What Is Analog Audio Output?

By James Red

An analog audio output is an output found on some home electronics, like DVD players and VCRs, that can be used to connect analog audio cables to inputs on TVs and receivers.


Analog audio outputs are most commonly connected with RCA cables, white and red composite cables that come with the yellow analog video cable or three-output component video cables. Other types of analog audio outputs include headphone jacks and coaxial cable connections, which transmit analog audio as well as video.


Today, analog audio outputs are not the first choice when it comes to getting high-quality surround sound. While some receivers can use multiple analog audio outputs to create surround sound, most TVs and other devices feature only left and right channel analog audio outputs. Anything more than traditional stereo is impossible using these connections. The fidelity and audio clarity possible with analog audio outputs is limited as well.


Newer digital audio outputs are preferred by many home theater enthusiasts. These include HDMI, which transmits multi-channel audio and HD digital video over a single cable, and optical audio, which can deliver digital-quality 5.1 audio over a single cable.