As an avid gamer, I should know the PS4 inside and out. After all, I’ve logged over 500 hours of gameplay since buying the console on launch day. Yet one question has always nagged at me in the back of my mind: does the PS4 actually have built-in speakers? I know, I know, it seems ridiculous that I wouldn’t know the answer to something so fundamental. But in my defense, the PS4 is a remarkably complex piece of technology. Not to mention, I’m usually so engrossed in the latest action-adventure title that I tune out everything else around me, speakers included.
The time has come to get to the bottom of this audio enigma once and for all. Join me as I explore the hidden depths of the PS4’s sound system to determine if those mysterious grilles on either side of the console actually pump out any sound. The truth may shock you as much as it did me.
The PS4 Controller Speaker: Limited Audio Output
The PS4 controller comes with a built-in speaker, but don’t get too excited. This little speaker is designed for one thing and one thing only: chatting with your fellow gamers. If you’re looking to blast the soundtrack of Horizon Zero Dawn or feel the rumble of God of War in your hands, you’re out of luck.
This speaker will output the voices of anyone you’re paired with for online multiplayer action so you can coordinate without waking up the neighbors. But for anything else audio-related, the controller speaker is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
Want to enable the chatty controller speaker? Simply press and hold the PS button for a few seconds to bring up the Quick Menu, then select “Adjust Devices” and change the “Output to Headphones” option to “Chat Audio.” Now the voices of your co-op comrades will flow forth from your controller. Joy.
If you’re hoping for a truly immersive audio experience while playing on your PS4, I’d suggest hooking it up to a sound system or gaming headset. The 3.5mm headphone jack on the DualShock 4 controller will output full game audio, or you can go wireless with most standard Bluetooth headsets. For the best surround sound, connect your PS4 directly to a receiver via HDMI or optical audio cable.
The PS4 controller speaker is a nice option to have for chat, but for actual gameplay, look elsewhere. Your ears will thank you.
HDMI Audio: Connecting to Your TV’s Sound System
The PS4 console itself doesn’t have built-in speakers, but it provides several ways to pipe audio to your TV, sound system, or headset. The most popular option is HDMI, which transmits digital audio and video over a single cable. HDMI cables are cheap and send audio directly to your TV, soundbar, or receiver.
If your TV or audio equipment supports HDMI with Audio Return Channel (ARC), even better. ARC allows audio to travel both ways, so you can hear sound from streaming apps or Blu-ray disks through your surround sound speakers. To enable ARC, just connect an HDMI cable from your PS4 to the HDMI ARC port on your TV or audio device.
For the best experience, I recommend connecting your PS4 directly to an AV receiver and then passing the video signal to your TV. This way, the receiver can decode the digital surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS. Your games, movies and streaming apps will come alive in full surround sound glory.
Of course, if you live in an apartment with paper-thin walls, the last thing you want is earth-shattering audio. In that case, plug a headset into your PS4 controller and you’ll get stereo game audio straight to your ears. Your neighbors will thank you, even if their walls won’t.
While the PS4 itself lacks built-in speakers, its audio options give you flexibility in how and where you experience sound. Whether you prefer blasting audio through a home theater or keeping things discreet with a headset, the PS4 has you covered.
Optical Audio: Hooking Up an AV Receiver or Soundbar
The PS4 lets you pump up the volume with its optical audio output. This nifty little port lets you bypass the crappy built-in speakers and connect the console directly to an AV receiver or soundbar for surround sound bliss.
Hooking it up
Connecting your PS4 to a receiver or soundbar via optical audio is pretty straightforward. You’ll need an optical cable, also called a TOSLINK cable. Plug one end into the optical out port on the back of your PS4, and the other end into the optical in port on your receiver or soundbar. Make sure both devices are powered on, and the PS4 audio output is set to “optical out” under Sound Devices in your console’s Settings.
Once everything is connected, you’ll immediately notice a massive improvement in audio quality. Surround sound, here you come! Optical audio supports up to 5.1 channels of uncompressed digital surround sound. Hear enemy footsteps creeping up behind you, or get totally immersed in epic movie scores. The difference really is night and day compared to the PS4’s built-in speakers.
The only downside is that optical cables are limited to 5.1 channel audio. If you want full 7.1 surround sound or object-based formats like Dolby Atmos, you’ll need to connect via HDMI instead. But for the average gamer, 5.1 surround via optical audio will be a huge upgrade over the crappy little mono speaker in the PS4 controller.
Overall, optical audio is a must-have for any PS4 owner looking to seriously up their audio game. Ditch those lame built-in speakers and unleash the full potential of your console’s sound with an AV receiver. Your ears will thank you, even if your roommates don’t!
Virtual Surround Sound: Simulating a 3D Audio Experience
The PS4’s virtual surround sound is about as realistic as a spray tan. I mean, it tries to simulate having multiple speakers surrounding you, but when it comes down to it, you’re still just listening through a regular old pair of stereo headphones.
Don’t get me wrong, the PS4’s virtual surround does provide a more immersive experience than basic two-channel stereo. Using some digital signal processing magic, it creates the illusion of sound coming from different directions. So those gunshots whizzing past your head or zombie groans creeping up behind you in-game will seem more spatially realistic.
Compared to a legit surround sound system with actual rear satellite speakers, though, the PS4’s virtual offering is a bit of an audio charade. The technology has gotten better over the years, but there’s only so much fakery that can be done with two drivers sitting on your ears. If I really want to feel transported into the action and surrounded by every little atmospheric detail, I’ll take true multi-channel surround over “simulated” any day of the week.
For casual gaming while the rest of the household is sleeping, the PS4’s virtual surround through a headset will certainly do the trick. It provides a passable surround-sound-esque experience without waking the neighbors or partner. But for ultimate, uncompromising immersion, save up your pennies for a real surround sound setup. The PS4 simply can’t out-engineer the fact that it lacks actual rear speakers. Virtual or not, there’s no substitute for the real thing.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about the PS4’s audio capabilities in excruciating detail. The console may not have built-in speakers, but with multiple ways to pump quality sound during gameplay, who needs them? Whether you prefer blasting enemies through your TV’s speakers, immersing yourself in surround sound through an AV receiver, or annoying your roommates with the DualShock 4’s tiny speaker, the PS4 has you covered. The next time someone asks if the PS4 has built-in speakers, you can give them a confident “no” followed by an earful on all the console’s other audio features. My work here is done. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a backlog of games calling my name.
FAQs: Does the PS4 Have Built-in Speakers?
Q: Does PS4 have a speaker output?
A: Yes, the PS4 gaming console is equipped with a speaker output. It allows you to connect external speakers or audio devices to enhance your gaming experience.
Q: How do I hear sound on PS4?
A: To hear sound on your PS4, you have several options: – Connect headphones or earphones directly to the 3.5mm audio jack on the DualShock 4 controller. – Utilize the built-in speakers on your TV or monitor if connected via HDMI. – Connect external speakers to the PS4’s speaker output or use a compatible audio system via optical audio output.
Q: How do I use speakers with my PS4?
A: To use external speakers with your PS4, follow these steps: – Identify the audio output on your PS4 (usually an optical output or HDMI port). – Connect one end of the audio cable (optical or HDMI) to the PS4’s output. – Connect the other end of the cable to the corresponding input on your speaker system. – Set your PS4 audio output settings to match the connected speakers (e.g., HDMI or optical output).
Q: Why is there no sound on my PS4?
A: If you encounter no sound issues on your PS4, consider the following troubleshooting steps: – Ensure your TV or monitor’s volume is not muted and turned up to an audible level. – Check that all cables are securely connected between the PS4, TV, and any external speakers or audio devices. – Verify that the correct audio output settings are selected on your PS4, matching the connected speakers. – Test the speakers or audio devices with another source to ensure they are functional.
Q: Can I use the PS4 controller as a speaker?
A: No, the PS4 controller does not have a built-in speaker that can be used to play audio directly. However, it does have a 3.5mm audio jack where you can plug in headphones or earphones to hear in-game audio and chat audio. Some games may also utilize the controller’s built-in speaker for specific in-game sounds, but it cannot act as a standalone speaker for general audio output.
As you can see, while the PS4 itself lacks any speakers, there are plenty of ways to amp up the audio and hear every detail when you’re gaming. No need to play in dead silence! The options are many, so choose what suits your needs, budget and just how much you want to annoy your neighbors. Game on, my friends!
About The Author
Williams Alfred Onen
Williams Alfred Onen is a degree-holding computer science software engineer with a passion for technology and extensive knowledge in the tech field. With a history of providing innovative solutions to complex tech problems, Williams stays ahead of the curve by continuously seeking new knowledge and skills. He shares his insights on technology through his blog and is dedicated to helping others bring their tech visions to life.