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Install Speakers in the Home Studio Video

This article quickly shares how to setup music studio speakers. These special studio speakers are called reference monitor speakers.

Also, this video is from my Music Studio Reassemble Series.

The speakers shown in the video are:

How to Install Reference Monitor Speakers

The process to install music studio speakers is really easy..

  • Use a Balanced 1/4″ TRS Cable (or XLR Cable)
  • Plug Balanced Audio Cable into Audio Interface
  • Plug in AC Power to Speaker
  • Turn on Speaker
  • Listen to Music!

But.. let’s slow down so you understand the full concept of setting up studio speakers for music production.

Active or Passive Speakers?

Do you have active monitors or passive monitors for your studio?

If you’re just starting out, you probably have ACTIVE SPEAKERS.

Yamaha HS80m Speaker Back
The back of a reference monitor speaker which is ACTIVE!
Notice the metal heat fins on the left of the speaker to cool the amplifier!
Passive speakers to do not have these fins!

An active speaker means the speaker has an amplifier built-in.

Active speakers are the best way to go when starting out as it’s the most affordable, and easiest to setup!

Simply plug the speaker into a wall outlet with its provided power cable, then connect your balanced audio cable (which isn’t provided).

You can learn what audio cables to buy for reference monitors.

Types of Audio Cables

Plugging in AC Power to reference monitor speakers is simple..

But do you know what audio cable to use for music studio monitors?

TRS 1/4" Balanced Audio Cables for Connecting to Speakers or Outboard Equipment
TRS 1/4″ Audio Cables are the most common balanced cable to plug in studio speakers to a reference monitor speaker

There’s balanced, unbalanced, RCA, TRS, TS, 1/4″, XLR..

If that confuses you, read What is an Audio Interface, which talks about how audio interfaces and studio speakers work together.

In short, you want to use Balanced Audio Cables from your speakers to your audio interface.

These balanced cables are either 1/4″ TRS (not TS), or XLR.

XLR Balanced Cables for connecting to microphones, reference monitor speakers, or outboard audio equipment.
XLR Cables are a stronger connection than 1/4″ TRS (not better audio quality), but it’s hard to find audio interfaces with an XLR output. Both XLR and TRS are balanced, and are great for audio cables to reference monitor speakers.

Recap: Setting Up Music Studio Speakers

Speakers require two types of audio cables:

  • Power Cable
  • Audio Cable

Most speakers are active, so you simply just plug power cord into the wall outlet, then connect power to the speaker.

Passive speakers require a separate amplifier, and the audio cables start changing with the use of banana clips!

And for your actual audio cables, we typically use 1/4″ TRS cables. If your audio interface allows for it, sometimes we use XLR as well.

For more information, view What are Reference Monitor Speakers.

Also, you can continue watching this Music Studio Reassemble Series.