How to Connect Studio Monitors to an Audio Interface?

how to connect studio monitors to an audio interface
How to Connect Studio Monitors to an Audio Interface?

An audio interface and a good pair of studio monitors are the basic requirements of any studio. It sets the ultimate ground for a high-quality recording and professional-grade mix. Therefore, let’s see how you can connect studio monitors to an audio interface as quickly as possible.

These studio gears will allow you to use and analyze different instruments, analog gear, microphones, and other studio equipment.

Therefore, it becomes crucial to make all the connections appropriately.

It will allow the audio to shine through without any noise or distortion.

Related: Setting a Home Recording Studio – A step by step Guide!

Audio interface + studio monitors = Producing awesome Music!

How to Connect Studio Monitors to an Audio Interface?

Audio interface: In simple words, an audio interface is a premium version of a sound card that exhibits extraordinary capabilities in terms of retaining the overall quality and harmonics of an audio signal. It has a circuit and converters that ensure that the sound is recorded in the highest quality without losing any character of the original sound.

An audio interface is an absolute must for any studio, be it a professional or home studio. You can see various inputs and outputs on an audio interface used for recording mics, instruments, and other analog gear. In addition, you will also see two basic types of outputs to connect headphones and studio monitors.

Related: Top 15 Things to know before buying an audio interface!

Connect Studio Monitors to Audio Interface

Studio monitors: Studio monitors are primarily like speakers in what they do but have a much flatter frequency response than regular speakers. This flat frequency response makes a studio monitor desirable for audio mixing where you need to hear the accurate or, in other words, un-coloured audio signal.

The problem with regular speakers is that they add color to the audio signal by boosting specific frequencies. As a result, you may perceive a song as brighter and exciting than it is. 

Also check: Do I need Studio Monitors for Mixing & Mastering?

Regular speakers may sound appealing to your ear but are terrible to mix a song. Therefore, I’ll recommend mixing your songs only on studio monitors. 

Related: 11 Things to consider before buying Studio Monitors!

Do I need an audio interface for studio Monitors?

Yes! If you do not want your audio quality to suffer, then you need both. The audio interface will allow you to capture audio in the highest quality, whereas a good pair of studio monitors will help you to precisely mix & master your songs.

Connecting studio monitors directly to a laptop or a PC will harm the audio quality. You may hear the audio stutter, and volume levels constantly go up and down. Therefore, to listen to the recorded sound in a premium quality, the combination of audio interface and studio monitors is an absolute must.

What cables do I need to connect studio monitors to an audio interface?

Another important item you must have are the cables. And not just any cables!

The cables we need to connect studio monitors to an audio interface are 1/4″ TRS cables or quarter inch TRS cables. Check the image below to see how they look.

1/4″ TRS cables

Some monitors like Presonus Eris 3.5 come with RCA cables. You can use RCA cables to connect studio monitors to anything that has a headphone jack like a phone or a laptop.

Balanced vs Un-Balanced Cables

Balanced cables: Such cables are balanced, in a sense, that they do not introduce any external noise in sound recording or production. These cables find extensive use in recording studios where you need to record audio without any external noise. In addition, these cables are great for carrying audio signals through a more significant distance.

Example: 1/4″ TRS cables and XLR cables.

Un-Balanced cables: These cables are more prone to carry and pick up noises from their surroundings due to internal structure. As you may have guessed, these cables are not suitable to use in a studio type of environment.

Example: RCA cables.

Should I buy balanced or Unbalanced Cables?

There is no sense in buying unbalanced cables. For a studio, these are the least recommended cables as they pick up noise from surroundings when carrying audio over a distance. Balanced cables make more sense to get used in your studio as they are better in every way. They don’t pick up noise and can carry audio without losing the overall quality.

How to connect Studio Monitors to an audio interface?

Connecting studio monitors to an audio interface is simple and pretty straight-forward. Follow the below mentioned steps in order.

1) Grab 1/4″ TRS Cables

Mostly, you are not going to get cables with studio monitors.

So, make sure that you get yourself two 1/4″ TRS cables. These are balanced cables and are mainly used to connect instruments and studio monitors to an interface.

Once you have the cables, move on to see the next step.

2) Prepare your Musical instruments / Studio Gear

You need an audio interface and at least one studio monitor, although I recommend getting a pair.

On the audio interface, bring up the output ports. Most studio monitors have output ports on the rear side of the interface.

Similarly, on the studio monitor, you’ll see a balanced port on the studio monitor that’ll connect to the audio interface using 1/4″ TRS cables.

3) Refer the image

Audio Interfaces Setup Diagram - how to connect studio monitors to the audio interface

Insert one end of the cables to the left side of the studio monitor and connect the other end to the left output port of the audio interface.

Now, connect the right port of monitors to the right output port of the audio interface using the same type of cable.

In an audio interface with multiple output ports, use MAIN OUTS to make the connections.

4) Click “Play”

If your audio interface is already set up with the DAW using drivers that come with an audio interface, you’ll hear the sound as you play the track.

Related: Audio Interface setup diagram to connect instruments, a new audio interface, analog gear and studio gear!


In conclusion, there are many ways to connect studio monitors to an audio interface. But, the method that is going to benefit you the most uses 1/4″ TRS cables, studio monitors, and an audio interface.

Never use unbalanced cables to mix your songs. They can add a ton of noise to the sound coming out of studio monitors.

It is best to connect studio monitors to an interface using 1/4″ TRS cables. It removes noise and makes sure that the sound you hear is crystal clear.

Don’t forget to mention the studio monitor and audio interface you have in your recording studio.

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