Though regular speakers and studio monitors look pretty similar, studio monitors provide a step up from standard speakers.
You can opt for regular speakers if you only plan to use them for playback.
On the other hand, the studio monitor is the best option if you plan on developing and producing music in a professional setting.
That includes audio mixing, mastering, editing, or anything that requires critical listening.
With that said, equipping studio monitors is not too different from how you do standalone speakers.
To help you maximize this experience, we’ll teach you the best way to connect studio monitors to computers.
All the methods we’ll discuss are perfect for those with minimal and ample knowledge of technology.
Four Methods To Connect Studio Monitors To Computer
As difficult as it may sound, connecting your studio monitors to your desktop, laptop, and even your mobile phone isn’t that hard to do.
That is as long as you have the right knowledge of cables, ports (inputs and outputs), and your studio monitor and device.
That said, here are the most recommended ways to have a safe and secure studio monitor and computer connection:
Method #1: Use an Audio Interface
Among other techniques, this is common and popular because of the upgrade in sound quality it brings.
Compared to a regular sound card, an audio interface provides superior performance and professional connection options.
It has one or more input channels for connecting external devices, not just speakers or studio monitors but also a synthesizer, guitar, microphone, and more.
Hence, you can connect this using an XLR, RCA, or a ¼” jack cable.
Method #2: Via the HDMI or Display Port
Like any other process, checking the compatibility of your monitor and computer comes first.
You can do this by connecting the studio monitor to it.
Once you confirm compatibility, you can use an HDMI or a display port cable to connect them.
If this, by any chance, doesn’t allow you to connect, you can move to another alternative.
Method #3: Using a DVI or VGA Cable
As mentioned, if your unit is incompatible with the HDMI or the display port cable, this option is the way to go.
However, it requires the use of a 3.5-millimeter audio wire.
Fortunately, this wire can also work if you are unsure of your monitor’s ability to support an HDMI or display port cable signal.
With that out of the way, here are the steps that you need to take when using a DVI or VGA cable to connect studio monitors to computers:
Step #1: Connect the Cable To Your Computer
It is always a good way to start with the DVI cable because this gives a better resolution than the VGA.
It is safe to say that apart from a display cable and HDMI, the DVI gives a high-quality signal.
Step #2: Adjust Computer Settings
Now that you have them connected to your computer, it’s time to check and adjust your monitor settings.
Plug your studio monitor into a power source and switch it on. At this point, you should have a visual of your computer’s signal.
Next, input the necessary information to sign in and head to the “Screen Resolution” settings.
The best way to go is to select the “Recommended” resolution.
Step #3: Check for Successful Connection
After making this adjustment, look for the audio icon in your taskbar, and then right-click the icon and choose “Playback Devices.”
This step will confirm whether your connection is successful or not.
As soon as you click this option, you should visualize your monitor’s name if you connected using the HDMI or display port.
On the other hand, if you used a 3.5mm port via a DVI or VGA, you should be able to see it in the “Speakers” section.
Step #4: Enable Devices
The next thing you should do is look for your monitor’s name and click “Enable.”
This step is essential to ensure the studio monitor gains access to your computer.
There will be times when you’d see your monitor’s name but grayed out.
Once you have it enabled, you can click the “Set to Default” option to ensure your studio monitors are selected automatically.
Step #5: Perform a Test Run
After working on the settings, you can then do a quick test.
In the settings portion, you will find the “Configure” option. Click on it and then choose “Test.”
After doing these steps, you can now close the dialog box and wait for the process to complete.
Should this not work, you can repeat the process from start to finish.
Method #4: Via the Headphone Port
Another candidate for the best way to connect studio monitors to computers is via your device’s headphone port.
If you want to take this route you need to check your studio monitor’s available input, and then follow these steps:
Step #1: Check the Ports
You can go ahead and use an XLR speaker cable if your studio monitor has an XLR port.
On the other hand, you would need to find a cable capable of splitting your computer’s 3.5-millimeter headphone output into two if your studio monitor only has a 14-inch jack input.
On the other hand, you need to find a cable with a 3.5-millimeter headphone output end, but the other end matches the port your studio monitor has.
This cable should also have a split design to connect two studio monitors to your computer.
Make sure to find one with a far-enough Y split so that you can place your studio monitors on each side of your computer screen.
If you have both connectors joined, you can accommodate the gap by slightly pulling it apart.
Step #2: Connect the Devices Using the Cable
Once you have the right cable, connect the right cable ends to your computer and studio monitors.
Here are several available methods for you:
- Using a ⅛ ″ to RCA Cable
This method is common for entry-level studio monitors with RCA inputs.
For this method, you need a ⅛” stereo jack to get the stereo output from the computer’s headphone jack. It will convert the jack to an RCA port.
You can do this by simply plugging the ⅛” stereo jack into the studio monitor.
Always remember to place the red connector to the right channel output.
- Using a ⅛” to ¼” Cable
As we mentioned earlier, some entry-level monitors only have RCA inputs, so this method caters to studio monitors that fall on a higher-end.
Similar to the first method, this entails plugging the headphone jack into the computer.
Just remember to plug the black or white ¼” connector to the left speaker and the red ¼” connector to the right.
Then, connect the other end of the cable to your computer’s headphone jack.
Step #3: Turn on the Headphone Output
Navigate through your computer screen’s taskbar, specifically at the bottom right, and look for the small speaker symbol.
Click on it and choose “Enable.”
That’s it! All you’ve to do is test it out.
Best Way To Connect Studio Monitors To Computers: The Verdict
Although the method of choice to connect your studio monitor to your computer will depend on your preference, undoubtedly, the best way is by using an audio interface.
It gives better results or clear, high-quality sound and allows easy modification to your tastes.
An audio interface also enables you to connect instruments and other devices if you want and need to in the future.
Whichever method you opt for, always make sure that the cable is compatible with your studio monitor and computer to ensure quality sound production and prevent damages.