Can I plug my microphone directly into a speaker? It’s a question people commonly ask when they’re trying to keep their setup simple. We’ll tell you how to do it and then explain why we don’t recommend it.

Quick Answer: Yes, it’s entirely possible to plug a microphone directly into a speaker, so long as it’s a powered speaker that works with mic-level signals. That said, we always recommend using a mixer for professional events or when you have multiple audio sources.

How To Connect A Wired Microphone To A Powered Speaker

Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone

To connect a wired microphone directly to a speaker, your equipment needs to meet the following criteria.

  • XLR output on your microphone
  • XLR input on the speaker
  • Powered speaker
    If you’re not sure, look out for a power cable and fan cutout on the back of the speaker.
  • Mic-level setting

Time needed: 1 minute.

  1. Plug one end of the XLR cable into your microphone
  2. Connect the other end of the XLR cable to the input on the speaker
  3. Toggle the switch on the back of the speaker to mic-level
  4. Turn up the volume knob

Powered Speaker Mic-Level Settings

Yamaha DXR8 Powered Speaker

An audio mixing console sends out a line-level signal, which is much louder than mic-level. By setting the speaker’s input switch to the mic-level setting, you’re telling the speaker it needs to introduce an additional preamp that will make the mic-level signal loud enough for the speaker’s regular amplifier.

Cons To Connecting A Microphone Directly To A Speaker

Now that we’ve told you how to connect a microphone to a speaker, it’s time to tell you why you shouldn’t! There are many reasons, but the main theme is a lack of control. 

When you plug directly into a speaker, you lose pretty much all of the additional control afforded to you by a mixer. Imagine not being able to reduce the volume of a mic that is causing feedback without running behind the speaker that is squealing.

Advantages Of Using An Audio Mixer

  • Signal processing
    Mixers have a lot of features that can help voices sound better and more intelligible, such as a high pass filter.
  • Multiple inputs
    Speakers only tend to have 1 input. A mixer allows you to connect multiple microphones for flexibility and redundancy during speeches.
  • Basic EQ
    Can be used to combat feedback and make voices sound a little bit clearer.
  • Stereo inputs
    Stereo inputs allow you to connect a phone to your mixer to play music. Some speakers have these inputs, but you can’t count on them, and they lack control.
  • Placement options
    A mixer gives you control over your entire setup from one place, and you can position it out of the way. Without a mixer, you have to walk up to each speaker every time you want to adjust the volume.

Can I Plug My Microphone Directly Into A Speaker? Featured Equipment Prices

Can I Plug My Microphone Directly Into A Speaker? Topics

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:40 How to connect a Wired Microphone to a Powered Speaker
  • 1:33 Mic Level
  • 2:07 Cons to connecting a Microphone directly to a Speaker
  • 2:38 Advantages of a Mixer
  • 3:07 One Input on Speaker
  • 3:39 EQ 
  • 4:22 Stereo Inputs
  • 4:50 Location Options
  • 5:28 Final Thoughts