Audio connectors are terminated with conductive cable to transfer electrical signals between audio devices. A variety of audio connectors exist on consumer audio devices and musical equipment, usually for transferring analog audio. Typical types of connectors include RCA connectors for home A/V devices, and XLR, 1/4", TRS and Speakon (designed by Neutrik) in the pro audio scene.
Consumer Audio Connectors
In day to day live most people will encounter the RCA connector, used to transfer the video (yellow) and audio (red, white) between entertainment equipment such as DVD players and TV's. Also used on component video cables. The 3.5mm or 1/8" mini-jack plug is now very common place due to rise of MP3 players and smartphones featuring this size of headphone output jack.
Pro Audio Connectors
All stage performance and recording of acoustically created music, still requires the use of analog audio cable and the connectors to interlink the analog sound source to mixing and recording equipment. The most commonly encountered connectors are the XLR and 1/4" Jack connectors found on microphone cables and guitar leads respectively. Equipment outputting 'Line Level' signals such as mixing desks can have XLR, 1/4" or RCA outputs. Speaker cables are often equipped with Speakon connectors designed by the legendary Neutrik company.
The rise of the digital audio scene sees a growing need for digital audio connectors, namely panel mount socket connectors for USB, Firewire and HDMI signals and ethernet sockets and plugs for the latest digital audio snakes and mixers. Neutrik is again leading the world in the design and production of connectors for digital audio.