Mobile DJ Connectors, Cables and Accessories


Cables are not the most glamorous part of a DJ set-up, but without them, nothing works. Unfortunately, there’s a confusing array of plugs and cables used in a typical Mobile DJ set-up, and many DJs (experienced or not) have no idea where to start. This guide will cover the differences between balanced and unbalanced inputs and analog and digital signals and highlight the cables you will most likely encounter while DJing.

Working out which cables you require for your set-up is one thing, and then you have to go about connecting everything. Getting it wrong can be costly. In addition, do not risk embarrassment in front of club owners, clients, or other DJs. At worst, make everything sound awful, possibly damaging your gear. As a Mobile DJ, if you have not had the problem of having the connector or cable, you more than likely will. 

There is a saying “a chain is only as good as its weakest link.” That goes double for having the suitable cable or connector in your bag of tricks. The wrong extension cord is just as bad as purchasing the cheapest component. 

You avoid many hums, click and pop problems by ensuring that you have the correct tool.

Signal Cables

There are two types of interconnect cables digital and analog. Digital cables transmit sound as a series of 1s and 0s, the language of computers. Analog cables transmit sound as a continually fluctuating electronic signal.

There is a heterogeneity of different audio connectors available. However, the most commonly used audio cable types are 3-pin XLR, RCA, and 6.5mm TRS plugs (also known as ¼” jacks).

Using balanced cables tends to do a better job of eliminating noise and interference. Because of this, they tend to be more reliable. It would help if you also used balanced cables to run audio signals distances longer than 25 feet.

The main advantage of using a balanced signal cable is that because the ground is separate from the negative conductor, there is less chance that radio frequency interference will get into the audio signal. Generally, +4 DB and a balanced signal are the way to go for long cable runs.

DMX Cables

Whether running a multimillion-dollar dance club production or just starting as a DJ, you will encounter various DMX lighting installations. DMX lighting is a technology that is now the industry standard, but not many people know what it does.

DMX is an acronym for Digital Multiplex. It is the standard digital protocol used to control intelligent lighting fixtures remotely.

DMX and XLR Both cables look the same on the outside but are different inside. Sometimes can be easier said than done to keep the two separate.

With the advent of Blue Tooth, many DMX light fixtures no longer require a solid cable to connect light fixtures to another.

Power Cables

I recommend that you carry one fifty-foot and two twenty-foot cables with you. In addition, you will need a fuse power strip to plug multiple gear pieces with your extension cords.

The guidelines for powers get rather complex, but you should know the longer the cable, the fewer amperes, and the less wattage you will not be able to plug in all your gear to the same outlet. So try not to exceed fifty feet in length, and you will be fine.

Ensure all the power cables used for an event are in excellent working order with the proper grounding. Ensure all wires have the same rating value as the circuit load the extension cords plug into outlets.

Do not put speakers, DJ controllers, and lights on the same extension core; likewise, you should put all your gear on the same circuit. Check with the venue’s host regarding the amount of power available for your event. If they are unsure of the amount, check with building maintenance to be sure.


Audio connectors fall into three types based on their termination ends board-to-board connectors, cable/wire-to-cable/wire connectors, and cable/wire-to-board connectors.

There are five standard cable connectors in the Mobile DJ sound world: TRS and XRL (for balanced connections), TS, RCA, and banana plugs (for unbalanced connections). The Shaft is called the Tip, Ring, and Sleeve.

The 3.5mm speaker and Headphones Audio Splitter allow you to connect two mini speakers or auricular to the same jack on your devices such as portable CD player, sound card, and any stereo audio device with 3.5mm jacks.

From what I’ve experienced, an AUX splitter won’t affect sound quality. Splitters – basically split an analog sound signal into two without interfering. But in some cases, it can reduce the signal quality slightly. Cheap materials cause interference.


Has the question always been one of quantity over quality?

Having a lot of something or cutting corners is never the best thing to do when you make a purchase; go for the quality.

A simple example: My son now has a four outlet one hundred foot long extension cord that he uses in his business today. It is heavy-duty, twenty amperes, and fused. What the big deal, you may ask. That extension cord is twenty-five years old, and people he knows to inquire where he purchased the extension cord; he smiles.

That is great, but what does it have to do with me? If you buy something of quality, it is much more likely to last a lifetime and sometimes beyond.

It’s your business, your livelihood, and it needs to be of the highest quality you can make it. Allow yourself to make a quality investment in your cabling to eliminate concerns and challenges down the road.

Take time to research the items you are about to purchase and ask, “it this something that I need to hold off on to get better, or is something that I can use for now but upgrade later.”

Every business has a budget make sure you are adequate funding for cables, connectors, and accessories. Take care of the small things, and the more important things have a way of falling into place.

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