How to Make a Model 1 Genesis Output Stereo

How to Make a Model 1 Genesis Output Stereo

An easy solution without modding

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Tutorials on

If you own an original Sega Genesis then you might be disappointed that it only has mono sound. Later models utilized an A/V cable that allowed stereo output, but it's not compatible with the old model. However, here's a fix that'll put the Blast back in your Processing.

Required cables for Sega Genesis stereo output
A standard Genesis A/V cable (left) and a stereo Y-cable (right)

First of all, the only cable that you'll need (besides the A/V cable) is a stereo Y-cable. To be specific, you're looking for one with a 3.5mm headphone male connector on one end and two male RCA connectors on the other. Once you have that, let's move on.

To hook up your Sega Genesis to have stereo sound, perform the following steps:

  1. Plug the A/V cable into the back of the Genesis where it says "A/V Out"
  2. Insert the yellow RCA connector into the video input of your desired device and leave the white RCA connector dangling
  3. Plug the 3.5mm end of the Y-cable into the headphone jack at the front of your Genesis (where it says "Phones")
  4. Insert the red and white RCA connectors on the other end of the Y-cable into their corresponding sockets (according to where you plugged in the yellow connector from step 2)

There you have it, the simplest solution to make your old-school Genesis sound as new-school as it can.

Sega Genesis with cables plugged in
This Sega Genesis is ready to rock!

You've now done the basic steps, but let's look at some additional points that might help you get the most out of your new setup:

  • If there is no sound or it's quiet, ensure the volume slider above the headphone jack is turned up
  • If the sound is poor quality, try cleaning the cable connectors with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol
  • Before starting a game, enter the options menu and make sure either "stereo" or "headphones" is selected for the audio output option (not all games have this setting)
  • The 3.5mm connector on the Y-cable should have two lines on the shaft making it a three-conductor plug (if there's only one line then you won't get actual stereo sound)

I probably haven't covered everything, so if you need some additional assistance then drop me a line in the comments section below and I'll try my best to help you out.

Playing Castlevania: Bloodlines on a Sega Genesis
Now that we're good to go, let's enjoy some Castlevania: Bloodlines in stereo

I hope this brief tutorial helped you get more enjoyment out of your Genesis. If you'd like more information or you just want to talk about how much better the music in Streets of Rage now sounds then please leave a comment below!

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