Saturday, May 31, 2008

sound card color jacks

clipped from
Sound card connectors - example
Lime GreenLine-Out, Front Speakers, Headphones
Light BlueStereo Line In
OrangeSubwoofer and Center out
BlackRear Surround Speakers for 5.1 and 7.1 systems
GreyMiddle Surround Speakers for 7.1 systems
GoldMidi / Game port(Joystick)
 blog it

1 comment:

The Booz said...

Unfortunately there’s no industry standard for soundcard sockets and some manufacturers use proprietary colour schemes to match the colours of plugs and sockets for idiot-proof installation. Nevertheless there are some loose conventions, and as you have pointed out blue is usually stereo line input, pink is for the microphone and green is for stereo line out, headphones or powered speakers.

Things start to get a bit more complicated on soundcards and motherboard adaptors that have multi-channel ‘5.1’ and ‘7.1’ surround sound capabilities and SPDIF digital outputs. Again, don’t take this as gospel but the orange socket normally carries the mono centre-front and sub-woofer outputs, the rear stereo channel socket is generally black and on 7.1 channel card there should be a grey socket for the mid surround speaker channels.

However, don’t just rely on the colours, most soundcards and motherboards also have a little symbol stamped into the metal next to the case, or some sort of label, so double check before you plug anything in.

By the way, 5.1 and 7.1 refer to the number of channels in a surround system. In a 5.1 channel system there are the normal right and left stereo channels, two rear surround channels, a high quality centre front dialogue channel, and the narrow bandwidth sub-woofer channel, which carries only low frequency sounds and effects (it’s the .1 channel). In a 7.1 channel system there’s an additional pair of speakers placed mid-way between the front stereo and rear surround speakers. And in case you were wondering, SPDIF or Sony Philips Digital Interconnection Format is an optical (infrared) connection system that carries digitally encoded and compressed multi-channel sound between decoders and multi-channel amplifiers over a fibre-optic cable.