Match the Colors!
More often than not, your speaker or computer headphone’s cable will be color coded for easy plug and play audio. For a single headset or pair of desktop speakers, plug the small green 3.5mm connector into the green plug in the back of your computer’s audio panel. It is usually a cluster of colored plugs; see the picture to the left. If you have a sound card, then it may look a little bit different and might not always be color-coded (like the Creative X-Fi series). Consult the manual to the sound card for the correct plugs. The green plug is universal for front speakers, left and right. Look for this first!
Photo by .dr4gon
If you have a standalone microphone or a headset with a microphone, the cable will likely be pink. This plugs into the pink port in the back of the computer, usually right next to the green port where you first plugged in your speakers. Pink is also universal for the microphone or other recording device. The pink and green ports are on every modern PC, laptop, notebook, and netbook.
If you have a simple setup with the first two items, you are now done and can stop here. If you have a more elaborate setup with a subwoofer and rear speakers, continue on, you’re half way there!
These speakers have a black plug that go to the back of your computer’s audio panel.
Subwoofer and Center Speaker
These two speakers use an orange plug.
Mid Side Speakers
The two side speakers for a 7.1 channel setup use the grey plug.