How to Connect a Microphone to a Home Reciever so Sound Comes Through the Speakers

By Techwalla Contributor

You can use the "audio in" jacks on your home theater receiver for a wide range of audio experiments. Plug in your MP3 player to listen to music in surround sound. Set up your friend's video game console for an all night gaming marathon. You can even create a faux karaoke bar or backyard PA system with the addition of a simple microphone.

Things You'll Need

  • Microphone
  • Audio adapter(s)

Step 1

Locate the audio inputs on your home receiver. Most receivers have inputs on the front and back. Usually, the front has a 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch stereo input (headphone jack). If available, use this jack. Otherwise, locate the most easily accessible RCA (red, yellow, white) input.

Step 2

Identify the plug on your microphone. Most home-grade microphones have a 1/8 inch plug, similar to what you would see on headphones, or a 1/8 inch plug, a fatter version of the 1/8 inch plug.

Step 3

Count the stripes on the plug. A plug with two black stripes is stereo (left and right channels). One black stripes denotes mono (one channel).

Step 4

Determine your adapter needs. If the microphone's plug has two stripes and is the same size as the receiver's jack, you don't need any adapters. Plug the microphone directly into the receiver's audio inputs and continue. The "Tips" section below contains a listing of common adapter combinations.

Step 5

Adjust the input selector on your receiver. Usually, the front headphone jack is played over the "Aux" channel. If you're uncertain, slowly move through the selections and speak into the microphone before moving to the next channel. When you hear sound over the speakers, you've found the right channel.

Step 6

Do it. Plug the male end of your connector to your stereo's audio inputs. Then, plug the microphone into the female end. Change your stereo to the correct input (if it's on the front, it's usually AUX). Whatever it is, it should be labeled on your receiver, under where you plugged it in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Common combinations
  • A 1/4 inch stereo receiver jack and a 1/8 inch stereo/mono microphone plug requires a 1/8 inch stereo/mono female to 1/4 inch stereo male adapter.
  • A 1/8 inch stereo receiver jack and a 1/4 inch stereo/mono microphone plug requires a 1/4 inch sterep/mono female to 1/8 inch stereo male adapter.
  • If the jack and plug are the same size, but the plug is mono, purchase a mono-to-stereo adapter of the same size.
  • An RCA stereo receive input and a 1/8 inch (or 1/4 inch) stereo microphone plug requires a 1/8 inch (or 1/4 inch) stereo female to a dual-phone RCA (red and white) male cable.
  • An RCA stereo receive input and a 1/8 inch (or 1/4 inch) mono microphone plug requires both a 1/8 inch (or 1/4 inch) stereo female to a dual-phono RCA (red and white) male cable and a 1/8 inch (or 1/4 inch) to same sized stereo adapter.
  • If your available microphone has an XLR (round end with three holes) plug, use a different microphone. XLR connectors require specialized equipment to convert to 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch or RCA jacks.
  • When using dual-phone RCA cables, match the color of the plug to the color of the jack to avoid switching the channels.