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!

4 Answers

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  • L
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Best Answer

    We don't know why you want to do this.

    The Alto TS315 is a powered 2 way speaker.

    The *best* way to do what you want is to get an audio mixer. You will also need a 3.5mm (computer headphones-out) y-connector to 2 RCA male (left/right). The length of this cable will depend on the distance you need between the computer and the mixer. You will also need a XLR mic cable - the length of the cable depends on the distance needed between the mixer and the powered speaker. Consider mounting the speaker to a speaker tree for "better audio" under many conditions.

    Why I think this is best:

    The mixer will provide a good amount of control for various settings including low/mid/high EQ, panning to mono audio (rather than using a cable), future additions (another powered speaker to allow stereo, microphone, other audio inputs - smartphone/MP3 player, add a subwoofer, etc.) will be lots easier.

    Suggested audio mixer:

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer/Xenyx-Q802U...

    If you get something like this mixer, then connect the 3.5mm-two RCA (computer to mixer to the "2-Track L/R inputs". The "Main Out" cable will be a 1/4" TRS to either 1/4" TRS or XLR for the mixer to powered speaker connection.

    You can also connect the mixer to the computer using USB (on the back). I use an Alesis USB audio mixer... It includes some built-in audio effects.

    The combo XLR output on the Alto allows connecting another powered speaker...

    Addressing your concerns directly - though I don't think the is the "best" method, it certainly is the least expensive:

    "- 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?"

    *** Yes. Headphones out (stereo 3.5mm male unbalanced) of the computer to y-cable left/right 1/4" like

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Pig-Hog/Soliutions-St...

    The "left/right" sides will plug into the two XLR/1/4" combo inputs on the back of the TS315. Be sure the levels on the back of the TS315 are the same.

    "- 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?

    *** See above... if you go with the mixer option, the mixer takes care of the balanced connection between the Mains Out and the speaker XLR inputs.

    • Robert J
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Especially not when the speaker/amp combo already has a built-in mixer!

  • 1 month ago

    Use a mono adapter.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Line-out from the motherboard/soundcard to line- in of the powered speaker. If it's not a powered speaker, line-in of the speaker's amplifier.

    Laptops do not have line-out, only for headphones but it will be stereo. Sound may be too loud but you should be able to turn it down with the speaker controls on the OS. As for the stereo part, don't worry. Most powered speakers accept stereo input anyway without problems.

    You might have a laptop with just one port for headphones and mic. If that is the case, just try connecting it anyway. It should work if there is no actual mic using the mic wires. If you run into problems, try muting the mic on the laptop. If that still does not work, you'll need to customize a wire that correctly connects the sound output from the laptop to the sound input of the speaker/amp.

    If your cable is both 3.5mm on both ends, you can get a 3.5mm-1/4" adapter from any electronics depot.

  • Me2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The line-in jack is useless in this instance, as it's an input and you need an output.

    Obtain a stereo-to-mono adapter with a 3.5mm stereo plug and a 6.35mm (1/4 inch) jack.  You may use a combination of adapters for this functionality, such as a 3.5mm stereo plug with RCA jacks or plugs, with a Y-adapter using a pair of RCA connectors and one 1/4 inch mono jack (or plug, plus a 1/4 in. F-to-F adapter).

    Plug the adapter into the computer's line-out or headphone jack.  Connect the adapter to the speaker using a high-quality cable with 1/4 in. plugs.

    CAUTION:  The tweeters in the TS315 are not robust.  Don't drive the speaker to distortion or boost the treble more than about 3dB.

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