Connecting Audio through Line Outs

In previous articles we’ve covered different features and how-to’s of many portable and installed PA systems. This article will focus on the LINE OUT function and how it can be used to get audible sound out to your audience at a volume level loud enough for all to hear.

First off a working definition. A line out jack can be simply described as taking the audio signal (voice or music) from the source and forwarding it through the connected cable to another mechanism. While the line-out jacks can work in conjunction with the line-in jacks to daisy-chain multiple portable speakers, this function is also found on the installed Classroom Infrared Audio System. With the ¼” line output of the infrared system, it can also be connected to any portable speaker that has a ¼” line input jack so that you get more sound and more power for whatever audio you want to project. In a setting where it is critical for presenters to be heard by every member of the audience, amplifying audio through the use of more than one speaker is essential so they do not have to struggle to listen and can instead focus on what is being relayed.

Line Out on PA-IRSYS  Line out on PA300

The 1/4″ line out on the Classroom Infrared Audio System (left), and the XLR on the PA919 (right)

Ensuring that the sound output level of a PA system is loud enough for all students to hear is also a vital necessity, especially for students with special needs and those who may have limitations with their hearing. Assistive Listening Systems that provide support for students with special needs can be interfaced with the PA-IRSYS via its line out feature. Connecting the secondary ALS system with the infrared system can make simplify things in a classroom. Shares Jim Dieckmann, a Library Media Teacher in Chula Vista, CA: “We use classroom amplification systems because it allows the teacher to effectively reach all students in the classroom, including hearing impaired students.”

In addition to just connecting speakers from one to another, the versatility of the line output feature on portable speakers such as the PowerPro™ PA919, PA919SD, PA919PS and the PresentationPro™ speakers as well as the PA-IRSYS allows teachers and presenters, through the use of a connected, wired microphone, to create recordings of their speeches or custom musical creations. Depending upon which speaker is utilized, either a ¼” or RCA line output can connect directly to the ¼” or RCA input on a media player like the Performer Plus™ or the Karaoke player/recorder to record onto a cassette. The on-board cassette deck on the PA-916 speaker can also work for recordings by simply matching the lines in and out from one speaker to the other. These recordings can then be saved and used over and over again for many years with each new group of students.

If you want to play music, an audio book or previously recorded content that you have on your Performer Plus and reach a large audience, one of the line output jacks featured on the media player can connect to the respective RCA or ¼” line inputs on any of the afore-mentioned portable speakers so that the audio can be clearly heard by all listeners.

This blog was amended 8/2/11 to include the PA419.



Helping teachers and students with educationally appropriate classroom AV equipment since 1947.