Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have two home stereo amplifiers in different rooms. I tried connecting Zone 2 with (the other room) with 50 feet of RCA cable and noticed there was some noise (I live right next to an AM radio tower and my house has some pretty bad electrical wiring).

I then switched to what I thought was rather crappy 50 feet 3.5mm TRS (unbalanced) and the noise went away.

Has any one noticed that TRS is better than RCA? If so my question is why don't home receivers/amplifiers just use TRS instead of RCA?

share|improve this question

migrated from Jan 24 '14 at 12:01

This question came from our site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation.

I don't think that a TRS vs. rca is at question, likely the TRS has better shielding. Can you verify? – filzilla Mar 23 '12 at 23:48
Its Philamore 28 AWG TRS. Its CL3 rated (I was planning on running the line in-wall. I think I the reason it does better than the RCA is because both signals (L,R) are very close to each other (its one cable) compared to my RCA that has the L, R as separate cables. – Adam Gent Mar 24 '12 at 1:57
Measuring the differences between two unbalanced cables with different plugs is meaningless when you can just run balanced audio. – Brad Mar 24 '13 at 5:59
@Brad I can't afford an end to end Balanced audio system. The inputs to my stereo system are unbalanced. I wish I had a nice enough system that had balanced inputs. – Adam Gent Mar 24 '13 at 16:15

Essentially, this is going to depend on the cable and the quality of the connectors. The connector type has nothing to do with the quality. Ideally, you would want to split the channels (left/right) and run a balanced line-level signal in a situation like that. 50 feet is a very long distance for unbalanced cables.

share|improve this answer
I know its probably not the connector type. Its the fact that the L and R are practically on top of each other with TRS. With RCA there are two distinct cables. As I was telling @Brad I would love to have an end to end balanced system (balance inputs) but alas I don't have that kind of budget. – Adam Gent Mar 24 '13 at 16:17

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.