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How to Connect DJ Equipment to Speakers

DJ Equipment

There’s no denying that building your DJ setup can seem impossible, especially if it’s your first time. Not only do you have to purchase the right equipment, but you also have to make sure that it works properly. Besides, everything becomes even harder when it comes to connecting your DJ equipment to your speakers. From connection types to compatibility, there are a lot of things you need to remember in the setting up process. And since we know how overwhelming it can become, we are here to help you connect your DJ equipment to speakers.

Audio Cables

Before you begin connecting your equipment, you will need to purchase some audio cables. And while some devices come with their own cables, they might not have the outputs or inputs you need.

To find out what cables you need, all you have to do is take a look at the ports of your DJ equipment. Usually, DJ equipment can have one of three types of outputs, such as XLR, RCA, and jack. However, some professional DJ gear has at least two XLR, RCA, and jack ports, meaning that you can use either of them.

Once that’s done, take a look at your speakers and see what cables and connections they use. Generally speaking, speakers use 1/4 inch male jack connectors, with some more expensive products having dedicated XLR inputs.

Nevertheless, you will have to purchase RCA to jack or similar audio cables, depending on the ports of your DJ equipment. Additionally, most DJ gear has stereo outputs, meaning that their RCA ports come in pairs of two, one for the left and the other for the right channel. Therefore, you may need a split RCA cable that outputs to a single female 1/4 inch jack.

Furthermore, if you have a few audio cables that lack the necessary connectors, you can always purchase jack adaptors. Just remember that the more connectors and adaptors you add, the more interference your audio will have.

Unbalanced vs. Balanced

If your device has multiple outputs and channels, you need to decide which of them to use. Going for an XLR connection will create a balanced system, while an RCA connection is considered to be unbalanced.

Unbalanced

As previously mentioned, an unbalanced connection happens when you connect your speakers to the DJ equipment using RCA cables. Since RCA cables only use two wires for sound signals, there is no grounding. As a result, RCA cables also carry electrical noise besides the sound, all the way to your speakers. In other words, you might lose some of the original sound quality depending on the cable’s length.

Balanced

XLR cables contain three wires, with one of them dedicated to grounding and the rest to sounding. The ground wire acts as a shield, protecting the sound from electrical interference. Not only that, but XLR cables also reverse signal polarity, eliminating almost all the noise on the line.

Connecting Everything Together

Once you decide on a type of connecting, you need to use the appropriate cables and connect your devices. As a rule of thumb, always start by connecting the cables to the output port of your DJ equipment. Then, you can safely plug in the speakers in the female jack port of your cable or adapter. Afterward, turn on your gear, starting with the mixer or controller and then the speakers. If everything is set up correctly, you will be able to change the volume of your speakers using the equipment’s channel settings.

Final Thoughts

Overall, setting up your first DJ equipment build can be a daunting task, especially if you have little to no experience. From output ports to connection types, there are a few things you need to know before installing your gear. However, with a bit of patience and care, you too can learn how to connect DJ equipment to speakers.


More on this topic:

A Guide to Splitting Audio Tracks

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