I have two powered Yamaha HS8 monitors, that I'd like to use to use for playback via USB from my Mac. A couple of inputs would be nice as well. I've seen products like this before, but they only have TRS outputs and no XLR outs. I have heard that XLR is superior to TRS due to grounding, and thus wanted to use the XLR inputs on my HS8s, but I can't seem to find any kind of USB Audio Interface that supports XLR out. Does this exist, or am I being stupid and should just use TRS? I need to run up to about 20ft of cable for each monitor. Thanks!

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    Whatever you heard about grounding isn't quite right. Balanced TRS outputs (like the ones on the linked product) are basically identical to XLR outputs except they take up less panel space. A couple TRS male to XLR male adapter cables would help you get connected just fine if you bought the linked item. Mar 4, 2016 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


The TRS jack connectors on your speakers are electrically identical to the XLR ones. What matters is that the connection is balanced, not what type of connector is used. And, to be honest, on a Line level connection to a powered speaker, it doesn't matter THAT much whether it's balanced. If you haven't got a TRS jack to TRS jack cable handy (that's what is loosely referred to as a "stereo jack cable", though "stereo" is a misnomer in this case) use a normal TS jack cable. It will work just fine. If, and only, if there's a hum problem, lay out on a TRS jack cable.

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    Yes, you want a USB audio interface with balanced line outputs. If you want the locking feature of XLR, you can use cables with balanced TRS on the audio interface side and XLR on the speaker side. Mar 4, 2016 at 12:41
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    So he's ok with the M-Track interface mentioned. In a domestic situation the main feature of a locking connector is that a cable yank will GUARANTEE the speaker is pulled off its shelf and damaged!
    – Laurence
    Mar 4, 2016 at 12:55
  • Thanks! I do have TRS cables handy so that's not an issue. What would you think about doing TRS->XLR cables and always plugging in the XLR side last? I like the idea of XLR being grounded the second it's connected rather than after the cable is fully inserted.
    – Will
    Mar 4, 2016 at 22:23
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    As the equipment won't be powered up while you're connecting cables, who cares?
    – Laurence
    Mar 5, 2016 at 11:29

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