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The Differences between Multiple Headphone Plugs

Jul. 20, 2022

Just by looking at the analog headphone cable plug, we can tell a lot about its attributes, such as whether it supports a microphone, whether it supports a stereo signal, and whether it supports a balanced connection. 3.5mm audio jack is by far the most common type.

Despite Apple's ongoing efforts to eliminate the analog headphone jack, the interface is still proving resilient. apple's approach has some advantages, although it may be inconvenient during the transition. The all-digital Lightning connector can transmit more data than an analog 3.5mm cable, it can power the device it's connected to, it requires no batteries for active noise cancellation, and more.

But we're not here to talk about lightning cables. Instead, this article will focus on the differences between multiple analog headphone plugs.

The Differences between Multiple Headphone Plugs


Identifying your audio plugs

Once upon a time, the stereo jack or headphone jack we see now was used in 19th century telephone exchanges. Now, we have three main sizes measured by diameter; 6.5mm, 3.5mm and 2.5mm, plus three main plug configurations.
Today, it is often easier and more accurate to reference each type by their Tip/Ring/Sleeve configuration to avoid any misunderstandings, especially when considering balanced audio.


Stereo plus microphone

Even now, the most common place to find an audio jack is on your MP3 player or personal computer. Simply plug in your headphones and you're ready to go. Both mono and stereo audio have long been standardized to ensure device compatibility between analog systems - even when adapting to RCA.
In the socket, the contacts in contact with the plug do not move and in the case of standard stereo jacks, they are always connected left, right and ground (from top to bottom).


The Differences between Multiple Headphone Plugs

DIP contacts 3.5mm Audio Jack


Buying an audio interface

When it comes time to add a microphone channel, things go a bit pear-shaped, as there are two schools of thought on how to connect the connections. One is called CTIA and the other is called OMTP. Some manufacturers choose to replace the socket so that the sleeve contact acts as the ground wire (OMTP), while others choose to leave the ground contact in place and squeeze the new channel into the sleeve (CITA).


Cameras and Video

Microphone audio isn't the only type of signal this new contact can carry; with the miniaturization of cameras and camcorders, analog audio and video outputs are quickly coming to us in the form of TRRS to 3RCA branching cables.
Again, without a set of standards, the pin assignments within the female socket may change from one manufacturer to another. Sony cameras are unlikely to work with Panasonic AV breakout leads because they are wired differently.
In some cases, you can swap RCA ends and still get picture and audio, but not always. And, if the manufacturer moves the grounding point, things will fail anyway.


Belongs to the connector field, Audio Jack is applied to Audio signal with different designs. The Audio jack connector for laptop computers, commonly known as the headphone socket, is the other end that fits into the earplugs. AIKE can change the shell, the legs and even housing to make lots of similar parts. We are so able to produce other standard as per the clients' requirements. Just contact us.


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