XLR Output (Balanced) to TS (Unbalanced) Converters

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

XLR Output (Balanced) to TS (Unbalanced) Converters

Post by obrienw »

I know when going from XLR out (balanced) to TS (unbalanced) for going into laptops, Bluetooth transmitters, etc, you need to use some sort of special converter, but the recommendations seem to fall into two categories:

1. A $20 whip/plug

2. A $80-$150 transformer/box

When do I actually need the 5x more expensive option? It's line-level out, not microphone, if that makes a difference...
obrienw
Posts: 1 Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:04 pm

Re: XLR Output (Balanced) to TS (Unbalanced) Converters

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

The simple plug adapter will work most of the time. If you have problems with that, then go the transformer route!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 31749 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: XLR Output (Balanced) to TS (Unbalanced) Converters

Post by James Perrett »

To add to Hugh's explanation...

The simple cable will probably connect pin 1 and pin 3 together. This isn't a problem with transformer balanced outputs, impedance balanced outputs and certain designs of active balanced outputs. However, some gear with an actively driven pin 3 may not like having pin 3 shorted to pin 1. You may be able to disconnect pin 3 and just use pin 2 for signal and pin 1 as ground but you may also find that you need to send the balanced output to a transformer if pin 1 isn't used as the audio ground reference in the gear with the balanced output.

The best thing to do is to check the manual for the gear with the balanced output to see how the manufacturer recommends connecting it.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 11134 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: XLR Output (Balanced) to TS (Unbalanced) Converters

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

:thumbup::D Thanks James! :clap:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 31749 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 
Post Reply