Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in Cubendo


I have a Klipsch Quintet 5.0 Home Theater Speaker System that uses the wire 14 Gauge AWG 100ft Speaker Wire Cable with banana speaker plugs.

I was wondering if I could use it as Surround Monitoring System.

Is it just as simple as buying one of these 1/4" to Banana Plug Adapter Cables 6". 1/4 Inch TS Mono Female to Male Banana Cords plugs and connecting it to my Audio interface? I really wish there was a female banana cable to 1/4 inch TRS male ( or balanced XLR) adapter as I already have speaker cable! I searched online, I couldn’t find any. If it feasible, I will make one myself.

My audio interface in MR816 and it has the following output jacks:

  • OUTPUT jacks 1 – 8 (Analog output jacks 1 – 8) : supports both balanced and unbalanced signals.
    -S/PDIF IN/OUT jack (Digital input/output jack)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Short version:

Start by looking at the documentation for what your speakers accept as an input.

Then look at what your interface is able to output.


I don’t have the Klipsch speakers, nor do I currently use consumer-grade monitoring.

Having said that though my understanding is that usually when you see a speaker with a ‘speaker plug’ that receives ‘speaker wire’ it means they are un-powered and receive an amplified signal from somewhere. If it’s a consumer surround package it’s usually a receiver / entertainment center system that amplifies the signal.

The average computer interface we use for DAWs isn’t amplifying signals to speaker level, it amplifies to (“professional”) line level.

So my assumption would be that it’s not as easy as just swapping cables and connecting straight into your interface. I would expect you would either need to output ‘consumer level’ to a receiver and have that amplify to speakers, or have a receiver that accepts line level, or send to a receiver using digital.

If you send digital you’ll need to send 6 channels for 5.1 and you’d have to make sure that the receiver can accept whatever format you’re sending. I think your interface can send ADAT signals over optical and that’s a maximum of 8 channels at 48kHz so that’s what your receiver would need to accept. Some devices send surround over S/PDIF but then it’s already encoded and you’d need to encode which I recommend you don’t try to do.

Last option for digital is HDMI maybe? Your interface doesn’t have it, but your computer might (?). You’d have to again check that all devices can accept that, and then you’d have to select that audio device (computer) as the output in Cubase/Nuendo, which could be annoying because I bet you wouldn’t be using ASIO drivers for it.

Thank you for the prompt and great response.
What if I add active surround and center speakers to my existing stereo monitors and subwoofer speakers?

Yamaha offers NS P150 speakers, but I guess it’s not active.

“Your mom”…???

What speakers do you currently have? If you already have a pair then get a third of the same kind for your center channel, and then add two more for Ls Rs, preferably the same monitor but a smaller monitor size of the same model might work as well.

I have a pair of M-Audio BX5a and a SBX as subwoofer. The center monitor should be short so that it stand below my display monitors!

Thanks. Sorry, that was error by speech to text! I should have checked it.

Get three more BX5a’s. You really shouldn’t have a center that’s different from Left Front / Right Front, the three really should be the same. If you end up panning a sound across the front you’ll get potentially odd results if they’re different.

I guess, I have no choice. Thankfully, they are inexpensive!

I will put/turn the center on its side. The tweeter is more at my ears level.