It is advantageous to connect studio monitors to an audio interface. The audio quality is not ideal if you connect the studio monitors directly to the computer.
Because in this case, you need to use a 3.5mm headphone jack. This does not make a reliable and high-end connection.
On the other hand, the audio interface delivers a high-quality sound. However, you should choose the best audio interface for your studio monitors.
Pros of Using Audio Interface
The audio interface ensures the best quality sound. Because an audio interface is responsible for converting microphone and other instrument signals into readable format.
It takes audio signals from the studio monitors and sends them to your computer in a compatible format. It gives you balanced outputs and enhanced sound.
Moreover, it has input options. So, you can connect a microphone, headphones, and other devices to your computer.
An audio interface is equipped with control options. Hence, you can adjust the speaker volume by the control knob on the interface.
How to Choose the Right Cable?
There are many types of audio cables that can be used to connect the studio monitors to the audio interface. Choosing the right cable is puzzling.
However, if you can understand the type of your monitors and interface, you can take a wise decision. First, you need to check which type of connection ports your audio interface possesses.
Next, check your studio monitors and confirm the types of inputs and outputs on them. For example, some devices come only with RCA inputs.
So, you can use just the RCA cable. Similarly, other audio interfaces are equipped with a variety of connections. They are labeled by their name.
Hence, you can recognize the type of connection easily. We will tell you various methods. Choose according to your devices.
Balanced vs Unbalanced Cables
You can use two types of audio cables to connect your studio monitors to the audio interface.
Before heading further, you should understand the difference between balanced and unbalanced cables.
The unbalanced cable is also known as TS or Tip and Sleeve. This cable is suitable for transmitting audio signals over 15 feet.
However, it is vulnerable to electronic distortion and radio interference. On the other hand, the balanced cable is known as TRS, Tip, Ring, or Sleeve.
It is capable of delivering better quality audio signals over 600’ cable runs. It is unique because it sends 2 copies of the signal.
The speakers or monitors then process the audio signal and cancel out the noises.
Learn to Connect Studio Monitors to Audio Interface
You can connect studio monitors to the audio interface through multiple methods. Here, we will explain the easy and simple methods.
The first method is to use a ¼” balanced TRS cable. This is one of the most reliable cables for establishing a connection between studio monitors and the audio interface.
It is a simple and quick connection method. Moreover, the audio quality is great. You need to use two TRS cables.
Connect one end of the first cable to the left speaker. Join its other end with the left output on the audio interface.
Now, take another ¼” TRS cable and plug it into the right studio monitor. Connect its other end to the right output on the interface.
Turn ON the volume both on studio monitors and the audio interface. Confirm the connection success by playing sound.
This method uses a balanced ¼” TRS to XLR cable. This type of cable is equipped with a TRS connector on one side and an XLR connector on the other side.
But, this method works only for studio monitors that are equipped with an XLR input. In addition, this cable is not very common. The connection process is as follows;
Plug the XLR connector into the relevant port on your studio monitors. Connect the TRS end of the cable to the audio interface. It also gives a good quality sound just like the TRS cable.
You can also use an unbalanced ¼” TS cable to connect your studio monitors to the audio interface. The immediate advantage of a TS cable is its price.
If you want a budget-friendly cable, choose this one. However, beware of interferences. It is suggested to use a shorter cable and put it away from power bars.
The connection method is straightforward. You just need to connect one end of the TS cable to your studio monitors and the other end to the audio interface.
This method works for the studio monitors that come only with the RCA inputs. Some studio monitors have separate RCA inputs on each speaker.
While others have only one input connecting both speakers. Take an unbalanced ¼” TS to RCA cable. Connect its one end to the ¼” outputs on the audio interface.
Connect the other end of the cable to the RCA inputs on your studio monitors. This type of connection has its limitations. You may not get perfect and ideal sound quality.
However, you have to choose this cable if your monitors do not have any input other than RCA.
A simple RCA cable is also a good option for making a connection between your studio monitors and the audio interface.
It works for the audio interface that comes only with the RCA outputs. Connect the RCA cable to the outputs on the interface and RCA inputs on studio monitors.
However, you can also use an RCA to ¼” cable to connect to speaker input.
Another way is to use a 1/8” TRS to dual ¼” TS cable. The basic and small audio interfaces come with only a headphone jack output. You can use the mentioned cable with them.
This connection is an unbalanced one. Nevertheless, it can handle high-quality speakers. So, the sound quality is not compromised.
Connect the one end of the cable to the headphone jack on your interface and the other end is connected to the studio monitors.
A 1/8” TRS to dual RCA cable is also a good method to connect your studio monitors to the audio interface.
This connection works in the situation where the audio interface only has a headphone jack and speakers come with RCA inputs only. This situation is rare and the connection is unbalanced.
Once you have connected your studio monitors to the audio interface, it’s time to connect them to the computer.
You can use a ¼” or 1/8” RCA cable to connect your monitors to the computer. Move the volume knob on the audio interface to get the sound.
It is advised to move the knob slightly, increase the volume level gradually. In this way, you can adjust the volume perfectly without any distortion.
This guide has told you about 7 methods of connection. You can use either method for connecting monitors and interfaces.
However, the right choice depends on the type of connection port your audio interface and studio monitors possess.
Always use a high-quality cable to avoid any interference. A balanced connection is more reliable than the unbalanced one.
We will appreciate it if you tell us in the comment section which of the methods you prefer to connect your studio monitors to the audio interface.
I’m Memona Aman, Editor of Speakersmag.com. I am naturally inclined towards modern technical gadgets. I love to research on speakers and soundbars. I write articles on this blog to share my latest knowledge. I am happy to assist you in your search for the best audio devices.