Mixer to Headphone Amplifier Connection

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bajistaman, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Hello!, for an In Ear rehearsal I am trying to connect a Behringer X18 Air Mixer to a Mackie HM 800 Headphone Amplifier, from the products manuals I see that the Aux Output for the mixer is a TRS Mono Balanced signal 50Ω and the Aux Input for the headphone amplifier is a TRS Stereo Unbalanced signal 13kΩ , my question is, What kind of cable do I need in order to connect both? Thank you!

  2. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    Don't you want a stereo send to your headphone mix (considering you have the HM 800)?
  3. The mixer only allows 6 aux mono outs, in the band we are 5 musicians, so in order to send 5 stereo mixes I would need 10 aux mono outs or at least 8 if I include the main mix
  4. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Can you wire your own cable? A length of simple shielded cable and two TRS plugs will work. From the output, you will want to float (leave unconnected) the Ring connection. So, just connect the center lead of the cable to the Tip connection of the plug and the Shield connection to the cable shield. The Ring connection on that plug will remain unconnected.

    On the input, just connect the center lead to both Tip and Ring plug connections and the Shield connection to the cable shield.

    Just be sure to identify the two cable ends, because it will only work one way! Used correctly, you will be sending the T polarity of the aux out signal to both channels of the headphone amp input.

    bajistaman likes this.
  5. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    For Stereo Feeds
    You could use insert cables which are two TS plugs at one end and one TRS at the other. The TS plugs would go to the Aux Outs and the TRS plug would go to HM-800 Aux In. Shorting what would be the ring on the output will not cause any harm, as the manual indicates that the aux outputs are impedance balanced*. You don't have to worry about the impedance difference.

    * Looking at the specs in the manual for the X18 Air on page 32, it says "6 TRS, balanced impedance" which implies the aux outputs are simply impedance balanced and, thus, shorting the ring to ground is completely innocuous.

    For Mono Feeds
    You can use simple TS to TS cables and engage the mono switches on the HM-800.

    Stereo Plus More Me [Won't work with HM-800]
    Well, here's an idea for you as stereo in-ear mixes are really nice to have. It will take some negotiations/compromise.

    1. Create a stereo monitor mix that works for someone in the band. That's two of your Aux outputs.
    2. Use each of the four remaining aux outputs as a mono "more me" send to the other four headphone channels.
    3. Each user can then mix in "more me" as they desire on the headphone amp.

    Just a thought. I helped a band with limited resources work this out and it actually ended up working out really well. We did have to find the person that wanted to the most balanced "main monitor mix" that became the other four members baseline mix that they then added "more me" too. In the end three people were actually using only the "main monitor mix" (no added "more me").

    Having the stereo feed was key to helping keep things separated. Nothing was panned full left and full right, but just enough off center to give separation. Bass was centered and then vocals and guitars panned as per stage position. Only the slightest touch of drums were in the in-ears just to add back a bit of definition lost from hearing the drums acoustically through the ear plugs (i.e., in-ears).

    EDIT: And, having said all that, I just realized the HM-800 does not have mix knobs to mix the main and aux inputs like the HM-400. How sad. I would recommend the ART HeadAmp 6 to rectify that situation. Great device.

    I'll be honest, mono in-ear feeds kinda suck. Is there any chance at all three people would survive on the same stereo mix? Or two on one stereo mix, two on another, and one gets their own?

    - John
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    bajistaman likes this.
  6. Thank you very much @ofajen and @JKos, great advice and I think I will start with the TS 2 TS connection first as we are just starting to practice this way but I will save this thread for when further improvement is desired.
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