transmits both digital video and audio signals between electronic components. The connection point for this cable is the HDMI port which can typically be found on the back or sides of laptops, or the front or back of desktops. At first glance, it may look like a USB port, but you’ll notice the angled edges and flatter appearance. Plus, there’s usually “HDMI” written beside it.

The pins in the port are capable of transmitting high-definition (HD) video and up to eight channels of digital audio.

HDMI Port on PC

2. Check the Gaming Headset Connectors

Now that you have an idea of the various PC audio ports, it’s time to check your gaming headset to see the available connector. What if my PC doesn’t have the audio output for my gaming headset? No problem! You can always get an audio adapter/converter from Amazon.

3.5mm headphone splitter (From: Amazon)

For example, if your headset has only one 3.5mm jack, then you can get a 3.5mm Jack Headphone Splitter that lets you “split” the jack into the distinct headphone and mic jacks. Or perhaps your headset comes with the newer USB Type C and your computer doesn’t have the right port. You can get a USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter as a solution.

3. Plug the Connector Into the Port

Headphone jack plugged in

Make sure you double-check that you have the right ports matched, otherwise you could cause some damage to your equipment. 

4. Configure Sound Output on the PC

Once you have connected your gaming headset to the PC, it’s time to make sure the sound levels are configured properly for the connected device.

Sometimes the configuration happens automatically so just put on the headset and play some music to test it out.

If there’s no sound coming from the headset, then you’ll need to manually configure it.

First, check to see if your PC has the headset selected as the default audio output device. To do this:

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar, and select “Open Sound Settings”. It will open a new window.
    Going to Sound Settings
  2. Under “Output”, you’ll see a dropdown with the heading “Choose your output device”.
    Sound Output Settings
  3. Choose the connected headset.
    Setting headset as Output Device

Play music on your PC again to see if the sound is coming from the headset. If not, then you’ll need to test the output to make sure you’ve selected the correct device and that it works as it should.

  1. Select “Open Sound Settings” again, then click on “Sound Control” panel.
    Going to the Sound Control Panel
  2. Select the headphones (should have a green checkmark) and click on “Properties” at the bottom.
    Going to headphone properties
  3. Select the “Advanced” tab and click the test button.
    Testing sound output

If you’ve chosen the correct device selected for sound output, then you should hear sound through the headset.

5. Do a Mic Check

The next step is to make a voice recording to confirm that the mic is working. Again, this might configure automatically once you’ve plugged in the headset, but in the case that it doesn’t, then we simply run through similar steps done for the headphones.

  1. Go to the “Sound Control” panel. 
  2. Select the “Recording” tab and choose the microphone from your headset.
    Recording tab
  3. Click on “Set as default”
    Set headphone mic as default input device
  4. Open the “Properties” window – you should see a green check next to the selected microphone
    Going to mic properties
  5. Select the “Levels” tab and adjust the volume accordingly.
    Adjust mic levels

Once configured, give it a test run by checking the clarity of your mic. The goal is to know how your communication will sound when you’re actually gaming.

Note that you may need to close and reopen your audio program for the changes to be in effect. Also, remember to refer to the user documentation for your gaming headset for any specific instructions.


Having problems connecting your gaming headset to your PC? Here’s some quick troubleshooting tips to consider before calling technical support:

Gaming headset with Windows laptop

Make sure you use the right ports

Check that it’s plugged in and that you’re using the correct port(s).

Re-install the drivers

Sometimes the problem is with the drivers. Go to your Device Manager and uninstall the drivers for your headset. Restart your computer and reinstall the drivers.

Reset the physical connection

Unplug the headset connector from the computer port and plug it in again.

Make sure you’re not muted

If you can’t hear your voice recording during the mic test, it could be that the headset mic was set to mute. Check the controls and the volume to make sure they’re set for use.

Charge before using

If your gaming headset is battery powered, make sure it’s charged before connecting it to your PC.

Connect to a different device

If the above steps are unsuccessful, then connect the headset to another computer and test it out. If it functions correctly, then the problem is with your computer. On the flip side, if it does not function correctly, then the problem is likely with the headset.


Now you should be all set to team up with your squad and take down enemies with your PC gaming! Got any other questions about setting up your gaming headset with your computer? Leave a comment in the comments section below.

Sours: https://www.headphonesty.com/2019/11/connect-gaming-headset-to-pc/

How to Enable Your Headphone Jack on the PC

Step 1

Right-click the speaker icon in the system tray and choose “Playback Devices” to open a Sound window displaying a list of installed and enabled devices.

Step 2

Right-click the blank area in the list of devices and choose “Show Disabled Devices.” All devices are displayed, and each device's status is indicated by a symbol. A blue volume meter indicates an active device; a green check mark indicates the default playback device, and a green telephone icon indicates the default communication device. When sound plays through an active device, the volume meter becomes animated to indicate the volume level.

Step 3

Right-click your sound card and choose “Enable.” A volume meter appears next to the device, and if sound is playing through the device, the meter becomes animated. If the meter remains flat, your sound card isn't receiving an audio signal. If the meter is animated but no sound is playing through your headphones, click the speaker icon in the system tray to ensure the sound isn't muted. If no sound is playing even though the meter is animated and the volume is unmuted, your headphone jack or headset may be faulty.

Step 4

Select your sound card from the list and click “Set Default” to set the device as default for all audio on your PC. To set the device as default only for telecommunication audio, click the drop-down arrow and choose “Default Communication Device.” This option is available only if another device is currently set as default. In this case, the default device plays all audio except telephone and video conference calls, which Windows automatically routes to the default communication device.

Step 5

Click “Apply” or “OK” to save your changes.



  • If your default communication device is disconnected when you make or receive a call, the sound plays through your default playback device instead.


  • Information in this article applies to Windows 8. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.

Writer Bio

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

Sours: https://itstillworks.com/enable-headphone-jack-pc-34448.html
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How to Use Single Jack Headset on PC without Splitter

The biggest consideration when buying a good headset is sound quality. However, headsets with good-great sound quality come at a premium. On top of that, up till a few years ago, quality headsets came with two jacks – one for sound output and other for audio input (mic). Although still available, these headsets have been replaced by headsets with a single, dual-purpose jack.

Most PCs still have two separate ports though. So, how do you use a single jack headset on PC? One simple answer is to invest in a splitter. But, is there a way of using such headsets without a splitter?

The number of people using headphones has increased over the years, with wireless headphones gaining a significant rise in demand in 2019. Over the period of 5 years (2013-2018), the demand for wireless headphones increased from 1.7 million to 6.7 million, while their noise-cancelling counterparts (wired as well as wireless) grew to 8.3 million.

Using a single jack headset on PC usually requires a splitter, a device that essentially distributes a single headphone jack’s functions into two; input and output.

Understanding the Input & Output Functions on a Headphone Jack

To get a better understanding of how this works, we first have to understand the basic structure of a headphone jack. If you look at some of the recent, high-end headphones, you are bound to see three ‘rings’ that separate the golden contacts.

Old headphones had one ring, which meant that the headsets were mono. Two rings meant its stereo, but had no input capabilities. Three rings, separate the contacts into four parts, indicating that not only the headphones are stereo, they also have input capabilities.

If you look at headsets with two headphone jacks, you’ll notice that the input and output jacks (usually pink and green) have two rings each. While one is a stereo output, enabling you to hear sounds, the other is for input, letting you communicate through the mic.

Using Single-Jacked Headsets

Recent PCs

Fortunately, recent PCs come with two ports not specific to output or input. If you look closely around the headphone ports, you’ll see that one of them only has a headphone icon assigned to it, while the other has either a headset icon or a headphone icon beside a mic.

This means you can plug your headsets with a single jack in the second port and use it for input as well as output. Laptops and MacBooks usually have a dual-purpose headphone port to allow for easy headset usage.

Old PCs

For older PCs, you might have to tweak some settings or, unfortunately end up having to invest in a splitter since they might have ports specific to input and output.

Tweaking the Settings

If your microphone isn’t working despite having a dual-purpose jack,

  • Click on Start
  • Control Panel
  • Sound
  • A pop-up will open. Click on Recording
  • You will see a list of devices. Find the one you’re using and make it default
  • If you can’t see it, click Set up Microphone. Windows will automatically detect any input devices inserted
  • Once done, apply your changes and test the device out

On MacOS,

  • Click on the Volume icon or search for Sound in the Finder
  • Open Sound Preferences
  • Head into the Input tab in the popup that opens
  • Select your device and set it as default

If none of the above mentioned steps work, you might have to either get your headphone port replaced or simply invest in a splitter.

Using single jack headset on PC without splitters might require some efforts, even replacement in extreme cases, but is definitely doable. Splitters usually cost around $1 to $5, depending on the type you’re getting – a bargain compared to repair costs and efforts.

Check Out More Related Articles:

For more great reviews and product insights, make sure you visit us at Red Diamond Audio or connect with us on social media!

Sours: https://reddiamondaudio.net/how-to-use-single-jack-headset-on-pc-without-splitter/
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