Various audio cables are suitable for various purposes. They support different equipment at a range of prices and levels of quality. While connecting to an audio interface, you must always make sure that you are connecting the input jacks to the proper interface. This section gives you a detail on analogue and digital audio cables and interfaces.


The sound card jacks are known as 1/8″ (3.5mm) or stereo minijacks because of their miniature size. A six-jack setup with 8-channel audio is displayed in the picture, which is also referred to as 7.1 surround sound. Here, 7 depicts the seven full-bandwidth channels and 1 depicts the single low-frequency effects (LFE) channel attached to the subwoofer.

The recent systems use PC Design Guide PC 2001 colour coding to avoid confusion between the audio jacks. This colour coding is listed as follows:

  • Blue — Line in
  • Green — Stereo/headphone out
  • Pink — Microphone in
  • Orange — Subwoofer
  • Black — Rear stereo output
  • Grey — Side stereo output

Every full-bandwidth channel is shown by its own speaker. In case of 1:1 channel-to-speaker scenario, the eight speakers in the 8-channel system are usually located at the same distance from the listener.

The software can record and play back audio content by using these interfaces. These jacks are not distinct in their physical appearance but they are uniquely addressable. For example, some motherboards do not support black and orange jacks but provide surround sound. Then, the blue jack is used for both line-in and rear surround and the pink jack is used for both microphone and centre/subwoofer.



To receive digital output from a DVD or Blu-ray, digital audio is required. The HDMI carries both the digital video and audio, but in some cases when the HDMI ports are not available then the SPDIF digital output can be used.

Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format (SPDIF) can be used for both analogue audio and digital audio. The SPDIF ports come in two forms: optical and coaxial. They transfer the digital audio signals to amplifiers used in home theatre systems. In Optical SPDIF , fiber-optic cable is used and in coaxial SPDIF a shielded cable with an RCA connector is used.

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