Audiophiles, or audio lovers, often maintain different equipment in their homes or offices. These include audio players, amplifiers, speakers, and all sorts of wires that connect these gadgets. For the regular person, though, one would often be concerned about simple things like connecting the iPod to the speaker, or connecting the DVD player to the component system.
Sometimes buying audio adapters can be confusing, especially if you don’t know the first thing about wires. If you need to connect one gadget with another, here’s a short guide.
Color coding. Most audio and video cables are color coded. The most common audio interface used, for instance, is RCA, which is an analog jack. The white plug is for the left channel, while the red plug is for the right channel. Oftentimes, this comes with a yellow plug, which is for analog video. When you are buying a cable that connects to devices, be sure that you have the right input and output source. When connecting your iPod to your component system, for instance, you would need a jack with a 3.5 mm stereo plug on one end, which is split into two RCA jacks (left and right) on the other end.
Length. Most of the time, you would only need to connect your audio devices through a short distance. For instance, you have a stackable component system, and you would be adding one device on top of the rest. For this purpose, a cable less than one meter (about three feet) in length would be appropriate. However, you might need to connect your audio system with another device, such as a DVD player or a home theater system situated somewhere under your television set. You might need a longer cable. Be sure to take measurements before you visit the hardware or electronics store, and that you leave a few feet allowance. Remember, though, that the longer the cables, the bigger the loss in signal, so be sure to measure just right.
Cable quality. Most audiophiles would go for expensive and well-known brand of audio adapters. The reason for this is that the material used in the cable might not necessarily be the same across brands. Some generic cables use lower-quality copper wires. Expensive brands might use better materials. The joints and end terminals on better brands are also often more durable, and these will result in less wear and tear down the road.
Bring your equipment. When in doubt, the best practice when buying audio adapters is to bring your equipment to the store. This way, the hardware or electronics store’s manager or sales associate can help you choose a compatible cable, and you would only have to choose depending on your brand and price preference. This can also save you trips to the store, in case you end up choosing the wrong type of cable. Remember that when you test different adapters, try to listen for any differences in the sound quality. If you don’t really hear the difference, then you might be satisfied with a cheaper brand.
Audio plugs come in different shapes and sizes. Thus, before buying an adapter for one or more gadgets, it pays to know a bit about audio adapters, their uses, and their differences.