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Audio/speaker cable question

  1. #1
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    Audio/speaker cable question


    I have built in speakers into my house. I found the cables that I'm confident are audio; however, I don't know what type of connector I need. Hope you guys can help.

    These are the cables in question:



    I would like use a 3.5mm style male connection on the audio end (to plug into my amazon echo dot).

    What do you guys recommend?

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  2. #2
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    I'm not sure what you're asking? 3.5mm is a headphone jack correct? So do you want your echo speaker to also play on your home speakers? If that's the case you need a amp to push the speakers to work or at least not sound awful. There are are lot more variables involved also.

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  3. #3
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    Quote Originally Posted by Teamdineen View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking? 3.5mm is a headphone jack correct? So do you want your echo speaker to also play on your home speakers? If that's the case you need a amp to push the speakers to work or at least not sound awful. There are are lot more variables involved also.
    Yes 3.5mm is a headphone jack but that's also what the echo dot uses to connect to speakers (other than bluetooth). OK, so what I'm taking away from this comment and a little more research is I need an amp. Dot to Amp. Speakers to Amp.

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  4. #4
    Lifer
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    Home audio gear typically uses bare wire like your picture. They fit in to screw terminals, or 'bite' type terminals (not sure the name). What you have pictured is likely the wire for one of the speakers. And assuming they are typical non-powered speakers, you cannot connect it directly to an audio device with 3.5mm jack like the Echo. 3.5mm jack personal audio devices do not produce enough power to drive speakers larger than headphone-size (and even then, some enthusiasts run pocket amps). You need an amplifier. Which can be bought as a single unit, though they're typically integrated in a 'home theater receiver'. Then you plug your device in to the receiver/amp.

    Example. Picture is some sort of receiver/amp as it takes inputs from devices and outputs them to speakers. Sometimes the terminals are thumb screws instead to pinch down on the wire.


    Depending on the amp, people often need something like this - RCA to 3.5mm


    If the speaker actually is powered, or that wire runs to an input of an amp, I'd be surprised because that's a bizarre choice of cable run. But I suppose someone coulda done it.

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  5. #5
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    AH HA! Thanks for those pictures! Super helpful. I think I know what path to take now. And, yes, I have two cables. And I have two speakers in my ceiling.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    You may not need an amp. Big speakers are usually more efficient than small speakers and require less power for a given volume. Most people are astounded by how loudly a simple little portable radio will push a big speaker. You can buy a simple 3.5 mm plug and solder your speaker wires directly to it. The - connections (typically the black wire in the pair) should tie together and connect to the sleeve (base) of the plug and the + connections should go to the tip (left) and the ring (right).

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  7. #7

    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    Quote Originally Posted by stoinkythepig View Post
    You may not need an amp. Big speakers are usually more efficient than small speakers and require less power for a given volume. Most people are astounded by how loudly a simple little portable radio will push a big speaker. You can buy a simple 3.5 mm plug and solder your speaker wires directly to it. The - connections (typically the black wire in the pair) should tie together and connect to the sleeve (base) of the plug and the + connections should go to the tip (left) and the ring (right).
    Um, yeah don't do this. The output for that 3.5mm jack is designed for 600 Ω impedance, and likely .7 to 1.2 Volts RMS. It might play a speaker, for a little while at low volume, but it also might (and likely will) blow up. The typical impedance for an in-wall or in-ceiling speaker is less than 6 Ω, a hundred times lower than the circuit in the Dot was intended to play. On top of that the speaker will likely need 4 or 5 times as much voltage to play at a reasonable level.

    Use an amplifier to connect to external speakers, or use speakers with an amp built in.

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  8. #8
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    Quote Originally Posted by audiojeff View Post
    Um, yeah don't do this. The output for that 3.5mm jack is designed for 600 Ω impedance, and likely .7 to 1.2 Volts RMS. It might play a speaker, for a little while at low volume, but it also might (and likely will) blow up. The typical impedance for an in-wall or in-ceiling speaker is less than 6 Ω, a hundred times lower than the circuit in the Dot was intended to play. On top of that the speaker will likely need 4 or 5 times as much voltage to play at a reasonable level.

    Use an amplifier to connect to external speakers, or use speakers with an amp built in.
    How about a standalone amp in between the dot and speakers?

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  9. #9
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    Quote Originally Posted by isaac_ View Post
    How about a standalone amp in between the dot and speakers?
    That'll work fine.

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  10. #10
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Audio/speaker cable question

    Quote Originally Posted by audiojeff View Post
    Um, yeah don't do this. The output for that 3.5mm jack is designed for 600 Ω impedance, and likely .7 to 1.2 Volts RMS. It might play a speaker, for a little while at low volume, but it also might (and likely will) blow up. The typical impedance for an in-wall or in-ceiling speaker is less than 6 Ω, a hundred times lower than the circuit in the Dot was intended to play. On top of that the speaker will likely need 4 or 5 times as much voltage to play at a reasonable level.

    Use an amplifier to connect to external speakers, or use speakers with an amp built in.
    My advice was based on the thing being able to drive speakers.

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