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better output: RCA or headhpone jack?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have an LG 47LW5600, which has both RCA outputs and a headphone jack. As an interim audio measure, I've connected an old (circa 2000) 2.1 Altec Lansing computer speaker setup to the TV via the headphone jack. So far, I'm pleased with it.

I'm wondering, however, if it would sound better/different if I plugged it into my TV's RCA outputs via a 3.5mm->RCA plug adapter? According to the product manual, the headphone jack has an impedance of 16 ohms and a max audio out put of 10mW to 15mW. I'm not really sure what the specs are on my Altec Lansings...

Also, I'm able to control the computer speaker's volume through my TV remote.

Thanks!
post #2 of 6
In theory a headphone jack can have lower fidelity when used as a line output, because there might be an extra (low level) power amp stage in the signal path. Whether this actually matters in practice is another matter. If you want to know for sure, why not just try it both ways? But be careful to match volume levels to ensure a fair comparison.

--Ethan
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I would try the RCA way, except I don't have the 3.5mm->RCA adapter. I realize they're quite cheap to pickup, but didn't want to do it if I couldn't tell a difference.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by limsilas View Post

I would try the RCA way, except I don't have the 3.5mm->RCA adapter. I realize they're quite cheap to pickup, but didn't want to do it if I couldn't tell a difference.

If the headphone jack works so that you can get plenty of output from your speakers, then it probably won't sound different from the RCA jack output.

Often headphone jacks are on the front panel and RCAs are concealed. Therefore if appearance is important, using the RCA jacks will result in a neater appearance with fewer cables dangling around, etc.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks. I get enough output from the speakers - I was just wondering if RCA would provide an improvement in sound quality?

Both the headphone jack and the RCA outputs are on the back of the TV.

In general, do RCA outputs provide more power? Do they also allow you to control the volume of the speakers with the TV remote, or does it just depend?
post #6 of 6
Would the RCA jacks provide you the same control over the volume with your remote control that the headphone jack currently provides? Some TV's RCA outputs are fixed, variable, or can be configured as either of those. Does plugging something into the headphone jack automatically defeat the TV's speakers? Will you also be able to defeat the TV's speakers while using the RCA outputs? With some TVs you can't. Permanently displaying the word "MUTE" in the corner is not a solution although on some TVs this will eventually disappear.

These are probably important considerations, too.

Honestly, I do not think you will notice much of a difference (if any) between the audio with either method. It is inexpensive enough to try though, no?
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