splicing stereo cable into mono cable

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Thread Starter


Joined Sep 19, 2011
Hey guys, Im trying to figure out how to play my ipod/iphone through a p.a. system I have at my job. The input into the amplifier for the p.a. system is mono, and i successfully spliced a 3.5mm mono audio cable to the connector for the p.a. system, and have a male mono jack on the other end. It works well with my ipod, but was wondering if there was a way to splice a stereo cable into the mono cable so i can listen to both channels of the stereo signal through the mono cable/p.a. connector. I'm familiar with dc automotive wiring and such, but, audio im not too familiar with. Any wiring diagram or basic tutorial will help. thanks!:)


Joined Sep 2, 2011
Basic Tutorial mode chosen:

normal mono audio plug - TIP is the audio and usually white; SLEEVE is the ground and usually bare or black.

normal stereo audio plug: TIP is left channel and white; RING is right channel and red; and SLEEVE is still ground and bare copper (or enamel coated to prevent shorts)

To mate the two, wire the left and right channels together (RING and TIP wires, or RED and WHITE) to the TIP of the mono plug, and tie the SLEEVES (grounds) to each other.

If your iPod has 4 metal sections (1 TIP, 2 RINGS and 1 SLEEVE) either the SLEEVE *or* the top RING could be Ground. Experiment to test. (the one not ground will be input or control.) regardless, ignore the extra conductor and wire the same as normal stereo.

Splicing cables together will work, but for less loss of fidelity, sound, volume, etc. wire up your own cables with the appropriate connectors.

for diagrams, head to www.pinouts.ru (my fave pinout and wiring site) and type "audio" in the search box

Could be that RadioShack carries the right cable for that (at an exhorbitant markup of course) You would ask for a "1/8th inch stereo to mono patch cable"
**but, assuming you need the extra long plug for the iPod end of things, first get an "iPod to stereo headset adapter" THEN the patch cable.

hope this helps, gtg.

aka David M.


Joined Dec 20, 2007
You might damage the output devices in the ipod/iphone by shorting together its stereo outputs. Make a mixer with two resistors so that they are not shorted.
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