Configure your speakers in Windows Vista
Most computers ship with a set of speakers, sometimes bundled with your monitor. Windows Vista lets you customize which speakers should be the default speakers (when multiple speakers are available), and lets you configure speakers on an individual basis. Speaker configuration settings are often useful to troubleshoot sound problems, low volume sounds, etc. This tutorial will explain how to configure a set of speakers in Windows Vista.
Configure speakers and customize their settings
To access Windows Vista's Sound properties and settings and customize your speakers, click on the Start Menu, and choose Control Panel. Now type speaker in the search box (located in the top right corner of the Control Panel's main window).
Windows Vista will search for and load all the settings that contain the word "speaker". Find the section of results labeled "Sound", and click on the "Manage audio devices" link below Adjust system volume.
Vista will open the Sound properties of your system, and automatically select the Playback tab that lists detected speakers recognized.
If you are using Vista's Classic Start Menu, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Sound. This will directly open the Sound dialog, without having to go through the Control Panel.
Configure the selected speakers
Under "Select a playback device below to modify its settings", Windows Vista lists the speakers and audio devices it has detected on your system. Notice that the operating system's default speakers are identified with a green checkmark, as shown on the screenshot.
Click the speakers whose settings you would like to customize, and click the Configure button at the bottom of the Sound dialog.
Setting up speakers with the Speaker Setup wizard
As soon as you click Configure, Windows Vista opens the Speaker Setup wizard, which will guide you through the process of setting up (or re-configuring) your speakers:
Under Choose your configuration, select the Audio channel you want - either Mono or Stereo. By default, Vista will automatically setup your speakers as stereo (where each speaker can output a different sound from the other speaker). In some cases, like a business laptop, your option may be limited to either Mono only or Stereo only. If the option is available, make sure that Stereo is selected.
Mono/stereo speaker test
To check your speaker settings, click the Test button: it will send sounds to your speakers - in case of a Stereo setup, it will send one sound to the left speaker, and then another sound to the right speaker. Click Next.
In the next step, Windows Vista lets you "Select full-range speakers" - in the case of basic speakers, only the Front left and right option is available - make sure it is checked. If Surround speakers is disabled, it means that your speaker system is a entry-level to mid-range one, that supports basic stereo, with optional sub-woofer. If Surround speakers is enabled, make sure it is checked.
Extra speaker check for surround sound
The Speaker Setup wizard lets you once more "Click any speaker above to test it" - unless you have the surround sound available and checked, this speaker check will be the same as the initial test we ran in the previous step.
Click the Next button to wrap up your speaker configuration in Windows Vista. And at the Configuration complete screen, click Finish. This will close the Speaker Setup wizard, and accept the (new) speaker configuration.