In past articles, I have covered the advantages of balanced audio connections. I have even covered the differences between the three types of achieving balanced audio connections, and how the VXLR+ does it using the third and least known type: impedance balance. In fact, soon I’ll be reviewing the just-released VXLR Pro, which does the balancing via a transformer. However, in this short article, I am going to cover how to connect the balanced line output of the RØDECaster Pro to unbalanced audio monitors (i.e. powered speakers) which have unbalanced RCA inputs. In this case, I am illustrating how I did it with a classic Panasonic boombox from the 1980s which I still own and use, as you’ll see in the photo.
The line outputs of the RØDECaster Pro are balanced via a pair of 1/4” TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) jacks.
For more information, see my 2015 article called TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic, illustrated above.
The balanced line output is indeed ideal if the cable needs to go a long way, especially if the connected device also offers balanced connections. However, if the device is very close (in my case, it’s right behind and above the RØDECaster Pro) and does not offer a balanced input (which could be TRS, XLR or even a terminal strip), we need to do it another way. Some of you might be tempted to do it with a cable that goes from TS (tip, sleeve) to RCA, as illustrated below:
However the cable shown above is not ideal or recommended in this case, for two reasons:
- The sleeve of the TS plug would short the Ring conductor of the TRS jack on the RØDECaster Pro to the Sleeve (ground).
- The total output would be quite low.
Ideally, we would want cables that go from male TRS (balanced) 1/4” to male RCA, properly wired to make the Tip and Ring go to the pin of the RCA plug, and the Sleeve of the TRS (balanced) 1/4” to the ground of the RCA. However, I haven’t found that configuration available off-the-shelf. Of course, you could make one yourself, if you are adept at soldering, have the tools and want to invest the time. However, if that is not the case, you may instead want to combine other adapters that are commonly available off-the-shelf.
First, you’ll want to get two (2) solid adapters that go from male TRS (balanced) 1/4” to male XLR, as shown below:
Two of those plugged into the back of the RØDECaster Pro, and it’s as if RØDE had made the wonderful device with a pair of male XLR line outputs.
Then, you’ll want to get a stereo cable that goes from dual female XLR to dual male RCA, as shown below:
I love the modern tech and quality (with 48 kHz exclusivity) in the RØDECaster Pro, as I have covered in many past articles. I also love the classic design and sound of my 1980s boombox you saw in the main photo. If you have such a boombox (or would like to purchase one at a tag sale or via eBay), this information may be helpful to you.
Past and future RØDECaster Pro articles
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