|Don's Home Technology Audio/Video Connecting your PC to your Stereo||Contact|
Connecting your PC to your StereoGet a cable. Lower-priced sound cards generally will have 1/8" mini phone jacks, which require a splitter cable as below: MusicMatch sells a 100' cable with a male 1/8" stereo mini-phone plug on one end and two male RCA plugs on the other end that works well for connecting sound cards to stereo receivers and does not require an adapter.
Better sound cards may have a pair of RCA jacks for the left and right channels. For these you need two cables with RCA jacks on each end.
Connect from the line output on your PC to the Aux, CD or Tape inputs on the back of your Stereo.
There are now ethernet devices with RCA jacks which allow you to stream data over your network to your sterio.
This jack is driven by an extra amplifier to provide power for driving headphones or small non-powered speakers. The higher level may overload other inputs, and the extra amplifier adds distortion to the signal. It may also adjust the bass and treble equalization for headphones instead of speakers.
However, when using the headphone output on a Toshiba Portege and Apple iBook I could set the sound at the maximum volume and leave the volume control on my stereo at the same level I used for FM and the tape deck. Things you can do:
The signal strength of these outputs is most times higher than desired for the input on your computer and their signal strengths depend on the volume control setting for that output.
Connecting to line-in on a laptop
Note also, PC laptop inputs are often only mono, and almost always poor quality (even on very expensive laptops).
For good quality recording on a laptop computer, the most economical way is to use an external USB sound card. (I use the Behringer UCA-202, but there are many other brands that will work just as well).
The Line inputs on MAC's are reported to be of good quality, although MACs have other drawbacks, such as no support for "stereo mix" recording without additional software.