How to Connect Motherboard Internal Speaker?

Motherboard internal speaker, also known as beep code speaker, system speaker or a buzzer, is an important tool in identifying and troubleshooting a hardware issue with your PC. But if you are new to PC building you can get confused on how to connect motherboard internal speaker properly.

A motherboard internal speaker basically needs to connect to their designated connectors found on the motherboard. These will be quite easy to spot often with 4 pins sticking out.

The connectors for motherboard internal speaker is often labelled as “SPEAKER” or “SPK” and can be found close to the Front Panel Connector.

To find the exact location of where the connectors for the internal speaker are you will have to refer to the motherboard’s specsheet.

In the following text, I will talk in detail about how to connect motherboard beep code speaker.

Types of Beep Code Speakers

While all beep code speakers serve the same function, you may find them in two popular physical profiles.

Large Profile Dynamic Speakers

A large dynamic speaker
A large dynamic beep code speaker. Source: Wikipedia

These large motherboard speakers have more or less been phased out. They were based on the dynamic design and were often found in cases.

If you have a beep code speaker that came with a case, then chances are it is a large dynamic speaker. 

PC CAse with spaeker
An older rare PC case with a motherboard speaker built-in. Image Source: icrontic.com

These days it is almost impossible to find a PC case that comes with a built-in beep code speaker.

These days you have to buy the motherboard internal speaker separately.

Tiny Moving Iron Speaker

Beep code speaker
A tiny beep code speaker. Used commonly today.

Tiny speakers as shown above are the internal speakers used these days on motherboards. 

They are small, very cheap, do not take up the precious space inside the motherboard chassis and perform the same function as their larger counterparts.

Majority of the times these do not come with either the case or the motherboard. You have to procure these separately on your own. Luckily they do not cost more than a dollar.

How to Connect Motherboard Internal Speaker?

There are three basic steps to connecting motherboard internal speaker:

  1. Locating the Beep Code Speaker Connector On the Motherboard
  2. Taking Note of the Polarity (Orientation of How You Plug in)
  3. Aligning the Positive Terminal Of the Speaker with Speaker+ Pin on the Motherboard

Step 1: Locating the Beep Code Speaker Connector On the Motherboard

Standard motherboard speakers have a 4 pin connector.

4 pin connector
4 pin connector

They will need to be connected to the four corresponding pins on the motherboard.

Therefore, in order to connect motherboard internal speakers, you have to first locate where they would need to go on the motherboard.

Locating the Motherboard Speaker Connectors Through Physical Inspection

You can often find the exact location of the 4 pins designated for beep code speaker by visually inspecting the motherboard.

Most, if not all, motherboards have the pins for the internal speaker clearly labelled. The pins for the internal speaker is often located either inside the front panel header or right next to it.

Take for instance my motherboard (Gigabyte GA P67A UD3). In my motherboard, the 4 pins for speaker are located in the Front Panel Connector.

What are Front Panel Connectors labelled
The labels below the Front Panel Connect show which pin corresponds to what.
beep code speaker w front panel header
Pins where you would install the beep code speaker according to the label below.

Locating the Speaker Connectors Through Manual

It is also highly advisable to refer to your motherboard’s manual to find the exact location of the motherboard internal speaker connectors.

how to connect motherboard internal speaker
Speaker connector location for Gigabyte GA P67A UD3. On the left you can see the location of the front panel connect. On the right you can see the pinout diagram of the front panel connector which includes pins for speaker.

For instance, the image above is an excerpt from the manual of my motherboard. It shows you the location of 4 pins intended for in the internal speaker. So here, pin #14, 16, 18 and 20 correspond to the motherboard speaker.

Step 2: Taking Note of the Polarity (Orientation of How You Plug in)

A very important aspect to look out for is the polarity of the Pins. You have to make sure that the orientation of the beep code speaker’s connector aligns with the CORRECT pins on the motherboard.

In other words, you have to connect the + terminal of the speaker to the positive pin on the motherboard and the – terminal on the negative pin.

The best way to figure out which pin on the motherboard is negative and which is positive is to refer to the manual again, particularly the pinout diagram.

pinout diagram for internal speaker beep code
Pinout Diagram for the motherboard speaker pins. Pin #14 is +. Pin #20 is -.
  • The Positive pin is often labelled as SPEAK+ or VCC (#14 in this case)
  • The Negative pin is labelled as SPEAK- (#20 in this case)

Hence on my motherboard pin #14 corresponds to where I would connect the positive terminal of the beep code speaker, and pin #20 is where I would connect the negative terminal.

Often times, motherboard have signs, labels and indicators identifying the positive terminals for you by physical inspection.

Take for instance on my board, the positive terminal have a + sign inscribed on their surface.

front panel header positive sign
+ Sign under certain pins indication the positive terminal i.e Speaker+ or VCC

Step 3: Aligning the Positive Terminal Of the Speaker with Speaker+ Pin

The final step in how to connect motherboard internal speaker is just a matter of plugging in the right side of the speaker’s connector to the right pins on the motherboard.

The following graphics illustrates how to align the motherboard internal speaker’s connector with the pins:

Positive terminal on beep code speaker labelled

A few key points to note:

  • Motherboard speakers have a positive sign (+) carved on top of them indicating which terminal/wire connects to the Speaker+ or VCC pin on the motherboard.
  • Red wire generally, and as per electrical standards, connects to the positive side i.e to the Speaker+ (VCC) pin.
  • Black wire generally, and as per electrical standards, connects to the negative side or the Speaker- pin.
  • While there are 4 pins and 4 connectors, only the two on the ends matter. The two in the center have no connection.

Also Read: How to Test Motherboard Without CPU?

Beep Codes and Troubleshooting

A motherboard speaker is essentially a tool for troubleshooting issues with your hardware.

Once you have installed the speaker properly, restart your PC. If it detects any issues on startup and during POST it will sound short beeps.

The amount of beeps and their duration indicates where the issues lies. For instance

  • 1 short beep: issues with RAM
  • 5 short beeps: issues with CPU
  • 1 long beep, 2 short beeps – issues with Graphics Card

Here is a list of all the beep codes and what they mean.

Also Read: How to Reset Motherboard?

FAQ

Does Motherboard Speaker Come with the Motherboard or the PC?

In few very rare instances, you can actually find the beep code speaker built on to the motherboard or inside the PC case.

However, generally, you have to buy one yourself separately.

Can Motherboard Speaker Play Audio/Music?

No, it cannot. Internal motherboard speakers cannot generate complex sounds.

Back in the early days (90s), it was used for very simple sounding polyphonic music and sound effects for games.

But essentially, you cannot play any audio at all from these speakers. There is literally no setting in the OS which can allow you to switch to the internal speaker for audio.

How to Connect Two Pin Two Wire Internal Speaker?

In some very rare instances, you may have come across internal speakers with two separate wires with one pin each. 

Basically, here you would use the same principle as indicated in Step 3 above.

The speakers have + sign engraved on them which corresponds to the positive wire. You will connect this to the Positive Speaker+ (Vcc) pin and the other to the Negative Speaker- pin on the motherboard.

The rest of the two pins in between can be left unconnected. 

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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