I get computer audio out only if I am running Audacity.

Yep, I don’t even know where to look or what information to give. This is on a new computer so it is not a recent change. I have started to poke around but don’t know where to look. I need someone to tell me where to go.

The audio source is mic in from a smart speaker. I am using Audacity to record said audio source but when I turn off Audacity, I get no sound from the computer. I don’t have to be recording, just have it running. The sound quality is very good.

If you right-click on the Windows Speaker/Volume icon and Open Sound Settings you can navigate to [u]Listen To This Device[/u].

The sound quality is very good.

OK… But FYI - Usually it’s not… A line-level or headphone signal is about 100 times stronger than a microphone signal, and the mic-input is usually mono. And often the built-in mic preamp is noisy. Typically you’d use line-in on a regular soundcard (in a desktop/tower speaker) or you can get a USB audio interface with line-in.