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Topic: Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality? (Read 4394 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • zipr
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Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality?
My computer's onboard soundcard only has one analog audio out. If I split it with one of those Y adapters and send one to my stereo and one to my house stereo, will that negatively affect the sound? I tried it briefly yesterday and didn't notice anything bad, but thought I'd check to see what HA thought.  Thanks!

  • mixminus1
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Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality?
Reply #1
One line-level output to two line-level inputs is generally not a problem - frequency response and output level should be essentially unchanged.

The biggest potential issue is ground loops, but if you don't hear any hum or buzz, I'd say you're good to go.
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."

  • DVDdoug
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Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality?
Reply #2
I agree.

It's generally OK to connect two inputs together (the input of your stereo and your house stereo).    You could probably connect 5 or 10 inputs together before you have a problem.  If you connect two headphones at the same time, you might hear a difference due to the lower impedance load, and you have to be very careful about connecting speakers together.    But, high-impedance line-inputs are not a problem. 

It's a BAD idea to connect two outputs together....  For example, you shouldn't use a Y-Adapter  to connect your iPod and CD player to your stereo system at the same time.  And, you should never connect the left & right channel outputs together in an attempt to go from stereo-to-mono. 

But, it's OK to connect left & right inputs together in order to send a mono signal to both speakers.

  • zipr
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Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality?
Reply #3
Thanks, both, for your replies. I'll connect with the Y so I can have surround sound for games and stereo music throughout the house.

  • zipr
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Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality?
Reply #4
So I tried this tonight, and noticed that when I do an audio test through my computer and have both receivers hooked up to the splitter, I hear the left and right channels in both speakers. Any idea what the cause of that could be?

Does using a y-splitter affect sound quality?
Reply #5
My computer's onboard soundcard only has one analog audio out. If I split it with one of those Y adapters and send one to my stereo and one to my house stereo, will that negatively affect the sound? I tried it briefly yesterday and didn't notice anything bad, but thought I'd check to see what HA thought.  Thanks!


The other explanations are correct but I had an odd problem when splitting into 2 Technics receivers. Technics (and likely others) uses solid state switches for selecting the various inputs. When a unit is off it does a soft clip when the signal gets loud enough to cause the protection diodes inside the switch chips to conduct. This goes away as soon as it's powered up but I rarely have them both on. For this case I bought a used Niles Audio stereo 6 output distribution amplifier ( DA ) to isolate the outputs. The DA is built with reasonable opamps and is quite transparent. I have not ABXd it but I doubt anyone would detect its presence from the sound. If you run into strange distortion you might have a similar problem.