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
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.
- Plug one end of the XLR cable into your microphone
- Connect the other end of the XLR cable to the input on the speaker
- Toggle the switch on the back of the speaker to mic-level
- Turn up the volume knob
Powered Speaker Mic-Level Settings
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
- DXR8: https://currentprice.io/yamaha_dxr8
- Yamaha MG10 Audio Mixer: https://currentprice.io/yamaha_mg10
- Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone: https://currentprice.io/shure_sm58
- XLR Cable: https://currentprice.io/xlr_cable