How to Connect a DJ Controller to Speakers

We explain the most common ways to connect a DJ controller to speakers and what you will need.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 27, 2021
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If you are just starting out as a DJ, it is better not to invest in large equipment from the get-go. Most beginners always try to hook their regular wired or Bluetooth speakers to their DJ controller initially, however, it is not a simple task. You often hear people talk about latency, delay, DJ set speakers, and what not, but regular speakers are just as good for practice. But how to connect a DJ controller to speakers? Well, they can easily be connected to your DJ controller if done correctly and work just fine.

There are so many things to consider, the first of which is getting the hang of the multiple controls and cords, including their unique functions. However, there are two main ways in which you can connect your DJ controller to external speakers. These include connecting with cables or without them. It can be tricky for beginners to connect DJ controllers to external audio interfaces. However, this article will help you learn everything you need to know about how to connect a DJ controller to speakers.

Things You Will Need

How to Connect a DJ Controller to Speakers

It is better to gather all the items you need before starting a job. This helps you maintain efficiency and reduces unnecessary delays. When it comes to connecting a DJ controller to external speakers, you need the correct equipment to get started.

  1. You can make sure that you have the proper connections that are required by following the list below. The good thing about this is that you don’t need a lot of separate pieces and equipment, rather just some essentials to do a good job.
  2. DJ Controller: Well, this is kind of self-explanatory, but the first thing you need is a DJ controller to connect your speaker to. There are several options that you can choose from, depending on your preference. For those of you, who are just starting out can find some great DJ controllers for beginners, which will help you start easy and upgrade as you go. Our research shows that there are some great affordable DJ controllers that you can buy as a beginner to practice your DJ-ing without emptying out your wallet. There are also some excellent high functioning DJ controllers to take your pick from. According to most reviews, Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 2-deck Serato DJ Controller is one of the best DJ controllers in the market!
  3. Speaker: For practicing your DJ-ing, you will need good quality speakers that support your art adequately. You can choose the kind of speaker set you want, however, sometimes it can be hard to choose a preferable speaker, especially during pre-arranged gigs. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with all, or at least the basic kinds of speakers to avoid confusion.
  4. Amplifier: Speakers come in powered or passive options and powered speakers often come with a built-in amplifier. However, if you are using passive speakers, you will require a separate amplifier. You can find some good quality amplifiers easily!
  5. Audio Interface: You need to connect your speakers and amplifiers, if you are using any, with an audio interface.
  6. DJ Software: For this, you need two things, DJ software and a laptop to install it in. These are essential for running and using a DJ controller because they are used to feed the DJ controller.
  7. Cables: In order to connect DJ controllers to speakers using the wired method, you will need cables (you may also require adapters) that are compatible with your speakers. The Hosa XRM-115 RCA to XLR Male Unbalanced Interconnect Cable is an excellent 15-foot cable that will come in handy when connecting a DJ controller to speakers.

Gathering all these items will help you organize your equipment nicely in one place and prevent items from getting lost. It will also help you pack for a gig or test your equipment at home!

Connecting a DJ Controller to Speakers

When it comes to connecting a DJ controller to speakers, you need to first familiarize yourself with your DJ controller. You can do this by exploring the different options available, without plugging them in.

You can also take help from the instructions manual to figure out where every input and output port and other cords can be found. This will help you save the time spent on looking for where the cables are supposed to go while connecting the speakers to the DJ controller.

Once you have gotten used to the different options in your DJ controller, it is time to prepare the speaker for connection. Connecting an external speaker to a DJ controller in some cases requires the speakers to be connected to an audio interface and an amplifier. Most speakers have similar features when it comes to connectivity and pairing, however, some are easier to connect than others.

You may want to look at the type of speaker you are using, which will ease the process for you and make your Internet search in case of any confusion more precise as well. Moreover, you should find out whether your speaker is a passive or a powered one before you connect it to the audio interface.

Powered

If you have a powered speaker, you can skip the amplifier connection because they come with one, making your job slightly easier and less time-consuming. You can start with connecting your speakers to an audio interface, which will help the sound travel from the DJ controller to the speaker. You will have to check the type of cable that is required to connect the audio interface, which can be either an XLR cable or a phono cable.

Make sure your speakers are turned off before plugging the cable into the audio interface and speaker. This is important because having the speakers powered on during this process can potentially damage your equipment. Even though this is a fairly simple and easy task, you will require being careful to plug in every cable correctly and in the right places. You can always take your equipment to a professional in case you fail to figure out the placement of the cables.

Unpowered

If you already own speakers and do not wish to buy new ones but find that your speakers are passive or unpowered speakers, there is no need to panic. You can still connect them to your DJ controller, however, you will simply have to follow a few extra steps. Passive speakers need an amplifier in order to filter the sound correctly, which is an added step to the process.

You need to familiarize yourself with the specifics of your amplifier, to make sure you can easily locate where all the input and output ports are situated. Start by making sure that your equipment, including the speakers and amplifier are turned off before you start plugging them in together.

Using the required cables, you will then connect the speaker to the amplifier, and then proceed to connect your amplifier to the audio interface. Do not get confused between the cables and check the specifications of all your equipment to learn whether they require XLR or RCA cables.

Can You Connect a DJ Controller to Bluetooth Speakers?

The most common kinds of speakers people nowadays own, especially for home usage, are Bluetooth speakers. Therefore, it is not an uncommon thing for beginner DJs to wonder if they can simply use their Bluetooth speakers with a DJ controller. Well, connecting your Bluetooth speaker to your DJ controller is not the best option and you may want to consider getting wired speakers, however, it is not impossible.

It is an elaborate process because you cannot connect Bluetooth speakers directly to your DJ controller, rather you require connecting the speakers to your computer or laptop first, and then connecting the laptop to your DJ controller. This connection will not be ideal, and you may experience some latency and delay, however, you can use it for practicing and perfecting your skills.

Different Types of Cables

How to Connect a DJ Controller to Speakers

Cables are an essential part of connecting speakers, audio interface, and DJ controller and we have stressed several areas throughout the article to make sure you are using the right kind of cables. There are some cables that always come in handy when you use a DJ controller and require connecting it to other equipment, such as speakers.

The most common type of cable is an RCA cable. This is an excellent cable to use for connecting different devices to audio interfaces. There are some considerations that are important to be careful about when buying an RCA cable, such as the length of the cable, which should be long enough to reach your speakers, but not way too long either that it has adverse effects on the sound quality.

The other cable that may be very useful is an XLR cable, which is known for its ability to deliver uninterrupted and clear signals to long distances. Therefore, XLR cables are excellent when the placement of your speakers is at a considerable distance from other equipment.

A ¼ inch cable is always great to have because it is very compatible with DJ controllers, helping you connect them to other devices.

Testing the Sound

Once you are done connecting everything, including the speakers, audio interface, and controller, you need to make sure you have done it correctly. You can tell this by checking the sound and seeing if it is functional and clear. Here are some easy ways to soundcheck:

  1. Using the Line Input: You can use the line input to check sound if you are using an external mixer. Doing this with phono will produce an unforgettably bad cacophony, so do not try the line input with it.
  2. Adjusting the Output Volume of the DJ Controller: Turn the sound on your controller to the highest notch and use the main output controls on your mixer to fine-tune the audio.
  3. Through the External Audio Interface: The audio interface that you hooked your speakers to can be used for soundcheck. Connect the sound card of the audio interface to an external mixer and see if the sound is clear and audible.

Final Thoughts

Beginners tend to get overwhelmed by all the new things they have to learn about. This also includes the skill itself, especially when taking on a new hobby. Similarly, connecting a DJ controller to speakers can seem like a difficult task at first, with all the controls and cables you see.

However, it is a fairly simple task and takes little to no time after you have acquainted yourself with the new equipment. Following every step correctly and making sure to have all the right equipment, including cables and audio interface will ensure a hassle-free setup.

Safety is important, therefore following safety instructions closely, such as turning off equipment before plugging in cables, will get the job done while keeping you and your equipment safe!

As you connect your DJ controller equipment a few times, you will get the hang of it and you will be able to show others how to connect a DJ controller to speakers, as well!

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