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Know Your Audio, Jack

posted Apr 21, 2020, 4:35 AM by MUHAMMAD MUN`IM AHMAD ZABIDI   [ updated Apr 26, 2020, 10:30 PM ]
It turns out, there's variations to the simple jack. Plugging your earphone or mic to the wrong socket may produce surprising results.

There are 3 types of jacks: TS, TRS and TRRS. T = tip, R = ring, S = sleeve.

TS type jack does not support stereo sound and microphone. It means there is no left and right only mono. Both side of headphones will give you the same sound.

TRS type jack supports stereo sound but it does not support microphone. You can only listen to music but can not make calls with these type of headphones.

TRRS type jack supports both stereo and microphone functionality. But there are differences in implementation of TRRS.
One is called Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) used by Android phones.
The other is called CTIA used by:
  • Apple
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
If you plugged an Apple earphone/mic set into an Android phone, chances are the microphone might not work.

Luckily, you can connect an OMTP headset to a CTIA jack by adapters below.

Rigid connector.

Flexible connector.

You can also use separate mic and earphones on a TRRS socket using a splitter. The outputs are labeled with mic and headphone.

Rigid splitter.

Flexible splitter.