How use connections effectively?

I am completely new at this game. I have a few questions about my steinberg 816x interface. I am hoping some more experienced users can answer. I have read the manual, but it does not have enough info for me to connect dots leaves too many empty spaces for someone who doesn’t understand the language and buzz words. I have also searched google and youtube to no avail.

My questions:

To use monitors or other speakers for play back with the 816x interface what connection to use TRS, Optical, or S/PDIF?

Is there such a thing as a best connection that utilizes the DAC optimally.

What if your speakers have a standard stereo mini jack only?

Can one use the 816x for a DAC with home computer entertainment center to watch movies and to improved sound quality?

I have started basic recording and playing around with Cubase. The learning curve is huge. At this point I am just using headphones for monitoring, but would like to start using monitors and would also love to experiment with the DAC for just listening to tunes or watching movies.

Thanks in advance to all who take the time to answer.


Yes you can use your “DAC” to play back other media from you computer.

If you’re going to use powered speakers then use the TRS outs, If using studio powered monitors then probably best to use Balanced (3 wire) TRS to TRS or XLR depending on what the monitor input’s are?

If you speakers have a single mini jack I presume then they are computer speakers? then you will need a stereo mini jack to two mono jacks like this

Thanks for the response.

I will buy the connection you mentioned. I have a pair of powered
audioengines A5 computer speaker I pick up about four years ago.

I want to eventually buy monitors but for now this is what I will be using until I more cash to spend
I am new to recording and a couple weeks a I purchased a MacBook pro, Steinberg 816x interface, cords, microphones, and stands. That About blows my budget for now.

If I want listen to music or watch a movie using my Macbook pro and take advantage of the 816x DAC, how to I do that firewire from computer to 816x to powered speaker by TRS/minijack? Or what?


If I want listen to music or watch a movie using my Macbook pro and take advantage of the 816x DAC, how to I do that ?

don’t really know how to do that on a mac, but someone else will :stuck_out_tongue:

It is NOT recommended to use the DAW audio channels for general computer output, as the computer may feed some extraneous system sounds into the audio streams.

Of course, temporarily assigning a program’s outputs to the quality DAW interface is OK, but then you have to remember to change them back again.

I have the RME 800 and the computer outputs feed into separate switched inputs of the passive SMPro M-Patch 2 that feeds my powered monitors. That way they are totally separate audio streams with NO shared earthing. The M-Patch 2 has a separate stereo level control for each of those inputs. These, and the mute button, allow cutting level to the speakers if any of the digital outputs locks to a high level because a program has gone feral. EastWest’s Play engine has done that.

As for watching video’s, I use an Astro Gaming MixAmp to listen to Dolby Headphone 5.1 sound through earphones using a optical cable from the TV. The HDMI inputs on the TV pick up the 5.1 from the BD and HDSTB/DVR. I haven’t used the computer to watch BVD/BDs using the MixAmp yet.