Audio Equipment Archives - Vita Audio

XLR vs ¼ Inch: Which Is A Better Choice?

XLR vs ¼ Inch: Which Is A Better Choice?

When recording audio, you often hear people say they prefer XLR over 1/4 inch connectors. What exactly is the difference between these two types of connections?

1/4 inch (Toslink) is a type of connector commonly found on microphones, headphones, and other devices. It has four contacts and is usually used for connecting cables. 

XLR vs ¼ Inch: Which Is A Better Choice?

XLR connectors are also known as balanced or phantom power connectors. They are typically used for professional equipment such as microphones and mixers.

XLR connectors are designed to handle high levels of current and provide a stable signal. They are generally preferred for professional applications because they offer higher quality sound and greater durability.

The main advantage of using an XLR microphone cable is that it allows you to use your mixer’s pre-amp with no problems. You can connect your mic directly into the input of your mixing board without having to worry about whether there is enough gain in your mixer to drive the mic. 

Another benefit of using XLRs is that you can plug them into any device that uses standard ¼” jacks. This includes most smartphones, tablets, computers, and many portable music players.

The downside to XLR connectors is their cost. They are much more expensive than 1/4 inch connectors and require special tools to install. If you’re looking for something inexpensive, then you may want to consider buying a set of 1/4 inch connectors instead. 

However, if you plan on doing a lot of work with your microphone, then you should invest in some XLR connectors.

If you need help choosing which one is right for you, check out our guide below!

Which Is A Better Choice?

Both XLR and 1/4 inch connectors are used in professional audio applications, and there are many types of audio equipment that make use of both of them. Many professionals actually prefer using XLRs over 1/4 inch because they are more durable than 1/4 inch. 

However, some people prefer 1/4 inch connectors because they are smaller and easier to carry around.

There are no obvious differences in quality between the connectors and cables, but XLRs are better than TRS. Let’s first examine the differences between XLRs and TRS jacks in detail. Then we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of jack. We’ll also cover when to use one over the other. 

XLR connectors are commonly used to connect audio equipment such as mixing consoles, amplifiers, etc. An XLR cable consists of 3 wires, ground (X), left / hot (L), and right/cold (R). Both the left and right wires carry the actual electrical currents, while the ground wire is used as a reference point.

A male XLR connector has three pins inside the connector, while a female XLR has three holes. A quarter-inch connector is a type of electrical connector commonly used to connect electronic devices together or to other circuit boards.

Quarter-inch connectors are also known as 1/4-inch connectors, mini-plugs, miniature jacks, and micro jacks.1/4″ connectors are used in both pro and consumer audio equipment.

It’s also one of the most common audio connectors out there. You’ll see them on mixing consoles, preamps, power amps, receivers, DACs, etc. But many people know the 1⁄4″ connector as a headphone jack, since it’s the standard connector used by many headphone manufacturers. 

There are 2 types of 1/4″ connectors: TS and TRS. The TS is also called Tip-Sleeve. The TS connector is used when connecting a device to another device or cable. On the other hand, the TRS is called Tip-Ring-Sleeve.

This type of connector is used when connecting devices to each other. Cables are unbalanced because they carry both positive and negative signals. There are three sections to a cable. 

The tip connects to your device, the ring connects to the speaker or headphones you’re using, and the sleeve connects to the other end of the speaker or headphone cord. There are three wires in T-cable cables: ground, left or right, and tip or ring.

XLR vs 1/4 Inch Connectors

There are two types of 1/4 inch connections; XLR and TS. Both are balanced and stereo. 

They don’t particularly have many differences or drastic changes, so both connectors are good to use when it comes to the overall balance and stereo output.

XLR vs 1/4 Inch TS Connectors

The XLR cables are balanced well, while the 1/4-inch cables are rather unbalanced in comparison. This is the main difference we’ve been encountering between them. Cable length determines how much noise it picks up. A longer cable means more noise.

Short cables can be used when there’s a lot of interference or if you’re using an antenna.

Cables are used to carry sound from one place to another. A single wire carries one signal, and the other wire is just ground (noise). Mono cables can only carry one signal. XLR cables are balanced, meaning that they can carry two different signals without interference. 

XLR cables can deliver stereo signals, but they aren’t used often because they’re expensive. Stereo signals use two wires to send sound information. Also, the XLR can deliver great signals because it has two wires, the left, and the right ones, that carry the signal for the stereo.

XLR vs 1/4 Inch TRS Connector

There is no significant difference between XLR and TRS connectors. Both types of connectors can provide high-quality noise-less signals. As we discussed before, they have few differences, so it’s all about preference of sound when it comes down to making that dreaded final decision. 

They both have these wires that carry the channels of the signal, so the differences come from the connectors themselves, not the balance. Therefore, they both produce high-quality stereo signals that are noise-free!

What Are XLR Cables Used For?

What Are XLR Cables Used For?

Microphones are usually connected to an amplifier or mixer console. These devices are used to amplify sound. Amplifiers are also used to mix sounds together. Speakers are another device that uses amplification. 

Musical instruments are often amplified by using an amplifier. XLR cables should not ever be used as lighting cables. They are very expensive, and you shouldn’t use them if you’re going to light up your house. Instead, use DMX cables.

XLR cables are balanced audio cables. They carry balanced audio signals. You can see three wires: X, L, R. These wires represent the left and right channels of audio. The ground represents the common ground on the device. They do exactly what their naming has suggested for you. 

Male connectors have exactly 3 overall pins inside the connector, while the female connectors have 3 pinholes overall. Male XLRs are used to transmit audio signals. 

Mixing consoles use XLR male connectors to send audio signals out of the mixer, while microphones use XLR male connectors that send audio signals to other devices like mixers or speakers. 

Female XLR connectors connect two pieces of equipment together. For example, mixing consoles have female XLR connectors that connect to microphones or speakers.

What Is A 1/4 Inch Connector And Cable?

1/4″ connectors are commonly used in audio equipment, in the audio industry. One of the most popular audio connectors is used in both consumer and professional equipment for devices. 

A 1/4 inch audio connector is super familiar in the audio industry. Professionally and personally. If you ever heard someone saying “quarter-inch,” or “six-point five millimeters”, they are referring to the same thing. When you go shopping, you won’t be confounded anymore if they’re selling it in millimeters.

There are two kinds of 1/4 connectors: tip-sleeve and tip-ring-sleeve. We tend to make use out of 1/4 inch connectors in most audio equipment, like preamps, consoles, audio interfaces, amplifiers, and even instruments! Some of these instruments include guitars, keyboards, and sometimes most synthesizers.

Reasons To Choose XLR Over 1/4 Inch

There are situations where you should consider using XLRs instead of 1/4 inch connectors. So, let’s get into why you should!

Their Ability To Send Phantom Power

Condenser mics need phantom power to operate. An XLR cable delivers this power. That’s the basics of it. The most effective audio cable can deliver power to a microphone well, so if you’ve been searching for a cable for your condenser, this should be a simple decision.

Best Cable For Microphones

XLR cables have been used for many years as professional microphones. They are much more reliable than RCA cables. You won’t get any noise problems using them. Microphones themselves actually deliver a much quieter signal, which is usually referred to as mic-level types of signals. 

Because of this, the signals have to be boosted through the microphone by the preamp just before it will be loud enough, so it can go through more processing. 

Most audio manufacturers know this, so the audio equipment has a preamp built-in specifically to their connectors. Typically, this equipment is for interfaces and mixing consoles. You will only have to access the preamps for the microphone, which can boost the signal if you decide to use an XLR for your microphone.

Locking Mechanism On The XLR Cables

XLR connectors are very reliable because of their locking mechanisms. They prevent accidental cable pulls out, which often happens with female 1/4 inch connectors. 

These accidents may happen when a person trips or falls over the cable, this is typically an issue with live productions which can easily be solved and put to sleep with the locking mechanisms on the cables. 

Therefore, if you’re wanting to prevent these accidents with cables, you should go for the XLR connectors.

Final Thoughts

It’s really up to you whether you want to choose between the XLR and 1/4 inch connectors, but there are some pros and cons that we mentioned above. It all depends on what kind of application you’re looking at. 

For example, if you’re looking at a guitar interface, then you might not need to worry about the difference between XLR and 1/2 inch connectors.

But if you’re looking at something more professional, such as a console or mixer, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention to the differences between the connectors.

The main difference between the two connector types is that XLR has a locking mechanism, whereas 1/4″ does not. This means that you cannot accidentally pull the plug out of the jack (if you do, the sound will cut off). Also, XLR plugs are designed to handle higher voltages than 1/4″.

You could also use a balanced line connection to connect your instrument to your recording device. However, this would require a different type of cable.

We’d say both are good choices. We’ve never heard anything bad said about either one. If you’re going to buy one, we’d suggest getting both. 

So, you know that one of these connectors is going to work for you, regardless of which you choose to go for in the end!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Is A 1/4 Inch Connector?

Quarter inches are used in professional and consumer audio equipment, but they’re also known as 6.35 mm. They are used on mixing consoles and power amplifiers, receivers and DACs, audio interfaces, and instruments, such as guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers.

But many people know them as headphone jacks because it’s the standard connector for many headphones.

There are two types of 1⁄4″ connectors. The TS type connects the left channel (L) and right channel (R), while the TRS type connects the left channel and ground (GND). Both connectors have a 3.5 mm plug on one end and a 1/4″ jack on the other.

What Makes A Good Quality Cable?

Cable quality can be determined by how well-made it is. You want to avoid cheap cables because they are usually made of inferior materials. However, there are other factors that should also be considered. 

For example, if your cable is too long or short, it won’t work properly. Also, the number of connectors per meter can affect the quality of the connection. Finally, make sure the cable is flexible enough to handle the amount of strain placed upon it.

Pre-Out vs Sub-Out: Everything You Need To Know

Pre-Out-vs-Sub-Out-Everything-You-Need-To-Know

Just got a receiver and don’t know what is going on? You are not alone!

Looking at the back of this piece of kit can feel like a daunting task – especially when you see two output ports. These are the pre out and sub out ports.

Don’t have a clue what that means? You have found the right place! This article will take you through everything you need to know about pre out and sub out ports. Follow this guide to become an audio expert.

Quick Summary

In a hurry? We are here to help!

In short, the most obvious difference between a sub-out and a pre-out is their function. A sub out connects subwoofers to receivers, while a pre-out port connects the receiver to an external power amplifier. 

The rest of this article will take you through sub-outs and pre-outs in more detail.

Pre-Outs

A pre-out is a type of port that will be included in a typical A/V receiver. If you have gone for a high-end receiver, you will have one pre-out port. 

This port allows you to incorporate a power amp into your audio setup. You are no longer bound to the power amp that has been built into your receiver, allowing you to enjoy a greater quality of sound. 

A pre-out port works by passing audio signals without amplification through the receiver so that these signals can be amplified by an external amp. 

To put it into context, think about your audio system when you use a pre-out port. You can now connect your speakers to an external amp directly instead of connecting to the receiver.

You are connecting the external amp to the pre-out port on your receiver so that the audio signal can move through. It will not be amplified by the receiver, just the external amp, so you can enjoy better sound.

So, if you have a pre-out port, you can add an external amp so that your speakers get that bit more power. More power means more sound without potentially harmful strain on your receiver.

This often means that you will be able to dramatically improve your speaker system. If you are an experimental audiophile who likes to get creative, using pre-out ports will open a lot of doors. We recommend that you start using pre outs ASAP!

With this in mind, there are some things that you need to consider next time you are out shopping for a new A/V receiver. One of these is pre-out ports.

Generally, we don’t recommend that you purchase a receiver that doesn’t have pre-out ports. There are so many high-quality receivers that do support pre-out connections at everyone’s price point – there is no excuse!

That said, you will probably find that a receiver with more than one pre-out port is surprisingly expensive. This is because multiple pre-out ports tend to move the product up a price bracket.

But you do get what you pay for – receivers are almost always value for money, especially with multiple connectivity options.

Sub-Outs

Now onto sub-outs. 

A sub-out is a specific type of output from a receiver that is meant to be connected to a subwoofer. A sub out connection is similar to an SFE Channel in that it only transmits bass or low frequency audio to the subwoofer.

It filters out anything that is of a higher frequency so that bass sounds that are usually lost are now detectable and of good quality.

Sub-outs are the most popular way to connect a receiver and a subwoofer. If you have an at-home movie theater set up, you will probably have some sort of sub out connection. 

Confusingly, brands do not always label this port the same. It may be labeled as ‘sub-out,’ but ‘subwoofer’ is becoming an increasingly popular labeling choice.

Remember that these are the same port, regardless of what the manufacturer calls it.

Generally, there is only ever need for one sub-out connection so there tends to just be one port.

You can find receivers with two sub-out ports, but it is unlikely that the second will be used enough to justify the additional cost.

You will only need one port to connect up your subwoofer to your receiver. This can be done with an RCA cable or if you are feeling fancy or want to get those bass sounds pumping, an LFE cable.

Not sure how to connect up your home theater receiver? It’s super simple.

All you need to do is plug in an RCA cable from your receiver’s sub-out to the input port on the subwoofer. You can now enjoy quality sound and richer bass notes.

Are Sub-Outs Pre-Outs The Same Thing?

Hopefully, you are now well versed in pre-outs and sub-outs, but are they the same thing?

No, they are not. A pre-out is not the same as a sub-out, and nor is a sub-out the same as a pre-out. 

Pre-outs are used to connect an external amp to an A/V receiver. A sub-out connection is used to connect powered subwoofers to a receiver.

You also need to remember that a pre-out and a sub out transmit different types of data.

A sub-out will filter away high frequency sounds to relay only bass elements of an audio signal. A pre-out connection will not make that distinction and will transmit all the data from an audio signal. 

As bass sounds have a dedicated transmission with a sub-out connection, they are more prominent in the audio that will eventually leave the speakers.

This creates a more enjoyable music-listening experience for many audiophiles and a more immersive experience for movie buffs.

Differences

If sub-outs and pre-outs are not the same, what are their differences? We have already covered one key difference – what data is transmitted via the connection – but are there more?

The other, most useful difference to understand is their underlying or intended function.

A pre-out port can connect an external amp to a receiver, whereas a sub-out connection can only be used to connect a powered or active subwoofer. 

So, while both types of ports can be used to connect a powered subwoofer to a speaker without the need to include a receiver’s amp, remember that they are different.

Keep in mind that a powered subwoofer that is connected to a receiver using a sub-out or a pre-out will also act as an external amplifier. 

You will need to connect up an external amp if you are not using a powered subwoofer, no matter which connection type you choose.

Pre-Outs For A Subwoofer

If you are in a pinch, you can use a pre-out for your subwoofer connection as long as this subwoofer has an amplifier built-in.

This subwoofer will only relay the bass sounds from the pre out ports – any higher sounds will be filtered out and not played.

Remember that a sub-out port is designed to relay bass to the subwoofer. All audio data will be transmitted through a pre-out connection.

If you do decide to use a pre-out connection for your subwoofer, you won’t get high frequency audio coming out the other end.

This is because the subwoofer essentially can’t cope with higher frequencies, and so they will be ignored. 

You also need to consider the design of your receiver – some are not designed with a subwoofer output at all. However, you may find that you are still able to connect a subwoofer with a pre-out connection.

This is because pre-outs are compatible with subwoofers that have an internal amp.

To do this, you just need an RCA input cable. Simply run this cable from the receiver to your subwoofer.

Sub Pre-Outs

Some integrated amps and receivers will have an output port that is labeled a sub pre-out. You are not alone in wondering what this is and how it works!

A sub pre-out is just a port that transmits all or part of the data from the audio signal. These are typically found on A/V receivers.

You can use a sub pre-out connection for receivers to active or powered subwoofers. This is usually the port’s only function.

From a technical standpoint, there is no difference between a sub pre-out port and a sub-out port. There are no major differences in connectivity either as they are both designed to connect receivers and subwoofers.

You may find that your manufacturer has labeled this connection as either a sub-out or a sub pre-out. Remember that this does not matter because they are the same thing.

This also explains why many manufacturers use the terms interchangeably – it is not just to confuse audio newbies!

Connection is no different with a sub pre-out port – you still need to use an RCA cable, and you still need to use a powered or active subwoofer. Otherwise, you will need to fix up an external amp.

Final Thoughts

Sub-outs and pre-outs are types of connections found in most audio systems. They allow for upgrade potential for your setup to get better sound quality – an absolute must for any audiophile.

A sub-out connection is for connecting up subwoofers. Using a subwoofer will help bass sounds stand out which creates better and more realistic audio.

A pre-out is used for connecting up an external amp. This will then go on to power your speakers.

This is recommended as it will limit the load or stress that you put on your receiver, so your speakers can now work their best.

Everything You Need To Know About Sub Out Vs LFE

Everything You Need To Know About Sub Out Vs LFE

Confused by audio connections? You are not alone! 

If you have had enough of spending hours on end trying to work out what to plug into what port, you have found the right place.

Everything You Need To Know About Sub Out Vs LFE

We have put together this quick guide to take you through everything you need to know about LFE connections and sub out.

With this information, you will be able to conquer just about any audio system!

Sub-Out

A sub-out may also be called a subwoofer output. This is the output port on any audio receiver that is designed to connect active subwoofers. 

These output ports may be on some theater receivers or some models of stereo receivers. Generally, active speakers are usually connected to receivers by one of these sub outs.

A sub out port on a receiver or an integrated amp only transmits low bass frequencies to the subwoofer.

High frequencies are then filtered out of audio signals at the sub out port. This means that just the low frequencies – the base notes – will transmit.

All sub outs are typically connected using LFE cables or RCA cables.

LFE Channels

LFE basically means Low Frequency Effects. An LFE is a band-only audio channel which is used to transmit low frequency or intense audio.

Think of a movie theater – an LFE Channel will be used in any movie theater’s audio system to create distinct sound effects in things like movies.

LFE Channels are used to relay bass-only sounds to subwoofers and typically have a frequency somewhere between 3 and 120 Hz.

These channels will transmit discrete content – information that is delivered on multiple channels – from a receiver to the speakers. This information is usually sent via encoded audio tracks. 

Originally, LFE was only used in movie production and allowed movie theaters to get deep and intense audio when projecting movies. This is because the LFE system allowed for the possibility of additional subwoofers. 

Usually, LFE is discovered in multichannel audio systems like an at-home surround sound setup. These speakers can also be described as 5.1 which just means that five channels are full range with one additional LFE channel.

LFE And Sub Out: The Differences 

From a technical point of view, LFE and sub out are pretty similar. This is because they perform the same function – the transmission of bass or low frequency sounds.

Because they do the same job, it can be simple to think that they are essentially interchangeable. This is wholly incorrect.

The volume of data that is carried by a sub out versus an LFE channel is vastly different. This alone is enough to make them very distinguishable from each other.

Data Transmission

Sure, LFE and sub out ports both carry low frequency sounds. And, yes, they both filter out high frequencies.

However, the differences in information transmission capabilities mean that the sound that will eventually come out of the speakers will be quite different.

A subwoofer output will carry some or all of the data from the audio signal. LFE Channels, have been designed to supplement all the bass content in the audio signal.

This means that LFE bass audio has more data to relay in any given signal, and these additional elements of the audio will be relayed to the speakers.

The extra pieces of audio from an LFE that would have been missed by a sub out can tend to be more cinematic.

Crashes, explosions, gunshots, and similar sounds are most commonly missed by using a sub out port but will be easily detected using an LFE Channel.

LFE Channels essentially function to produce these types of sounds when you watch a movie.

This is because they require additional bass data to sound realistic, and LFE supplements relayed information that comes down the main channels.

All of this additional information is then sent to the speakers – usually a surround sound system – to create more realistic audio in whatever you are watching.

LFE And Subwoofers

LFE and sub out ports can work together to create great audio – remember that subwoofers are an essential part of any sound system. 

The subwoofer on your audio device could have an LFE and RCA channel. You may even have a couple of extras to choose from. Keep in mind that any LFE Channel on a subwoofer is technically an LFE input.

The LFE input gives you a port so that you can then connect the receiver to your subwoofer.

Most subwoofers today will have at least one built-in LFE input channel that combines the two channels – the left and the right – that comes from your receiver.

This means that you just need one RCA cable to connect your LFE and subwoofer to the receiver.

Remember!

Remember that not all subwoofers will have LFE connectivity available. Some systems may not have any LFE connectivity at all.

A subwoofer that does not have an LFE input will have an RCA connection or possibly a stereo connection wire.

That said, most systems available today do have an LFE input option. This means that you can connect your receiver or amplifier to your subwoofer with little issue and great audio.

No LFE

If you are unable to connect to an LFE Channel, you will be able to use an RCA connection. RCA has left and right channel input connections for a subwoofer. 

RCA input connections may not be labeled but LFE input channels usually are. Look out for a port that says ‘LFE’ near it.

If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to double-check your manual or contact the manufacturer for more information.

Using LFE On Your Subwoofers

If you do have LFE connectivity, there is no reason why you shouldn’t connect up your subwoofer when you are getting your audio system set up.

LFE is guaranteed to enhance the overall bass content of whatever is being played. For a movie, you will experience more realistic sound effects.

If music is more your thing you can enjoy a more rich sound, possibly with greater nuance.

Subwoofers are purpose-built to relay bass sounds to the speakers. LFE Channels can transmit the lowest possible frequencies in any audio source. Using LFE is therefore going to give you the best possible quality bass sounds.

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the speakers when using LFE so that they can cope with the new bass noise.

You will need to find a full-range or large level to get the best results. Your speakers will now be able to get all the information that is relayed by the LFE Channel.

You also need to remember that LFE inputs on a subwoofer allow you to connect an AV receiver to the same subwoofer with just one connection.

This will help limit the number of cables when you are setting up. Fewer cables mean you are less likely to get lost, and thus you have become an audio master!

Connecting A Subwoofer LFE Input To A Receiver Sub Out

It is possible to connect a sub out port on an AV receiver to an LFE input port on your subwoofer. This can be done with a cable that has RCA connectors on either end.

This setup will mean that the subwoofer output sends bass signals that have been filtered to your subwoofer, including data from the LFE Channel.

You can connect the subwoofer’s LFE to your sub out from your receiver to connect a subwoofer to your speakers, or even your amplifier.

This is possible because stereo receivers and amplifiers both tend to be built with appropriate output ports that are compatible with LFE connectors. 

If you do this, you can connect the sub-out on your amplifier or receiver to the LFE input port located on your subwoofer.

LFE Uses

We have already mentioned that LFE is great for movies, and was developed with movie theaters in mind. Modern surround sound systems use a similar setup to create high-quality and encompassing sounds during the movie.

This does not mean that LFE is limited to just movies. 

You could use an LFE connection for video games to create an impressive gaming setup.

Doing this will have a similar effect as LFE has on movies – more realistic and layered sounds for bass or low frequency audio like gunshots or explosions.

If music is more your thing, you should consider LFE connectivity if possible. Your system will need some music processing formats or more than a two-channel signal, otherwise the subwoofer will not receive any LFE signal.

If you can connect to listen to some tunes, you can sit back and enjoy an invigorated bass sound and the additional nuances that come with an outstanding audio setup.

Final Thoughts

LFE Channels and sub out ports are pretty similar as they both deal with low-pitched audio. But remember that these aren’t the same thing. 

A sub out port is purpose-built to relay low frequency signals or bass signals to your subwoofer. An LFE Channel, on the other hand, is a separate channel with its own content.

This channel will transmit dynamic and emphatic audio effects like gunshots or explosions and is primarily used for surround sound.

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Alternatives Now That Needle Doctor Is Out Of Business‘.

Does Bose Have A Lifetime Warranty (And Replacement & How To Claim)

Does Bose Have A Lifetime Warranty (And Replacement & How To Claim)
Does Bose Have A Lifetime Warranty (And Replacement & How To Claim)

Bose has always been known for its high-quality audio equipment. It is always great when you get to buy a new set of speakers or headphones.

Although, it is annoying when they break, and you are left searching the web to see if what you have bought has a warranty. 

In this article, we will discover if Bose products have a lifetime warranty and how to request a replacement. 

What Is Bose

Bose was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose. He started out selling speakers at retail stores. In 1985, he introduced his first noise-canceling headphones.

Since then, Bose has become one of the leading manufacturers of consumer electronics.

They offer many types of products including home entertainment systems, wireless headsets, Bluetooth speakers, soundbars, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and more. 

What Is The Bose Lifetime Warranty?

It is a little misleading, but Bose doesn’t actually offer a lifetime warranty. Instead, they offer a time-limited warranty. This can either be 1 year or on some products, there is a 5-year warranty. 

As a result, this means that if your Bose product breaks within the first year of purchase, you can return it and receive a full refund. If you need to replace your product after the first year, you can do so without any issue.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if your device is damaged due to normal wear and tear, you cannot claim a replacement under the warranty.

You must contact customer service to make sure you qualify for a replacement. 

Also, the warranty can only be used for the original purchaser of the product or the person who received the Bose product as a gift. Thus, you cannot transfer your warranty over to someone else. 

If you buy a Bose product second-hand, then you don’t have access to the warranty. This is because you are not the original owner.

Although, if you manage to obtain proof of purchase with the original packaging and serial number, then you may be able to transfer the warranty to yourself. 

Then, to claim your warranty, you will need to be able to provide proof of the purchase. This may be the purchase receipt or the sale’s invoice. Without this proof, they don’t have a valid claim.

What Actions Will Bose Do?

If you have a valid warranty claim, then Bose will honor the warranty that you have. There will be three things that Bose may do, but this will differ and depend on what is wrong with your product. 

They could either fully or partially refund you for the product. Sometimes they may replace the product, or they will repair the product.

Typically, Bose will try to replace or repair any broken part before offering a refund. All repairs and replacements are done at no extra charge towards the customers. These are all covered by the warranty. 

However, sometimes customers would rather have a refund than deal with repairs and replacements.

In this scenario, then the customer will need to return the product to Bose. Yet, Bose will not pay for the transportation or shipping costs of returning the defective product. 

How To Claim A Bose Warranty

There are a couple of ways that you can try to claim your warranty from Bose. This can be to ask for a refund, repair, or replacement of the product that you have purchased. 

Bose is known for offering great customer service. If you ever have a problem with their products, they would help you with the best and correct result. Here are some ways to contact the company. 

Online

The easiest and quickest way to claim your warranty is by going online. Simply go to the warranty section of their website. Once you get there, simply enter the serial number of your product. After entering the serial number, click on “Claim My Product”.

In-store

You can also claim your warranty through an in-store visit. However, this is more difficult. You will need to bring the receipt of the product along with you.

Also, you will need to show them the serial number of your product. They will then check whether you qualify for a replacement or refund.

Phone

You can phone the Bose customer service number. There, you will speak to a Bose customer service representative about your Bose product.

The phone lines to the customer service are typically open between 9 am to 6 pm on Monday to Friday. While they are only open from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, the customer service lines are closed. Conclusion

It is important to note that you may be on hold for a while, as the team makes their way through all the calls. The phone number to call also differs.

General Issues and Returns – +1 800 379 2073.

Bose Headphone Issues – +1 800 761 2673.

Bose Noise-Canceling Speed Earbud Issues – +1 800 905 1273.

Text

If you don’t want to wait on hold, then Bose does offer a text messaging service as well. This text messaging service is run through WhatsApp.

All you need to do is text the word BOSE to +1 508-614-6301. Then you will be put into contact with someone from the customer support team. 

This service is open between 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. However, it is essential to remember that there will be a slight delay before someone from the Bose team will get back to you about your problem. 

Returning A Bose Product

Whether you have done it online, on the phone, or through text. When trying to return your Bose product, then someone will have given you all the specific instructions that you need to follow. They will also give you a special return authorization number. 

The return authorization number is very important. Without this number, then the product will be refused and turned away.

As mentioned above, when it comes to returning a product for a refund, then Bose will not pay anything towards shipping or transportation costs.

However, they will cover costs if you are asking for a replacement or for the product it is repaired. 

Overall, the process of returning and obtaining a refund should take around 2 weeks to be completed. However, when it comes to replacements, you should expect a replacement 10 days after the factory receives your defective product. 

Where Can I Go For More Information About The Bose Warranty?

If you need more information about your warranty on your Bose product, then suggest that you visit the Bose website for more details.

Also, getting in contact with the Bose customer service team will help answer any questions that you may have about your Bose product and its warranty. 

However, if your warranty has run out, then there isn’t much that Bose can do, as the warranty period has ended. You may still have the option of claiming a refund or replacing your Bose product.

Final Thoughts

Bose doesn’t have a lifetime warranty, but instead, they have time-limited warranties that you need to watch out for.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can claim a refund or replace your Bose product. Whichever method you choose, then you should know what you are doing.

It is always good practice to check your warranty before making a purchase. If you are unsure whether, or not, your product is covered by a warranty, then it is best to look at the website first.

Once you have found the relevant information, then you can decide which method of claim is right for you.

Harman Kardon Vs Bose

Harman Kardon Vs Bose

Bose and Harman Kardon offer high-quality speakers at great prices. Which brand should you choose? You don’t want to settle for mediocre audio quality, especially if you spend a large amount of time listening to music or watching movies.

If you’re looking for the best sound possible, then you need to invest in a premium pair of speakers. 

Harman Kardon Vs Bose

Think about your individual needs and preferences while looking for a new sound system for your home – are you looking for something that offers amazing sound quality but fits within your budget?

Are you more interested in getting the best possible audio experience rather than saving money? Do you need portability? 

Check our guide below which compares the Harman Kardon and Bose brands to help you choose the best speakers to invest in for your home sound system needs.

Overview Of Bose Speakers

Bose is a well-known brand that provides exceptionally high-quality audio. Their products are known for their amazing sound systems and professional speaker materials compared to other audio companies.

While they are more expensive than others, they have a very good reputation when it comes to audio, so you can be confident in purchasing a Bose model. 

Consumers choose them for their consistent audio quality and longevity. They produce a variety of headphones, speakers, and soundbars, as well as professional sound equipment. Bose products are known for their long life span and professional quality. 

The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker is one of their best-selling speakers available on Amazon. It uses Bluetooth technology so you can play your favorite songs wirelessly from virtually any device, such as your phone and tablet. 

Benefits Of Bose Speakers

Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of purchasing a Bose speaker like the SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker!

Pros

  • Durable – Bose products are built to withstand heavy use and provide superior sound quality.
  • High-quality – Bose’s speakers deliver impressive performance with great fidelity.
  • Deep bass – Bose offers powerful subwoofers and speaker systems designed specifically to give you deep sound.
  • Soundbar – Bose speakers make it easy to create an incredible surround sound experience wherever you listen.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No 3D Audio support

Overview Of Harman Kardon Speakers

Overview Of Harman Kardon Speakers

Harman Kardon produces seriously high-quality sound systems. They have exceptional audio quality at affordable costs. They produce products that can reach buyers with a range of budgets. 

Whether you want a speaker system that is compact and fits well into your office or you’re looking for a booming surround sound system for your household to enjoy high-quality movie experiences, Harman Kardon has something for everyone. 

Famous audio companies such as AKG, JBL, and Infinity are part of the Harman Kardon brand. 

They have been creating amazing sound systems for all types of customers for many years. They have designed top-tier speakers and headphones that are so sleek and modern that they suit all different home designs. 

They create the best crisp, clear sounds which are bound to impress all music enthusiasts. If you’re looking for the best audio brand, then we recommend checking out these top picks on Amazon. They’ve been rated among the best by over 80000 customers. 

Benefits Of Harman Kardon Speakers

Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of purchasing a Harman Kardon speaker.

Pros

  • Highly portable and versatile – makes them ideal for traveling 
  • Great for movie viewing – allows you to get plenty of use out of your speaker
  • Versatile size – works well  with most rooms and environments
  • High-quality audio – means the muffled sound is a thing of the past

Cons

  • Not great for larger spaces
  • It may not be ideal for parties/events

Now we’ve gone through the various pros and cons of each speaker brand, let’s take a closer look at the prices, durability, battery performance, connectivity, and overall quality of sound between Harman Kardon and Bose.

Price

In terms of functionality, both devices are great. Their sound quality is also comparable. The difference lies in the fact that Harman Kardon speakers are a little cheaper than Bose speakers. Why?

Bose tends to use high-end materials, and thus, their products cost more than others. 

Harman Kardon offers cheaper versions of Bose products with similar features. Their sound quality isn’t as high as Bose’s.

We recommend choosing Bose speakers over Harman Kardon speakers if you don’t mind spending more money for more impressive sound quality. 

However, if you’re on a bit of a budget and don’t want to shell out for Bose speakers, but still want epic sound quality for a slightly more affordable price, pick Harman Kardon. 

Durability 

Harman Kardon uses plastic to make their speakers. Plastic isn’t very durable or weather resistant. The grille material however has fabric to protect from debris, but these materials aren’t great for soundproofing.

Bose products are known for their exceptional longevity. 

Their speakers use grilles and fabrics, and a range of great quality materials. These materials ensure durability and longer life. Bose speakers are also pretty waterproof because they aren’t made out of plastic, which means you can use them in a variety of different situations such as poolside parties. 

If one of your main concerns when buying speakers is their durability and longevity, go for Bose. If you just plan to use them in your home, consider Harman Kardon for the lower price. 

Appearance And Portability

Bose speakers usually come in black, but there are also white ones available. Harman Kardon makes speakers in many different colors and styles. Their products are also portable because they’re compact and come with carrying handles.

They’re great if you want something that looks nice and fits a busy lifestyle. 

Bose systems are small, thin, and compact, so they’re easy to carry around with you, and their black/white aesthetics make them look sleek and modern. 

If you’re looking for portable speakers, and more choices of color, Harman Kardon wins here. However, choose Bose for a more low-key, modern look, and if you don’t need a set of carrying handles. 

Battery Performance

Harman Kardon speakers feature around eight hours of battery life before they need to be charged. Bose systems also feature around eight hours of charge, so in the aspect of battery life, both speakers are pretty much equal. 

Remember that the way you use your speakers significantly affects battery life, for example, using them on max volume all the time or not fully recharging the speakers will drain the battery much faster no matter which brand you decide to go for. 

Connectivity

Bose and Harman Kardon both tend to put most of the important buttons on the top of their products. This means that you won’t need to move your hands far away from the speaker when using them. Harman Kardon systems normally come with accessible controls at the top of them. 

They also have power and volume control, and a connection option that supports connectivity with many different devices. Both brands feature speakerphone functions. Most Harman Kardon speakers have Bluetooth capabilities. 

However, some models do not have a 3.5 mm port or support ordinary Wi-fi connection. 

Bose is known for making high-quality and highly connective audio equipment. Their speakers are great because they have many different modes of connection, including Bluetooth. 

Their speakers are also very easy to use and connect with other devices. Some models even allow for wireless music streaming via AirPlay and Apple HomeKit compatibility. Bose offers a wide range of connectivity features that lets you play any kind of song anywhere, easily. 

For advanced connectivity options, select Bose as your sound system. 

However, it’s worth considering what sort of connectivity options you need or prefer, because Harman Kardon may provide the connection options you require at a lower price. 

Sound Quality

Harman Kardon systems are great for listening to electronic dance music because they have a lot of bass and good sound at different frequencies. They also have a rich sound and deep bass. 

These qualities make them good for listening to hip-hop or electronic types of music.

Bose speakers are great because they offer all-around sound, and this means that the music quality stays the same no matter when you are situated about the speaker location – which is fantastic if you tend to spend lots of time watching movies with your friends or family because everyone in the room will experience the same epic sound quality. 

While Harman Kardon and Bose aren’t that much different in terms of sound quality, the bass sounds fuller when using a Harman Kardon speaker. The speakers also cover a wider frequency spectrum than those of Bose.

These factors help create richer bass sounds. Bose speakers fit snugly into smaller spaces, while Harman Kardon speakers tend to look a little bulkier. Harman Kardon speakers work better indoors.

It’s less likely you’ll hear outside noises too with these speakers as their noise-cancellation properties are great. 

Bose works well in both indoor and outdoor settings. Bose speakers are often used outside by nature lovers and for pool party enthusiasts. Both speakers have fantastic sound quality that allows you to enjoy all kinds of music.

It’s just a matter of personal preference whether to get Harman Kardon or Bose in terms of their sound quality. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to buy a set of speakers, go online and compare the prices and features of Harman Kardon and Bose. Once you know more about each brand’s features and specs, you can decide which one is right for you. 

Either way, either brand of speakers should be able to deliver your needs perfectly. If you’re ready to buy a new speaker, check out our best sellers page full of great deals on popular products. 

RCA Vs 3.5mm: What’s The Difference & Which Sounds Better?

RCA Vs 3.5mm: What’s The Difference & Which Sounds Better?

Connectors are used in everyday life for a lot of different reasons, and some of the most widely used include RCA and 3.5 mm connectors. You probably have loads of these around your house and use them on a daily basis.

However, despite how often they are used, a lot of people actually know very little about RCA and 3.5 mm connectors. 

RCA Vs 3.5mm: What’s The Difference & Which Sounds Better?

It’s super important to know as much as possible about these connectors as when working with professional audio equipment and devices, it’s very easy for misinformation to spread.

To make your life easier and become more efficient with your work, here is everything you need to know about RCA and 3.5mm connectors.

We will be covering each type in turn and also compare the two together to see which has the better sound quality and could be the ideal connector for your audio work.

So, keep on reading to find out all the information you need about RCA and 3.5mm connectors! 

RCA Connectors

RCA connectors are some of the most widely used connectors to transmit both audio and video signals.

However, they are quite old and outdated but still feature in a lot of older equipment and devices, especially with consumer A/V equipment.

They were made by the company Radio Corporation of America, hence the initials RCA in the name of these connectors. 

They are unbalanced mono connectors which are used to connect audio and video devices like stereos and speakers, or even old camcorders to television screens.

In the field of audio, they are most likely to be seen connecting amplifiers with other devices. 

They are sometimes also known as phono connectors, and there are actually two different types: composite RCA cables, and component RCA cables. 

Composite RCA cables are the more commonly found of the two types of RCA connectors.

They are easily recognizable as they usually feature three independent connectors that are color coded with white (or sometimes black), red and yellow ends.

The red and white/black connectors are used to transmit audio signals while the yellow connector transmits composite video signals. 

The composite video signal is a heavily compressed signal that loses much of its resolution and clarity due to it being forced through a single cable. For this reason, the picture is degraded and suffers from a lot of radio frequency interference. 

On the other hand, component RCA connectors are a more advanced version that is used for high-definition television connections.

This is because component RCA cables come with three video lines instead of just one, and two for the audio. These connectors are also color coded with red, green, and blue for the video lines and black/white and red for the audio.

Because there are now more lines for the video signals, the images are not as compressed and appear on the screen far more clearly. 

This means that component RCA connectors are phasing out the composite RCA connectors as HD TV and other high definition viewing becomes more and more popular.

So, you are more likely to be working with component RCA connectors, but some devices or equipment might still use the older composite RCA connectors – so be familiar with both!

3.5mm Connectors

3.5mm Connectors

3.5mm connectors are also known by various names. Some people call them ⅛” connectors or min-jacks.

They are also the most commonly known type of connector as they are used by millions of people every day to connect to portable consumer devices and electronics like smartphones and laptops.

3.5mm connectors are used for transmitting audio. Primarily it transmits music, but sometimes it can be used for transmitting voice signals.

The difference in function comes due to the fact that there are actually three different types of 3.5mm connectors and each is slightly different in design and structure.

This makes each type more adept for transmitting certain types of audio. 

The first type is the 3.5mm TS male connector. It is a two conductor unbalanced mono cable that does not support stereo sound or microphones. This means that you can’t use 3.5mm TS male connectors to talk on phone or online calls. 

3.5mm TS male connectors are designed only with a tip and sleeve, meaning that it has a very basic design that only allows audio signals to be transmitted in mono.

They work best for short cable connections because the sleeve is susceptible to noise and interference, so the shorter the cable, the less likely your audio will be distorted and ruined by interference.

A later update on the 3.5mm TS male connector is the 3.5  TRS male connector. They are very similar but are instead designed with three different parts: the tip, ring, and sleeve.

Adding the ring allows for the TRS male connector to become a three conductor version of 3.5mm connectors. This means that they can transmit balanced mono signals as well as unbalanced stereo signals.

However, they do not support microphone functionality – so this type of connector is used for listening to music but not for speaking through. 

The final and more increasingly common type of 3.5mm connector is the 3.5mm TRRS male cable. The TRRS now stands for tip, ring, ring and sleeve because this type of connector is now a four conductor version of the 3.5mm connector.

The additional ring is what allows for microphone functionality, meaning that you can now speak through your cable and use it as a microphone.

The 3.5mm TRRS male cable is now the most commonly used type of connector for earphones and headphones to connect with smart devices.

So, most devices come with TRRS jacks and most earphones/headphones feature 3.5mm TRRS male cable connectors so you can input your earphones/headphones into devices like laptops and smartphones.

Then use them for microphones while doubling as earphones/headphones. The 3.5 TRRS male connectors are also capable of providing stereo sound and composite analog video signals. 

Go ahead and check the connector on your own earphones – it is most likely a 3.5mm TRRS male cable. 

Differences Between RCA Connectors And 3.5mm Connectors

So despite both types of connectors being widely used and popular all across the world, they both have very different functions. 

RCA is mostly used for home audio systems like televisions, so a majority of home audio equipment and devices come with RCA ports instead of 3.5mm.

This is because RCA connectors are used to carry both audio and visual signals, allowing for both picture and sound on television screens and monitors.  

3.5mm connectors are used for portable devices like smartphones and laptops and are used to carry audio signals. Although sometimes they can be used to carry video signals, they are most commonly used for transmitting audio signals only.

So, you will most likely find all kinds of 3.5mm connectors attached to earphones and headphones, with input jacks available on all kinds of devices including gaming controllers, smartphones and audio devices. 

The reason for this difference in function comes down to the number of cables and channels. RCA cables come with at least two channels for stereo signals, along with at least one for video signals.

3.5mm can carry stereo or mono signals depending on the type of 3.5mm cable it is. 

This difference in function also has an influence on the length and size of the cable. 3.5mm connectors are meant to be used for portable devices, thus they are designed to be small and easy to connect.

RCA cables are more permanently used and so they can afford to be larger and longer. 

Sound Quality – Which Is Better?

One of the largest misconceptions about RCA connectors and 3.5mm connectors is that a lot of people believe that one is better than the other when it comes to audio quality. 

This is not true – there is no difference in the sound quality between a 3.5mm connector and a RCA connector. Both are unbalanced connections, making them both susceptible to interference.

No matter which one you choose, your sound quality is likely to be affected by noise, meaning that you will not get a pure sound quality with either 3.5mm connectors and RCA connectors. 

You can still get great audio quality results with both, but one is not better than the other. Both RCA connectors and 3.5mm connectors emit the same quality of sound, making them equal. 

So, if anyone recommends using a RCA over a 3.5mm because they sound ‘better’, you now know that that is not true. 

The sound quality of a RCA connector and a 3.5mm connector are exactly the same.

However, they both do have other advantages over the other that may sway your opinion towards which type of connector to use. 

RCA connectors are very strong and secure so they are more durable and have longer longevity than 3.5mm connectors. It’s also more difficult to accidentally unplug a RCA connector from their female ports because they grip on so tightly. 

3.5mm connectors are a lot more flimsy and easy to accidentally unplug, but they are also far more portable and easy to carry around with you for different uses.

Need to plug your headphones into your phone instead of your laptop? No problem! 3.5mm gives you a variety of different audio usage as they are also compatible with a lot more modern devices than RCA connectors are. 

So while these are all factors to consider when choosing between a RCA connector or 3.5mm connector, sound quality should not be.

Both connectors have the same sound quality due to the fact that they are both unbalanced connectors. 

Conclusion

And that’s everything you need to know about RCA connectors and 3.5mm connectors. 

There are different types of connectors and each one is more adept for certain jobs. Overtime, you may see less and less composite RCA connectors and 3.5mm TS male connectors as technological advancements will leave them behind. 

However, you may come across these connectors on more retro equipment and devices during your audio work, so you will still need to be aware of them and what they do.

Now, you can work with any kind of connector with confidence, understanding them better and how they differ from one another all thanks to the handy guide above!

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Line Out Vs Speaker Out: What’s The Difference‘.

Series Vs Parallel Speaker Sound: [Wiring Explained]

Series Vs Parallel Speaker Sound: [Wiring Explained]

When wiring up your speakers, the way you wire matters. If you’re wiring up more than one speaker, you have two options: series or parallel wiring.

There are several differences between these two types, and the way you wire your speakers can have a dramatic impact on the quality and volume of your sound.

Series Vs Parallel Speaker Sound: [Wiring Explained]

The first thing to know about wiring is that there’s no right or wrong answer. The only “right” answer is what works for you. That said, there are some things you should consider when choosing which type of wiring to use.

Factors such as power, impedance, and the number of speakers you’re setting up can all influence the way they sound, and depending on your setup one type of wiring will be a better option than the other.

If you’re confused about the differences between series and parallel wiring and want to know how wiring can affect your speaker sound, then this is the guide for you.

Here we’ll take you through all you need to know about series and parallel wiring, the pros and cons of each method, and which option is right for you.

Series Wiring

Series wiring is one of the most common methods of wiring for speakers, and can be used to connect one or more speakers to your sound system.

To wire a single speaker in series, all you need to do is connect the positive and negative terminals on the speaker to the corresponding positive and negative terminals on your amplifier.

If you’re wiring more than one speaker, this is where things get a bit more complicated. First, connect the positive terminal of the first speaker to the positive terminal of the amp. Next, connect the last speaker’s negative terminal to the negative terminal on the amp.

From here, you can start connecting to the other speakers. Connect the first speaker’s negative terminal to the next speaker’s positive terminal, and repeat until the penultimate speaker’s negative terminal is connected to the positive terminal of the last speaker.

This repeated link of connections is what gives series wiring its name; the speakers are set up in a line, with each speaker in the series connecting to the next.

Something to bear in mind when setting up your speakers using series wiring is their impedance. The total impedance of your speakers needs to match the output impedance of your amp.

For example, an 8-ohm amp would need to be connected to speakers with a total impedance of 8 ohms (eg. two 4-ohm speakers, or four 2-ohm speakers).

If you don’t match the impedance, it will severely impact your music’s sound quality and even permanently damage the speakers and/or amp.

Parallel Wiring

Parallel Wiring

Wiring speakers in parallel is a bit more complicated, but typically results in a higher power output and better sound quality than speakers connected in series.

To wire two or more speakers in parallel, you have to wire the amp to each different speaker. First, you need to connect the positive terminal of the amp to the positive terminal of each individual speaker.

Then repeat with the negative terminal of the amp, wiring it to the negative terminal of all the speakers you’re connecting. This will need more cables than wiring in series, but the resistance between the amp and speakers will drop, resulting in improved power output.

You can calculate the impedance when wiring in parallel by multiplying the resistance of each speaker together and dividing this by the total resistance of each speaker added together.

This can be written as Rt=(R1*R2)/(R1+R2), where Rt is the impedance, and R1 and R2 are the resistances of the two speakers. For example, if you had two 4-ohm speakers then you’d need a 2-ohm amp, as (4×4)÷(4+4)=2. 

Which Wiring Method Is Better?

Both methods of wiring have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s hard to say which method is better. 

In terms of volume and sound quality, you’re usually better off with parallel wiring. Speakers connected in series have higher resistance and divide power between each speaker, which means their total power output is reduced.

Parallel wiring, meanwhile, lessens the resistance and impedance between the amp and speakers. This increases the power output the speakers receive, making them louder and improving your sound quality.

That said, parallel wiring doesn’t work if you’re only connecting one speaker. Additionally, it’s much easier to connect speakers up in parallel compared to the complicated mess of cables that is parallel wiring.

Not only that, calculating the impedance required for your amp can be confusing, and it can be even trickier if you’re connecting more speakers.

Another point in series wiring’s favor is its convenience. Not only is connecting multiple speakers only slightly more complicated than connecting a single speaker, but you don’t need to worry about how many channels and cables you’re able to connect.

Parallel wiring requires more amplifier channels and plenty of cables, which can be impractical or even impossible depending on the amplifier you’re using.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, there isn’t a right or wrong way you can wire up your speakers. While parallel wiring can improve your music’s volume and quality, it’s not always the best option.

The best option for you largely comes down to your setup, how many speakers you’re connecting, and how much effort you’re willing to put in when wiring your speakers.

Regardless of which method you end up using, we hope this guide has helped you learn more about how each wiring method works and how to do it. Now all you have to do is connect your speakers, and you’ll be able to enjoy your sound system to its full potential!

Are XLR Cables Mono Or Stereo? Here’s What You Need To Know

Are XLR Cables Mono Or Stereo? Here’s What You Need To Know

All this audio stuff can get pretty confusing if you’re just starting out.  We’re here to help clear up any confusion you may have regarding XLR cables, how they work, and how they are used.  

Primarily, XLR cables are used for balanced mono audio signals, but on the other hand, they can also be used for stereo signals.  The thing to bear in mind is that if an XLR cable is being used for a stereo signal, the signal becomes unbalanced. 

Are XLR Cables Mono Or Stereo? Here’s What You Need To Know

Don’t worry, we’ll get into what that means further on. 

XLR cables are commonly used to connect microphones to recording consoles. They also carry audio signals from instruments like guitars and keyboards into mixing desks.  In other cases, balanced XLR cables are sometimes used to connect speakers to a hi-fi system.

What’s The Difference Between Mono And Stereo?

The difference between a mono and a stereo signal is pretty simple. A mono signal is just one channel of information. Mono is short for monophonic, meaning a single audio source. 

For example, if you were into a single microphone, this would be a mono audio channel.  

Stereo, on the other hand, is short for stereophonic, which use two audio channels (one for each ear!) 

For example, if you’re recording an acoustic guitar using two microphones in different positions, this would be a stereo signal, as the two microphones pick up two slightly different channels of information. 

The point of using a stereo signal is that it gives the impression of space and direction.  It creates a wider stereo “image”, and makes a recording sound more like it’s there in the room with you.  Mono, on the other hand, tends to sound a little flat in comparison. 

When you’re playing back a stereo audio signal, each one of your two speakers is receiving and playing back a different signal, as the right and left speakers have their own separate channels.

Stereo signals are normally preferred to mono when it comes to music or movie audio.  But that’s not to say that mono signals have no use!  Mono is the preferred choice for telephone networks and public address systems and the like.  

Who Invented XLR Cables, And Why Are They So Common?

XLR cables have been around since the early 1960s. They were invented by James H. Cannon, who worked for IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). He invented the audio cables while working for IEC in Kanagawa, Japan.

His invention was based on his experience with audio equipment from the 1940s. He found that using a simple spring clamp was not reliable enough for high quality audio applications.

So he came up with a new design that would hold the wires tightly without damaging them. This design became the basis for all modern XLR connectors.

XLR cables are generally used for professional audio applications such as recording studios, broadcasting stations, and live performance venues. There are many types of XLR connectors available. Some of these include:

Balanced XLR connectors – These are the most common type of XLR connectors. They are designed to carry low level signals. They can handle frequencies up to 100 kHz.

Balanced XLR connectors are commonly used in professional audio applications such as mixing consoles, sound reinforcement systems, broadcast facilities, and recording studios.

Unbalanced XLR connectors – These connectors are mainly used for connecting microphones to preamps. They are designed to handle higher frequency signals. They can handle signals up to 1 MHz.

Unbalanced XLRs are usually used in consumer electronics devices like CD players, tape decks, and some portable music players.

Differential XLR connectors – These XLR connectors are designed to carry high level signals. They can carry frequencies up to 20 MHz. Differential XLRs are mainly used in professional audio applications like mixers, studio monitors, and loudspeakers.

XLR connectors are designed to withstand harsh conditions. For example, they can survive temperatures ranging from -40 °C to +60 °C. They can also survive humidity levels between 0% and 90%.

XLR connectors are very robust. Most XLR connectors will last at least 25 years if properly maintained.

The main advantage of XLR connectors over standard RCA connectors is their ability to carry higher signal levels. XLR connectors are much better suited for carrying high level signals.

Because of this, they are often preferred when you need to connect two devices together that require high level signals.

XLR connectors are also more resistant to electromagnetic interference. This means that they are less likely to pick up radio frequency noise. It also means that they do not affect the function of nearby electronic components.

XLR connectors have an internal strain relief mechanism that prevents damage to the connector due to external forces. The connector has a built-in safety feature called “hot polarity”. Hot polarity ensures that the connection remains intact even when there is no power applied to it.

XLR connectors can be either male or female. Male XLR connectors are attached to one end of the cable. Female XLR connectors are attached at the other end of the cable. When using a male XLR connector, the cable should always be terminated with a female XLR connector.

If you use a female XLR connector, the connector should always be terminated with another female XLR connector.

How Are XLR Cables Wired?

If you take a look at an XLR cable, you’ll notice it is basically comprised of 3 parts: the wires, the connectors, and the shielding.  XLR cables have three wires inside them. Two of these wires transmit audio signals, while the other provides grounding.

The shielding that surrounds the wires provides protection from noise and interference. 

XLR connectors feature a round end with three contact points, known as “pins”.  XLR cables have a “male” connector and a “female” connector. 

Usually, you’ll see an XLR with a male connector that has three pins and a female connector that has three holes at the opposite end of the cable. 

These plugs connect to each other by means of a cable. Most XLR cables are made of copper. Copper has a low impedance, which makes it ideal for transmitting high frequencies. Because copper is so conductive, it can easily transfer electrical energy.

If you use an XLR connector incorrectly, then you may damage your audio system.

A few things should be noted when connecting an XLR cable to a device. First, make sure that the ground wire is connected to the chassis of the device. Next, make sure that the center pin is connected to the positive input.

Finally, make sure that the outer pins are connected to the negative output.

Thanks to the balanced nature of XLR cables, they can  be connected together for extremely long runs without the worry of any noise or interference messing up the audio signal. 

For this reason, they are universally used in ive performances and in music studios, not to mention radio or broadcasting studios all over the world.  

What Is A Balanced Signal?

What Is A Balanced Signal

Balanced XLR cables are preferred by audiophiles because they provide better sound quality.  This is because they pick less noise and interference, especially when using longer cables.  Balanced XLR cables have 3 wires going down the cable. 

One of these wires is the ground cable, while the other two wires carry the signal.  The signal on a balanced cable is split between the two wires.  One wire carries the signal, while the other carries the signal with reversed polarity. 

The reversed polarity signal gets flipped once it reaches the output of the XLR cable, which helps cancel out any noise or radio interference.  

Unbalanced cables, on the other hand, such as keyboard outputs or guitar cables, only have two wires, one for the ground and the other for the signal.

When an XLR cable is carrying a mono signal, this signal is balanced.  The reason for this is that the mono signal is being transmitted through both wires, with the reversed polarity being transmitted through one wire. 

Remember, the third wire is just the ground wire.  If one of these wires remained unused, the signal would become unbalanced and therefore susceptible to noise and interference.  

Balanced XLR cables are designed to transmit two channels of information at the same instant. This is done by connecting the two wires in the cable together. When you plug a microphone into such a cable, you’ll get two separate channels of information at the exact same time.

The value of a balanced mono signal being transmitted through an XLR cable is that the signal is well-preserved.  Once the signal reaches the end of the XLR, the polarity is flipped from one of the wires, in turn cancelling out any noise or interference that was picked up by the cable. 

This makes it ideal for microphone signals as they produce the cleanest possible signal with little to no hum or radio interference.  

Is A Balanced Cable For Mono Or Stereo?

Balanced cables are designed to transmit a single audio signal, meaning a mono signal.  However, these cables can be used to transmit stereo signals, but in turn, they will no longer be balanced as each of their wires in the cable is being used to transmit audio. 

This can lead to problems with the audio signal such as hum, interference, and noise.

How Can An XLR Cable Transmit A Stereo Signal?

As we’ve discussed, an XLR that transmits a balanced signal has to be mono, as this requires the use of both the positive and negative wires in the cable.  However, through the use of a dual XLR connector, a balanced stereo signal can be transmitted.

To do this, you will need a dual XLR Male Y splitter, which can be purchased from Amazon.

What this splitter does, essentially, is it splits the left and right channel into two mono signals, then it routes them through two individual XLR cables. 

This connector can be very useful, as it allows you to transmit a balanced stereo signal from any audio source such as a laptop or other line level stereo devices.  

What Is An XLR Cable, And How Do I Connect Them?

XLR cables come in different sizes. Most of them come in standard size, while others are miniature. Standard-size XLRs are usually used by professionals because they’re easier to work with. Miniature XLRs are smaller than standard XLRs.

XLRs are made up of three parts: the male connector, the female connector, and the wire inside. When connecting these components together, you need to pay attention to polarity.

For instance, when connecting a male connector to a female connector, you always need to connect the positive terminal first. Next, you need to connect the negative terminal last.

When connecting the wires inside the connectors, you need to pay close attention to which end goes where. You should never cross over the ends of the wires.

The most common type of cable is called a balanced cable. Balanced cables have four conductors instead of the usual three. A balanced cable allows you to get better sound quality.

Conclusion

Normally, you would use an XLR to transmit a mono signal as opposed to a stereo signal.  This is because XLR cables are designed to transmit a balanced signal, which consists of a single audio signal which is then duplicated with reverse polarity. 

Thanks to this ingenious design, XLR cables are less susceptible to noise and interference from electromagnetic signals.

Line Out Vs Speaker Out: What’s The Difference? Explained!

Line Out Vs Speaker Out: What’s The Difference

When it comes to working with audio gear, a lot of different terms can get thrown around without anyone ever really explaining them to you.

Sometimes, it can be a bit embarrassing to ask others for an explanation – after all, you don’t want to come across as a newbie when working with professional audio equipment.

Line Out Vs Speaker Out: What’s The Difference

So if you want to save face but still need some further explanation about certain audio related terms, then we have got you covered.

Two terms that are often used when working with audio are ‘line out’ and ‘speaker out’.

If you are not sure what these two terms mean or what they refer to, then keep on reading as we dive into the definitions of these two terms but we will be comparing their similarities and differences.

So save face and take a look below for all the information you need when it comes to line out and speaker out in audio.

What Does ‘Line Out’ Mean In Audio?

The term ‘line out’ refers to the audio output port that is used to transfer line level audio signals. This is usually done from one audio device to another.

It’s basically the opposite of a ‘line in’ which is when the audio port on audio devices receives line level input instead of sending it out.

Line level signals are the standard audio level that is used to transmit audio signals from one audio device to another without losing signal.

Line level signals are the standard output signal from lots of different electrical instruments like keyboards and synths, digital pianos, and even devices like amp and preamps.

Only line out outputs like these instruments and devices are capable of putting out line-level audio signals. These line level audio signals are output to other devices for further processing.

Line out is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘audio out’ which is why there is often a lot of confusion around these terms.

Because someone may refer to the same thing with different terms, it’s no surprise some people may mix these things up and assume they don’t know what it is.

It could be you already know what line out is, but just call it audio out instead.

What Does ‘Speaker Out’ Mean In Audio?

‘Speaker out’ refers to the port on an audio device where you connect the speakers to.

Speaker out is sometimes used interchangeably with speaker output, but both terms are used often by audio professionals so it’s very important for you to understand what the term means.

So basically, when an audio professional uses the term ‘speaker out’ or ‘speaker output’ they are referring to the port where you plug in the speakers on an audio device.

These speaker outputs are what transmit speaker-level audio signals to the speakers to play sounds and music.

Speaker level signals are audio signals that are amplified to drive speakers.

They are very strong audio signals that supply speakers with voltage to get them to work to their full capacity – but are they the same as line level signals?

Come to think of it, aren’t line out and speaker out both referring to basically the same thing?

Line Out Vs Speaker Out: The Differences

Although they sound very similar to one another on paper, the terms ‘line out’ and ‘speaker out’ both refer to very different things.

Although you can use line out interchangeably with audio out and speaker out with speaker output, that does not mean you can use line out and speaker out to refer to the same thing – because in reality, they have very different meanings.

Line out and speaker out refer to two different ports.

These ports transmit different signals as line outs transmit line level signals and speaker outs transmit speaker level signals.

These are two very different ports that emit very different signals – but that’s not the only difference between line out and speaker out.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two so you can understand both terms in depth and have better knowledge when it comes to working with professional audio equipment and devices.

Audio Output’s Signal Strength

One of the main differences between line outs and speaker outs are the signals they transmit.

As we said earlier, speaker level signals are very strong signals that supply speakers with the voltage to work and emit sound, but line level signals do not feature the same kind of strength because they are not amplified like speaker level signals are.

Line outputs do not come with the same built-in amplifiers that speaker outputs do, so line outputs need to be connected to external devices for amplification.

This will increase the signal strength of line level signals, but line-level signals are known as pre-amplification signals.

This means that audio signals from line outputs are far weaker than speaker output audio signals.

Speaker outputs however are the opposite. They come with built-in amplifiers that strengthen the signal before it is transmitted.

It boosts the signal, making it stronger than line level signals.

For this reason, speaker level signals are known as post-amplification signals because they are amplified before they are transmitted and are the same type of signal as you get from your audio setup after the amplification stage.

So to sum this up, line outputs do not contain built-in amplifiers which makes their line-level signals a lot weaker than speaker level signals because speaker outputs come with built-in amplifiers.

Output Impedance

Impedance can be a big scary word that frightens a lot of new-time audio technicians but it’s really easy to understand.

It affects everything from amplifiers to headphones so it’s definitely something to need to have nailed down to be an audio professional.

Impedance is basically the measurement of resistance to the alternating current presented by an object or device.

It is measured in ohms (often represented in short by the Greek Omega symbol) measures the opposition to the current flow in an alternating current circuit – so when your audio equipment or devices outputs an audio signal, there is a resistance against it that is measured and called output impedance.

Basically, the higher the impedance, the less current flow from the output device. If an output has very high impedance, it will require more power to deliver higher audio levels.

Line outputs have an impedance of between 100-600 ohms depending on your device.

With speaker outputs, the impedance is much lower, measuring at around 2 to 16 ohms.

What this means is that devices using line outs require a lot more power to transmit the same kind of power as speaker outs.

Speaker outs are great for their low impedance while line outs are better designed to deal with high impedance loads, measuring up to 10,000 ohms in some cases.

This is a huge difference between the two outputs that is important for you to remember.

Voltage

Everything runs on power and when it comes to speaker outputs and line outputs, there is a difference in the amount of voltage they use and carry.

Like we said earlier, speaker outputs transmit the stronger signal of speaker level signals, hence why they are called post-amplification signals.

This kind of amplification requires a higher amount of voltage than the weaker line level signals do.

Without the higher voltage, the amplifiers won’t work and the speaker level signal will be weak.

On the other hand, speaker level signals are transmitted through speaker cables and so require less voltage and power.

This means that the audio signals from speaker outputs have a voltage that is far higher than the voltage of audio signals from line outputs.

Speaker outputs usually feature a voltage of 10 volts or even more, once again depending on your equipment and devices.

Line outputs only carry a voltage of 1 volt or a little bit more, sometimes reaching as high as 2 volts.

As you can see, this is a massive difference in power between the two.

Output Signal Purity

As we covered in the voltage and signal strength sections, line outs do not have built in amplifiers like speaker outs do and because of this, they deliver weaker and unpowered signals.

These differences also cause another direct difference between line outs and speaker outs – output signal purity.

Because the audio signals from line outs are unpowered and weak, they do not go through any kind of step-up transformation.

This means that the audio signal delivered through line outputs are very, very pure. This means that they do not have a lot of noise.

On the other hand, speaker outputs transmit amplified audio signals due to their built-in audio amplifiers.

While this makes the amplified audio louder, it also means that you will be able to hear some amount of hissing and distortion.

This can seriously influence the sound quality and make your audio sound less clean and precise.

So, although line outputs produce quieter audio, the audio is far less distorted and much more pure.

What Are Line Outs And Speaker Outs Used For?

What Are Line Outs And Speaker Outs Used For

So now that you know the differences between line outs and speaker outs, you should be able to draw some ideas regarding what each output is used for in audio.

Because a lot of people mistake line outs and speaker outs for the same thing, they also wrongly assume that you can use them for the same devices – however, this is not the case.

Line outs and speaker outs have very specific uses that mean you cannot just plug anything into their outputs.

Just because the slipper fits, doesn’t mean it goes with the outfit – so just because something fits into a port doesn’t mean it should be there.

So, let’s go through some of the devices and equipment you may be tempted to plug into line outs and speaker outs to try them out – and which ones you should definitely not do.

Headphones

If you want to plug your headphones into something, then you should always use the applied headphones out.

Plugging your headphones into a line out is not ideal and could potentially end up damaging your headphones.

This is because line outs do not have enough power to make your headphones work properly.

Plugging headphones into a line out will mean you get very weak and quiet audio through, so it’s basically useless.

Alternatively, speaker outs will provide your headphones with too much power because they use more voltage to power their pre-built amplifiers.

Headphones do not require the same amount of power as speakers do to function properly, so plugging your headphones into a speaker output will end up overpowering your headphones and potentially damaging them.

So – line outs are too weak, speaker outs are too strong. The perfect middle ground is the headphone output.

They are specifically designed to power headphones without damaging them and making sure you have an appropriate volume of audio.

So, always plug your headphones into the supplied headphone jack.

Microphones

Microphones are designed to transmit signals into audio devices, meaning that they need to be plugged into input ports to work and function properly.

Line out and speaker outs are outputs, not inputs. They are designed to send signals out of audio devices, not receive signals from them.

This means that plugging a microphone into an output instead of an input is a very mad idea.

Line outs and speaker outs cannot provide the necessary path for microphone signals to enter into audio devices like amplifiers and mixers – these ports are designed to send out signals, not receive them.

So what happens if you try plugging a microphone into an output instead of an input?

Well – nothing. You will get next to no sound. So save yourself the embarrassment of trying to use a microphone with an output.

Speakers

For a good speaker to work properly, it needs to receive speaker level signals.

This is why speaker outs are ideal for speakers – hence why they are called ‘speaker’ outs. They can provide the correct signal strength needed for speakers to function properly.

Line outs? Not so much.

Line outs transmit very weak audio signals, especially when compared to speaker level signals.

Because of this, line outs cannot give out the kind of power needed for speakers to work using its output.

Trying this method out will end up with little to no sound coming out from your speakers, and you may even end up short circuiting the output circuit.

This is why it’s such a bad idea to mess around with outputs and inputs – you can seriously end up damaging your equipment by trying to cut corners.

So when it comes to speakers, only use a speaker out instead of a line out or disk breaking your equipment.

Conclusion

And that is everything you need to know about line outs and speaker outs.

These terms are thrown around by audio professionals so much that it’s seriously important for you to understand what they mean and what the differences are between them.

This will help prevent you from making some huge mistakes that could end up damaging or breaking important equipment and devices.

So now that you know the difference between line outs and speaker outs, it’s time to get out there and put your knowledge to good use!

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘RCA Vs 3.5mm: What’s The Difference & Which Sounds Better?‘.