• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Understanding Balanced Audio (video)

MRC01

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
2,811
Likes
3,157
Location
Pacific Northwest
... The convention for interfacing balanced to unbalanced is to leave the (-) balanced output floating and just route shield and (+) output to the RCA ground and (+) input respectively. ... Opinions vary a bit on how to connect a single-ended output to a balanced input and it somewhat depends upon the circuit configuration of the balanced input. You connect RCA (+) to balanced input (+), then decide whether to connect RCA (-, ground) to the balanced (-) input, shield, or both.
Thank you for responding Don! I hadn't thought on using an adapter ...
That works, but you may get elevated noise or distortion, as balanced signal paths rely on differential signalling to reject common mode junk, so may have worse performance when only 1 signal pin is connected. This affects some balanced equipment more than others, depending on how they're designed. Example: the Schiit Magnius.
 

Xii-Nyth

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Messages
68
Likes
13
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Question, which I believe it was addressed slightly. Are TRS connection / plugs (like form a mixer or pre-amp) balanced?
aren't those the optical ones that look like rca? so they are digital? or am thinking of something else entirely

if they are those ones I guess technically not since its a single reference ground, but as long as it has a tolerance of 49% (or ~33% to avoid a floating range) it would be able to tell whats a 1 or 0 so it doesn't matter

in a perfect world any load device could just have any converters and amps built in and we just transfer all data over wifi instead of a cable, anyone who tells you there is signal interference is pretty much not telling the truth since its not like our devices constantly get sent incorrect bits over wifi since that would cause them to crash or make errors all the time

only problem is then you can't (easily) reuse the same hardware, and it would add weight to the devices. but theoretically there will one day be a perfect headphone so you will only need to buy something once, and the fully integrated components and circuitry could theoretically less dense than air.

Going further people would just have direct digital to neuron converters in the heads and I highly doubt there will be people claiming it sounds better when they plug into a wall with their \|7 2200000 [Gen 8 quantum currency] AudioQuest III synthetic carbon-plasma cables (carbon shielding at absolute 0, wiring at 3000 C, achieved with differential energy technology to block out noise) inspired by human mythology

if you see one of the guys just use scissors on his cable
 

DonH56

Master Contributor
Technical Expert
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
6,957
Likes
13,747
Location
Monument, CO
TRS = tip-ring-sleeve and are used for many purposes, including sending stereo signals to headphones, balanced signals to other components, and effects loops in mixers and pro signal processing units. They are not optical. They are often used in place of XLRs to save space and for quick connections (not locking).

From a quick search (I use Sweetwater a lot so it came up first in my search): https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/whats-the-difference-between-ts-and-trs-cables/
 
Last edited:

Xii-Nyth

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Messages
68
Likes
13
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
TRS = tip-ring-send and are used for many purposes, including sending stereo signals to headphones, balanced signals to other components, and effects loops in mixers and pro signal processing units. They are not optical. They are often used in place of XLRs to save space and for quick connections (not locking).

From a quick search (I use Sweetwater a lot so it came up first in my search): https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/whats-the-difference-between-ts-and-trs-cables/
oh haha, never considered those had a name!
 

JP

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,481
Location
Brookfield, CT
Have always seen it called tip, ring, sleeve.
 

DonH56

Master Contributor
Technical Expert
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
6,957
Likes
13,747
Location
Monument, CO
Have always seen it called tip, ring, sleeve.

"Sleeve" yes, that is the usual nomenclature, sorry. Had a mixing console on my mind so "send" crept in. Corrected.
 
Top Bottom