What is the correct sequence to turn on audio equipment? Want to do everything right to protect the equipment & understand why this is the correct order. So I have a PC, PreSonus USB audio interface, and studio monitors. I'm a little confused because the monitor instructions are the opposite of what I read online. The instructions say:

1) USB interface & studio monitor off with sound levels all the way down. (I assume that the PC level can be 100%).

2) Power on monitors.

3) Power on interface.

4) "Adjust volume carefully". I assume this means, just turn the volume level for both the interface and monitors up, but don't just crank them to full.

I assume that turning everything off is in the reverse order. Everywhere online though suggests that I should do the opposite! (https://www.behindthemixer.com/pow-pop-powering-equipment-on-and-off-in-the-right-order/). Why would the monitor instructions be wrong??? Would really appreciate an explanation of what is the correct way & why. Thank you!

Monitor instructions

2 Answers 2


The correct way to power up a studio is to power on the interface first, then the computer. Monitors should be powered up last.

Interface should have power so that the correct protocols can be negotiated with the driver on the computer during the power-up and boot sequence.

I would recommend not adjusting the monitor gains too often - you should identify the correct mix level and leave them alone once this has been set. Well designed monitors should be able to handle power-up sequences without slamming the internal amplifiers and rupturing the speaker cones.

  • Totally agree - monitors on last, off first. My interface sends enough of a spike up the [400w, internally bi-amped] monitors at init & shutdown to make you jump out of your skin. Volume control has no effect.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 18, 2020 at 8:15

The monitors should be powered on last, and powered off first.

The reason for this sequence: some audio electronics produce loud pops when you switch them on or off. Amplifiers and powered speakers often (but not always) are designed to not do this when you power them on/off, but they can't suppress pops coming in through their inputs. Those will be amplified.

So you have to power on/off the entire chain while the amplifier/powered speaker is off.

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