I have been trying different ways to rip my records. USB works perfectly but I wanted to try doing it the way others do it, by analog. I tried doing that with a Monster cable I use for my Beats. I plugged in one end to the turntable's headphones port and the other end to the front mic port. I didn't get any sound as input so i unplugged it. Later I wanted to watch netflix and no sound output came out (other than a quiet endless noise) so I tried the main motherboard port and same thing. Then I tried configuring it and reinstalling every single piece of software on my PC that has anything to do with sound (thats for Linux.) Then I thought it was something in Linux so I booted Windows from my SSD and same thing. Lately I have been doing lots of upgrades on my PC and I recently moved out and noticed the guys helping us carry stuff were very careless (they broke the ceiling lamp) but then I realized it could have been the little turntable experiment because the input port expects very low power since the mic itself has zero amplification and the headphone port on my turntable has somewhat of an amplification. Could this be what caused it to happen?


Normally sound cards are pretty robust, so it's not very likely that this broke it.

But if the signal level from your headphone output could be high (if the volume was turned up), and the mic input is designed for a low signal level. So it's possible that you've overloaded something and blown an analogue component.

In future, use mic inputs for microphones and, at a push, instruments with pickups. If your output device has a line-out, connect line-out to line-in. If a headphone output is all you have available, connect it to line-in.

  • Could that blown component cause issued with output even thought it was input? I feel like they arent related since the system is made to run both input and output at once – Nick Bailuc Dec 25 '14 at 9:49

Low end microphone inputs often have the overload protection but higher end device may not feature it because of the sound quality concerns.

Of course, it is difficult to say that input overload have damaged something in your analog part, but this is definitely possible.


Mic input signal is only as high as the kinetic energy of the sound wave in the air (which is quite low). It is amplified by the sound card to the line level before it can be used. On the other hand headphone output is a line level output (which is high).

Although line out is quite higher than a mic output, you should mostly experience distortion than breaking a sound card.

However, since the mic amplifier boosts electrical energy a lot, most devices can break during the pops and clicks while plugging in or plugging out the line level cables. These pops and clicks can cause very short signals with really big energy which can be a problem when amplified by a mic amplifier (especially when the volume is up and there is already a signal flowing).

It is always a good practice to mute (or turn off if possible) both of the devices when plugging in and plugging off any sound cable. This also improve your speaker life a lot.

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