Audio connectors

Audio connectors come in a wide range of styles here are a few common ones

RCA Connector

RCA ConnectorsAnyone who has hooked up a VCR in the past 25 years knows what this  looks like. One pin (usually colour-coded as to its intended use) with a metal ring around it, itís definitely a staple for consumer electronics connections.

The RCA Connector was originally manufactured by the RCA corporation for phonograph connections and is sometimes referred to as a phono plugÄĚ. It can be used to carry a lot of different signals including a  power signal, but is most commonly found on consumer electronics in the  form of a composite and component connection. Red is the right channel, White or black is the left one and yellow is the video channel

XLR

XLR ConnectorsContrary to what it might seem like, XLR is not exclusively an audio connector. It is actually an electrical connector, and it has a lot of variants besides the classic three pin XLR3 commonly used for audio connections.

 

 

 

TRS Connectors

TRS ConnectorsI bet you have a TRS connector in your bedroom or house, and you donít even know it. Thatís because TRS connectors are really common, but are rarely referred to as TRS connectors. If you have headphones they probably have a 1/8Ē TRS connector, commonly known as mini-jack. If you play guitar, itís probably connected to your amp by a 1/4Ē TRS connector. They are all  around us.

TRS stands for Tip, Ring, Sleeve, and the lines are the insulation between elements. The tip is the...Ķ tip. The sleeve is the sleeve usually at the bottom. TRS.

If you have ever touched a live guitar cord connected to a mic, you  know that the different parts of the connector (the tip, the ring, and the sleeves), do different things, because if you touch the tip, you get noise out of the amp, and you donít with the rest of the plug.  Basically, the different parts of the plug carry different parts of the signal based on which signal itís carrying. For instance, if we are  using it to carry a stereo signal, the tip is the right channel, the ring is the left channel, and the sleeve is the ground (the sleeve is  almost always the ground).

Handy side note: Since TRS connectors can carry a balanced signal, they can be interchanged with XLR (no phantom power, however).  You might, as a result, see some XLR jacks with a hole in the middle for a 1/4Ē TRS connector. Choices!

Speakon

Speakon connectorThese are used to connect an amplifier to speakers. These cable connectors are usually used  almost exclusively to connect to high end professional speakers from sound systems.

 

 

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