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How To Use The Combo Audio Jack On Laptops

Today most laptops and notebooks have an inbuilt combo audio jack which is a single 3.5 mm audio jack supporting the headphones, headset and speaker out functions. Today combo audio jacks can be found on HP, Asus, Dell, Sony and Toshiba laptops and notebooks. Most notebook users today always complain that the combo audio jack on these laptops doesn’t work. I mean to say that when they try to connect any headset, headphone the combo audio jack doesn’t respond and there is no sound in the headphones or the headset, also the speaker out function doesn’t work. So in this post I will teach you how the combo audio jack will work without using a 3.5 mm combo audio splitter.

How To Use The Combo Audio Jack

  • Today most laptops and notebooks of HP, Dell, Asus and Sony use Realtek audio chip on the laptop motherboard.
  • So you should install the Realtek audio driver for the combo audio jack to work.
  • The Realtek audio driver can be found in the driver cd of your notebook or laptop. Or you can download it from your laptop manufacturer’s website from the support section.
  • Now after installing the Realtek driver connect the headset or headphones to the combo audio jack.
  • After you connect the headphones a popup will automatically open asking you about the device you connected, whether it is a headset, headphones or speakers. Choose the appropriate option for the connected device to work properly and click OK.
combo audio jack laptop

Combo Audio Jack Supported Devices
The following audio devices are supported by the combo audio jack.

1. Headset : A headset is a simple audio device which is worn over the head to listen the sound coming from its speakers. It may or may not have a microphone. When you connect a headset, choose headset option from Realtek sound manager for it to work properly. These are mostly used for chatting and voice calls on notebooks.

2. Headphones : These are simple in the ear tiny speakers that are mostly used with mobile phones. The headphones are fully compatible with your laptop if the headphones have a 3.5 mm audio jack.

3. Speaker Out : The speaker out function is the very important feature supported by the combo audio jack. With this function you can send the laptop’s audio output to bigger speakers, home theaters and sound bars as soon as they support the 3.5 mm audio jack.

Connecting The Laptop To Home Theater System Via Combo Audio Jack
Taking the sound output of your laptop on a home theater system gives you total audio immersion, because home theatre systems now support 5.1 channel and 7.1 channel surround sound. So if you game a lot on your notebook and have a home theatre system then you can enjoy the real theatre sound in 5.1 channel surround sound format. To connect your laptop to home theatre system via combo audio jack follow the steps below.

  • First buy a 3.5 mm to Aux audio connector. See the image below.

  • Now connect the red and white leads on the rear audio panel of your home theatre system.
  • Connect the 3.5 mm jack to the combo audio jack of your laptop. Now a popup will open, you have to choose ‘Speaker out’ and click OK.
  • Now enjoy real surround sound of your laptop or notebook on the home theatre system.
  • You can play games, watch movies or listen to music with a powerful sound.
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  1. I am trying to do this but are you not sure that this is for stereo out ONLY? I'm sure you need an optical out for 5.1. What am thinking of doing is outputting the HDMI out on the laptop to the home theatre amp via the HDMI input combined sound and vision and seeing if this works.

    1. The stereo output is on the headphones only. If you connect HT system with this Audio cable then output will not be of stereo quality. Yes, HDMI is a better option for 5.1 digital surround sound output on HT system.

  2. I supposed that there would be an answer for how to split the use of this merged port for both audio out (speake) and in (mic). Or is it only supporting audio out?

    1. You can use a 3.5mm audio jack splitter. You can connect mic in one and audio out jack to another. Hope this combination will work.