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Here is the difference between speaker out and line out (credit goes to the original author here):

“Its all a question of impedance, speaker out is expecting a low impedance, 4-32 Ohm object to be stuck on it. Line-out is expecting a high impedance (I think 1kOhm) object to be stuck on it. If you dont put the correct matched object on each output you get a loss of signal quality.

With highly strung amps you can actually do damage but the cheap stuff on a soundcard is pretty immune. Also a PC soundcard generates so much noise that the increase by the impedance mismatch is hardly noticeably. Normally all I really see is a drop in frequency response.”

“Impedence” is the ratio of voltage to current – similar to, but not exactly resistance. Read more about it here if you are interested.

One Response to “Impedence”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Horray for Bioengineering classes where one learns what impedance actually is!

    Z = V/I

    Where V and I are both complex number properties of circuits derived from the inductance and capacitance of the components.

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