The sound card in my Dell PC has 6 jacks with the following symbols:
Although I included an image of these jacks, it doesn't appear in the message. The "include image" feature of this forum seems to be broken. The images are at
What is the Model of the PC? There has been some differences over the years.
Generally, Green is the speaker out, Pink is Mic input, Blue is Line In.
Gray, Side L/R speakers, Black rear L/R Speakers, Yellow Center/Sub Woofer
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It's a Dimension 9200.
Thanks for your explanation.
It's the symbols that I was particularly hoping someone could explain.
Is there any difference between "speaker out" and "line out" and "headphone"?
Are all the jacks "stereo" (by which I mean they have two channels)?
i.e. is the mic stereo? And does the yellow one have two channels, one for "centre" and the other for "subwoofer"? If so, which is which?
Thanks - Rowan
HERE is the Dell manual that explains what each jack is.
Speaker Out and Line Out are the same on some systems, on others there are separate outputs. The Headphone out is basically the same as the Speaker Out. They are all Stereo. Same way with the Line In, it is Stereo. The Mic input is Mono, even though it uses the same stereo 3.5mm plug (the tip is the audio and the ring is for 5VDC that is required by computer mics).
Speaker out will Drive Headphones (Speaker and Headphones are usually one and the same) probably 5 volts, line out would be max around .5 to .7 volts.
Some sound cards adjust the voltage based on what is detected plugged into the Green Jack. Mic in is usually .05 volts.
surround sound connector
Use the (black) surround sound connector to attach multichannel-capable speakers.
On computers with a sound card, use the connector on the card.
Use the (blue) line-in connector to attach a record/playback device such as a cassette player, CD player, or VCR.
Use the (green) line-out connector to attach headphones and most speakers with integrated amplifiers.
Use the (pink) microphone connector to attach a personal computer microphone for voice or musical input into a sound or telephony program.
center/subwoofer LFE connector
Use the (orange) center/subwoofer connector to attach a center speaker or a single subwoofer.
NOTE: The LFE (Low Frequency Effects) Audio channel, found in digital surround sound audio schemes, carries only low frequency information of 80 Hz and below. The LFE channel drives a subwoofer to provide extremely low bass extension. Systems not using subwoofers can shunt the LFE information to the main speakers in the surround sound setup.
side surround sound connector
Use the (gray) side surround sound connector to attach multichannel-capable speakers. The side-surround output provides enhanced surround audio for computers with 7.1 speakers.
Use the S/PDIF connector to transmit digital audio without going through an analog audio conversion process. (Digital Audio Output)
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Thanks for all this useful info. I now know where to plug in, so main problem is answered.
I'd still like to understand the little symbols, which baffle me.
fireberd said "they're all stereo" but how can "center/subwoofer" be stereo? Doesn't "a center speaker or a single subwoofer" imply just one signal?
And we've established that the mic is mono. Out of interest does this mean no PC can record in stereo from a live recording? Seems odd...
And the green connector is described in the Dell documentation as "line out/headphones" but line out was described by SpeedStep as 0.5-0.7V and headphones as 5V. The green connector can't be both. Is it 0.5-0.7V, or 5V?
The Symbols must be ISO / IEC and JTC 1 because they are designed to be like hieroglyphs.
A TRS connector (tip, ring, sleeve) is a common family of connector typically used for analog signals including audio. It is cylindrical in shape, typically with three contacts, although sometimes with two (a TS connector) or four (a TRRS connector).
The database on Graphical Symbols for Use on Equipment contains the complete set of graphical symbols included in IEC 60417 and ISO 7000. It therefore offers end-users a "one-stop" shop for all such graphical symbols. These International Standards are maintained respectively by IEC/TC 3, subcommittee SC 3C and ISO/TC 145, subcommittee SC 3. Each graphical symbol is identified by a reference number and contains a title (in English and French), a graphical representation in GIF and vectorized PDF format, and some additional data as applicable. Various search and navigation facilities allow for easy retrieval of graphical symbols.
This information is not free and cannot be downloaded from the IEC for free.