Audio and video connector

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RCA connectors are commonly used for home stereo & video equipment.

Audio connectors and video connectors are electrical connectors (or optical connectors) for carrying audio signal and video signal, of either analog or digital format. Analog A/V connectors often use shielded cables to inhibit radio frequency interference (RFI) and noise.

Audio only[edit]

Audio connectors are electrical connectors designed and used for audio frequencies. They can be analog or digital. Common audio connectors include:

  • Multi-conductor connectors:
    • DB25 is for multi-track recording and other multi-channel audio, analog or digital
    • DIN connectors and mini-DIN connectors
    • Euroblock "European-style terminal block" or "Phoenix connectors", screw terminal connectors used for audio and control signals
    • RCA connectors, also known as phono connectors or phono plugs, used for analog or digital audio or analog video
    • Speakon connectors by Neutrik for loudspeakers
    • Phone connector also known as tip-ring-sleeve (TRS) or tip-sleeve plug, phone plug, jack plug, mini-jack, and mini-stereo. This includes the original 6.35mm (quarter inch) jack and the more recent and standard 3.5mm (miniature or 1/8 inch) and 2.5mm (subminiature) jacks, both mono and stereo (balanced) versions.[1]
    • XLR connectors, also known as Cannon plugs, used for analog or digital balanced audio with a balanced line

Color codes[edit]

white RCA/TS analogue audio, left channel;
also mono (RCA/TS), stereo (TRS only),
or undefined/other
black RCA/TS/TRS
red RCA/TS analogue audio, right channel
orange RCA SPDIF digital audio

For computers:

green TRS 3.5mm stereo output, front channels
black TRS 3.5mm stereo output, rear channels
grey TRS 3.5mm stereo output, side channels
gold TRS 3.5mm dual output, center and subwoofer
blue TRS 3.5mm stereo input, line level
pink TRS† 3.5mm mono microphone input

† Although the mic input is usually mono, the input is still a TRS phone socket. Many mono 'computer' mics are fitted with TRS plugs.

There are exceptions to the above:

  • Hosa cables use grey and orange for left and right analogue channels.
  • RadioShack cables sometimes use grey and black for left and right.
  • Older sound cards had non-standard colour codes until after PC99, prior to that there were no colours at all.

Video only[edit]

Video connectors carry only video signals. Common video-only connectors include:

Color codes[edit]

yellow RCA/BNC composite video
red RCA/BNC red or Pr/Cr chrominance
green RCA/BNC green or luminance
blue RCA/BNC blue or Pb/Cb chrominance
white BNC horizontal sync
black BNC vertical sync

Multiple signals[edit]

Some connectors can carry both audio and video signals simultaneously:

Other composite connectors that carry video, audio, power, and USB:

See also[edit]


Audio and Video Connector