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How do I connect my PC to only (1) PA Speaker?
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

How do I connect my PC to only (1) PA Speaker?

Hello! I'll be connecting my PC to only (1) PA Speaker for a Halloween party coming up soon.

The motherboard I'm using is the ASRock B350 Pro4 and its integrated soundcard allows for a Realtek ALC892 HD Audio Line-In 3.5mm jack connection on the rear panel. The PA Speaker that I'm about to buy will be the Alto TS315 which allows for (2) XLR/TRS 1/4” Combo Inputs and an XLR Link Output. I'm not sure if the 3.5mm jack on my PC is a balanced or an unbalanced connection, although I'm assuming that it's an unbalanced connection as most generic laptops come with unbalanced connectors from what I've read around the web.

My main concerns are:

- Is it possible to connect my current PC setup to only (1) of those PA Speakers and if so, how would I go about doing this in a way that would provide me with the best audio quality/performance?

- I think the audio signal from my PC has to be converted from stereo to mono and if so, would there be a particular adaptor/convertor that I would need to be using, especially considering that the connection seems to have to go from unbalanced to balanced?

If anyone could shed some light on me with this situation I'll be dealing with in the near future, that would be highly appreciated! Thanks so much!
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

I'd use a 3.5mm stereo to a pair of 1/4" unbalanced connector cable, and connect the two 1/4" plugs to the two 1/4" combo inputs on the speaker. Don't worry about unbalanced vs. balanced in this case; plugging in a TS plug to the balanced connection will work just fine. This would give you a mix of the left and right channels, controllable by twiddling the two volume controls. You of course could use only the left or only the right channel by not plugging the other into the speaker. (Obviously, it's impossible to get stereo sound out of a single speaker.)

Note that you need to connect the audio output of the computer to the speaker, not the audio input. I'm assuming that's also a 3.5mm jack, maybe labeled as a headphone jack. Connecting the two inputs together shouldn't harm anything, but it also definitely won't do anything useful.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Richard Crowley's Avatar
I agree with @ DrewE that for casual use, simply plugging the "Left" and "Right" into the Inputs #1 and #2 won't hurt anything and will probably work OK. It isn't the "proper" way to do it, but it will make no significant difference for your use-case.

NOTE HOWEVER, that the audio inputs and outputs from computers can often create bad ground-loops when connected to external audio gear. I would certainly have an isolation transformer gadget at hand in case you run into ground-loop problems which are often show-stopping severe.

The little computer isolation transformers are pretty small and inexpensive and available from Amazon, et/al. And indispensible, IMHO. Here is an example:
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