Motherboard Audio Ports Explained: [Colors & Their Functions]

It is a confusing thing to find the right audio port when you try to connect your speaker to the computer. Along with the multiple audio ports, you can see multiple colors like Red, Black, Yellow, etc. But what do these all colors mean and why don’t we have a single audio port on the motherboard?

In a few minutes, you’ll find complete information about the audio ports on a computer. First, you need to know the meaning of an audio port on a computer.

What is an Audio Port in a Computer?

The audio port on a computer motherboard is used to connect audio objects like speakers, microphones, home-theater, etc. The audio port only works when you connect a device with a wire or cable. When you use Bluetooth technology, audio ports are unnecessary.

On a desktop computer, you can find the audio ports on the front and rear sides of the CPU. But on the laptop, you’ll see the audio port on either the left or right side of the keyboard based on the manufacturer. Here you can find multiple ways to know the motherboard model on your computer.

Motherboard Audio Ports of a Desktop Computer

The CPU on the desktop computer will contain two 3.5 mm jack ports at the front. One of them is for getting audio signals (for speakers) and the other is for giving audio input (microphone). You can find the difference between the CPU and motherboard here.

So these two ports are used for basic purposes. But at the rear side of the CPU, you can see the audio port sections with different colors. These colors are used to understand its functioning capability and compatibility.

For example, if you put the microphone in the speaker port, your microphone device will not work. This is because of the signal-passing error between devices.

What Are The Different Audio Ports In Motherboard?

There are 3 main audio ports on a computer or on the motherboard, Green, Pink, and Blue. The Green audio port is the primary one here which is used to listen to music or any type of audio on the headphones or speakers. The Pink colored port is for microphones to record audio and the Blue is for other audio devices like home theaters, subwoofers, etc.

motherboard audio ports
motherboard audio ports

On the front side of the CPU, you can find two audio ports. One is for the speaker and the other is for the microphone or receiver. If you want to use both these functions at a time, you need to use the 3.5 mm audio jack splitter.

If you don’t find the pins that you need on your computer motherboard, then you can buy a new audio card.

Audio Port Colors With Their Functions

The normal computer motherboard came with the 3 main audio ports (Green, Pink, and Blue). But the latest motherboard comes with advanced features including 6 audio ports (Orange, Black, and Silver included).

The latest motherboards come with the SPDIF pin instead of the traditional silver-colored audio port. Sony/Philips Digital Interface (SPDIF) is used to convert digital audio signals from one device to another device without losing their quality. Here you can find out more about it.

motherboard audio port functions
motherboard audio port functions

All these audio ports have different functionalities. Let’s see what they are…

Audio Port ColorCompatible DevicesFunctionality
GreenHeadphones, earphones, etcTo listen to music or any audio
PinkMicrophones, Headphones, or earphones with a microphoneTo record the audio that you want
BlueHome-Theater, Amplifier, Speaker, etcTo listen to the audio or music
OrangeWoofer, Subwoofer, SpeakerCentralize the audio signals
BlackSubwoofer, SpeakerColor for rear audio sound
SilverSpeakersTo play side audio particularly
Motherboard audio ports and their functions


The Green is the primary audio port on the computer. With this port, you can connect your headphones, earphones, speakers, and other audio output devices. This port sends the audio signals in an equal direction, both left and right.

Even if you have a microphone on your audio device like headphones, this port can’t support it to record your audio.


The Pink colored audio port is used to record audio either from the separate microphone or the audio device included with a microphone (headphones, earphones, etc).


The Blue colored audio port is used to connect the additional audio device to your computer. For example, if you want to connect an amplifier to your computer, you must use the Blue color port. It is also compatible with other audio systems like home-theater, woofers, speakers, etc.


When you are using this port, the sound signals are centralized in your audio system. This means the sound is playing at the center of the room, or at least you feel it.

If you are watching a movie in the home theater, then this is the main way you can hear the audio of the movie or character conversation.


The black is for rear audio sound signals. This audio port controls the rear side audio signals to send the right signals to the right speaker whether it is left or right based on the frequency.

The Dolby Atmos sound system will give more natural and quality sound effects.


The silver-colored audio port is used to play the audio in the side speakers. You need to have at least 5.1 channels to use these sound features.

All the audio systems don’t support the latest 7.1 channels. If your audio device supports it, then you are ready to use all 6 audio ports on your computer motherboard.

Till now, there are four audio channels: 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1. To use Orange, Black, and Silver audio ports, your audio system must have either 5.1 or 7.1 channels.

To find what channel your audio system has, check its manual.

Audio Ports on laptops

Unlike the motherboard in the desktop computer, the laptop contains only the limited or main audio port which is able to record audio (if you connect the microphone to it) and send audio signals to your speaker.

Some laptops only have a single audio port by which you can listen and record audio. All the functionalities of colored audio ports in desktop and laptop computers are the same.

If your desktop PC motherboard doesn’t have 6 audio ports, I guess it is outdated. Here is the guide to finding the perfect time to upgrade your PC motherboard.

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