• Connections to balanced and un-balanced inputs. XLR, 1/4", phono

    The illustrations below show the connection between balanced and un-balanced outputs on different connector types (XLR / Cannon, 14", phono/RCA/cinch) to balanced inputs on XLR and 1/4" connectors.

    We are assuming that XLR pin 2 is positive and that the tip of the 1/4" plug is also positive. Check that your devices are not wired differently. 1/4" three-contact connectors are often referred to as TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve), as opposed to two-contact TS (Tip-Sleeve) connectors.

    Balanced to balanced

    In case of hum when connecting balanced outputs to balanced inputs, it is common practice to lift (disconnect) the shield (ground) at the input connector.

    Balanced XLR to balanced XLR

    Balanced XLR to balanced 1/4"

    Balanced 1/4" to balanced 1/4"

    Balanced 1/4" to balanced XLR

    Unbalanced to balanced

    In general, to connect an unbalanced source to a balanced input, two of the cable conductors are joined (negative/cold and sleeve).

    Unbalanced XLR to balanced XLR

    Unbalanced XLR to balanced 1/4"

    Unbalanced 1/4" to balanced XLR

    Unbalanced 1/4" to balanced 1/4"

    RCA to balanced XLR

    RCA to balanced 1/4"

    Related »» In-Depth Balanced and unbalanced connections