TRRS (aka 4-Pole) 3.5mm Audio Jacks are becoming more and more common. Whether it's your smartphone's headset socket or your new laptop's audio-and-microphone combination jack, TRRS is here to stay. With this compact splitter, you can now connect regular stereo headset microphones straight in, with clearly labeled 'headphone' and 'microphone' sockets.
This adapter converts any headset which uses two 3.5mm male jacks into a single TRRS combination audio/microphone plug for use with a wide variety of phones, tablets, laptops and multimedia devices. It is particularly useful for the PS4 USB Sound Card that is ioncluded with our CronusMAX PLUS. Great for use with Skype apps, gaming with voice chat and other VOIP systems which use a 4-Pole 3.5mm input. Wired for the CTIA standard on the TRRS plug. There's plenty of room between the female sockets for just about any 3.5mm plug barrels to sit side by side!
Stereo Note: It's worth noting that these adapters reverse the left and right audio channels. We are not sure why, but it seems most TRRS adapters seem to be wired this way.
The stereo and mic cables are joined by their PVC jacket, but can be separated further if necessary. Helpfully colour coded with green for headphones and red for mic, this can be used with all standard TRRS headsets and connects to Laptops, sound cards or other devices with stereo and mic sockets, including newer devices that have the TRRS 4 pole standard audio input/output standard such as Apple® and Dell® laptops.
Once upon a time, what we now see as stereo jacks or headphone sockets were used in the telephone switchboards of the 19th century. Now, we have three main sizes measured by their diameter; 6.5mm, 3.5mm and 2.5mm, plus three major plug configurations:
T = Tip, R = Ring, S = Sleeve
These days it's generally easier and more accurate to refer to each type by their Tip/Ring/Sleeve configuration to avoid any misunderstanding, especially when balanced audio is taken into account. This description works for all three sizes, so don't be put off that our diagrams show 3.5mm and not 6.5mm...
Professional-grade audio leads used for live performances sometimes have their own sets of rules (balanced/unbalanced/powered). In this article, we're only discussing unbalanced or 'general' use audio jacks.
Even now, the most common place to find an audio jack is on your MP3 player or personal computer. Just plug in your headphones and off you go. Both mono and stereo audio have been standardised for a long time to ensure equipment compatibility between analogue systems - even when adapted to RCA.
In the socket, the contacts which touch the plug haven't moved, and they're always connected (from top to bottom) as Left, Right, Ground in the case of a stereo jack.
When it came time to add in a microphone channel, things went a little pear-shaped because there were two schools of thought on how to wire up the connections. One called CTIA, and another known as OMTP. Some manufacturers chose to change the socket in order to make the sleeve contact as the ground line (OMTP), while others chose to leave the ground contact where it was and squeeze the new channel in on the sleeve (CITA).
As you can see from the above diagram, there was a benefit to keeping the ground contact position unchanged, and this is the solution we see most often in headsets for personal computers, iPhones and many other smartphone and tablet brands. This was arguably the 'first' standard (CITA).