How Can I Tell If My Computer Has a Sound Card?

By Misty Rodriguez

A sound card allows you to listen to music on your computer.
i computer image by Hao Wang from

A sound card, also known as an audio card, is a device that converts digital data into an analog format, allowing you to hear sounds through your computer's speakers. Many computers have a dedicated sound card, but some computers may have sound capabilities already built into the motherboard. If you are unhappy with your audio, you may be able to get better sound from a higher-quality sound card. But before buying an upgrade, check to make sure your computer doesn't have the sound capabilities built into the motherboard.

Step 1

Click on the "Start" menu icon on the bottom left corner of the screen. Choose "Control Panel" from the pull-up Start menu.

Step 2

Click on "System and Maintenance," then select "Device Manager." Enter your administrator password if you are asked to do so.

Step 3

Click on "Sound, video and game controllers" to expand the section. This section has the information about your sound card. If you don't see the information, either the driver isn't installed properly or your computer doesn't have a sound card.