I’m sure you’ve seen input and output ports marked “Phono” and “Aux” if you possess an A/V receiver or a turntable. And a lot of people are perplexed by this. But what is the real distinction between an aux port and a phono port? Which one should you employ? In this essay, we’ll discover all of this and more. So let’s get started right away.
Table of Contents
What Is a Phono?
A phonograph connector, sometimes known as a phono connector, was once extremely widespread. It was once utilized to link phonographs to radio amplifiers. Turntables and phono stages are typically connected today using phono cables. Similar to RCA connectors, phono ports have connectors with metallic contacts.
Because of this, RCA connectors are also known as phono. Connectors for both input and output are referred to as “phono.” This implies that phono connectors relate to both phono in and phono out ports. However, phono outputs are less common than phono inputs in audio equipment.
What Is an AUX?
An amplifier’s auxiliary port, sometimes known as an AUX port, is a port that accepts or transmits audio signals. Multiple audio devices can be connected using an AUX port. Either an RCA connector or a 3.5mm jack can be used as an AUX connector or port. Thus, cables used with AUX ports typically have an RCA or 3.5mm connection. However, the 3.5mm male TRS jack is the most widely used AUX connector. Several high-end audio equipment has optical AUX inputs, like the Yamaha soundbar. Both input and output ports can be found on an AUX.
Difference Between Phono and AUX
Phono inputs are designed with a unique preamp integrated into them. A phono preamp is what this preamp is called. The phono inputs’ preamp in the circuit enables them to amplify signals that travel through them. Additionally, phono inputs have inbuilt EQs. The RIAA equalization curve is the name of this EQ.
On the other side, AUX inputs are devoid of any kind of built-in amplification. As a result, audio signals that flow through AUX inputs are not amplified. Equalization is not present at all in the AUX inputs. The fundamental distinction between a phono and an AUX is this.
A phono output produces very little sound. This is due to the very weak audio signals that are delivered from phono outputs. About 2.5 millivolts is the output voltage of phono outputs. As a result, phono output audio signals need to be boosted by going through a preamp. The inclusion of preamps in phono inputs is mostly due to this.
This preamp’s function is to enhance and increase weak signals so they can be delivered as line-level signals from phono outputs. We can hear audio signals delivered by a phono output thanks to this amplification. In essence, an AUX input is a line-level input. An AUX connector’s output voltage can go as high as 1 volt.
As a result, audio signals sent through AUX outputs are stronger than those sent from phono outputs. These signals can already be heard clearly from speakers without any additional amplification.
They are equipped with EQ curves. The audio waves that pass through it are colored according to the presence of this EQ. The audio signal’s purity is impacted by this. As I’ve indicated numerous times throughout this post, phono inputs also come with built-in preamps. The phono input of this preamp is used to amplify audio signals.
Any time an audio transmission is amplified, noise of some kind is inserted into the signal. The audio signal’s clarity is impacted by this. As a result, the audio signal quality suffers when an EQ and preamp are present in phono inputs.
However, there are no EQs in the AUX inputs. They also don’t contain a preamp. This means that audio signals are not amplified and colored by AUX inputs. Consequently, AUX inputs send out clear signals. The signals they receive and transmit are identical. This does not imply that audio from phonos always sounds poor. Actually, you might not even hear noise or colour in the audio signal coming from a phono out. Just be aware that the sound will be impacted by the preamp and EQ.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use an AUX Input as Phono?
If the turntable you are attaching to to has a built-in phono preamp, you can use an AUX input as a phono. Simply connect your receiver’s AUX input to the turntable’s RCA cords to accomplish this. However, your turntable must have a built-in phono preamp if you want to use your AUX input as a phono properly. If your turntable doesn’t come with a built-in phono preamp, you can also utilize a standalone phono preamp when using your AUX input as a phono.
Turntable audio signals are very weak. As a result, you will only hear a thin and feeble sound when you plug turntables into a line-level input, such as an AUX input on your receiver. Unfortunately, there is no built-in phono preamp for AUX inputs. Because of this, you must ensure that your turntable has a phono preamp of its own when using AUX inputs as a phono input.
You will need to use a standalone phono preamp if your turntable doesn’t come equipped with a built-in phono preamp. You will be able to hear the turntable’s final audio transmission as a result.
Can I Connect an AUX to A Phono Input?
An AUX output should not be connected to a phono input. This is due to the fact that adding an AUX to your phono input will overload its circuitry. Your speakers and amplifier may sustain damage as a result. Weak signals are intended to be received by a phono input. For amplification of these incoming weak signals, it has a built-in preamp. Audio signals at line level are sent through AUX outputs.
These signals outweigh phono output signals in terms of relative strength. As a result, the circuitry in a phono input is overloaded when these line-level signals from an AUX enter. An even stronger audio signal will result from the phono’s built-in preamp amplifying these robust line level signals. Your amplifier and speaker will be overworked as a result, which could damage them.
The sound you receive won’t be as pure as the signal coming directly from the source, even if your system is not damaged. This is due to the fact that phono input ports include an integrated EQ and preamp. Thus, some signal boosting and EQ coloration occurs to the audio signals that pass through phono inputs.