How to Convert Audio Out From a RCA Jack to 3.5mm

Written by james clark
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Converting an audio signal from an RCA jack to 3.55mm requires an adaptor available at electronics stores. Adapting an RCA jack to 3.5mm, which is also referred to as a mini-plug, may be desirable for using an older audio component with newer equipment such as headphones that commonly use the smaller jack size. Computer sound cards and headphone jacks also use mini-plugs, so it is necessary to use a mini-plug adaptor for these devices when connecting with components such as tape decks and turntables.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electronic audio component with RCA jacks
  • RCA audio cables
  • RCA to mini-plug Y-adaptor for stereo applications
  • Single RCA jack to mini-plug adaptor for mono applications

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  1. 1

    Check the back of the audio component to determine whether there are stereo RCA jacks or a single mono jack. This determines which type of adaptor to use.

  2. 2

    Insert the plugs (or plug) on one end of the RCA cables into the Audio OUT jacks on a component, using the red plug for the right stereo channel and the white plug for the left.

  3. 3

    Connect the plugs on the other end of the RCA cables to the jacks in the Y-adaptor with a 3.5mm mini-plug on the other end, or insert a single RCA mono plug into a metal adaptor with an RCA jack on one end and a 3.5mm plug on the other.

Tips and warnings

  • Adaptors for RCA to 3.5mm are available either with mini-plugs or mini-jacks, depending on the user's requirements. For example, the adaptor should have a 3.5mm jack for use with headphones, but an adaptor with a 3.5mm plug is needed for connecting to a computer sound card.

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