TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic 15
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David Winet

You are obviously knowledgeable, I wonder if I can ask you:

I want to plug a lapel mic with a 3/8″ TRRS into a 1/4″ TS hole in my mini amp. Is that even possible? I tried 3 adapters, none worked. My 1/4″-supplied normal size mic, on the other hand works fine.

Norm Perron

I have a real old pc with seperate headphone out 3.5mm female and stereo line in. Works perfect in audacity, can monitor stereo line in, in headphones.

I recently got a Dell laptop with TRRS connector. I got a CTIA adapter with male TRRS that plugs into the Dell. On the other end there are 2 female 3.5mm connectors, labeled Earphone & Microphone. The earphones work fine in stereo. The stereo line in feed is converted to mono, merging both channels together.

I bought a OMTP to CTIA adapter which makes it worst. There is no documentation on my Dell specifying which connection the TRRS is.

On my Dell, when I plug in the TRRS cable, MaxxAudio pops up asking what I plugged in. The options are:

Mic in; Line in; Headphones (then Earbuds; On-ear; over-ear); Headset (with same 3 options above); External Speakers.

Headset/Earbuds works pretty well, but Line in is converted to mono. I tried Line in (as experiment to see if I get stereo), no audio makes it to Audacity. I’m very familiar w/Audacity, know that is configured correctly.

For the fun of it, I plugged a TRRS earbud with its own mic directly in the Dell. Earbuds are good, mic is also good, but converted to mono (which I expect, but demonstrates Audacity is ready for audio).

Any ideas of how I can get stereo into my Dell?

Kurt Mathes

I have a TRSR that goes with a Sony camcorder and won’t output a dashcam signal which needs a TRRS. I hope it didn’t do damage.

Phil M Gilmer

Severe problems as in won’t work correctly or as in fried components? I would think driving a microphone with an output signal could be bad….. Thanks for the article!

Jeff Fowler

I have an RCA Tablet, Voyager 2. I was curious if it had the special jack for having headphone and microphone, which I found to be called TRRS. No info was presented in the owners manual, so I bought a cheap earbuds with inline mic at the dollar tree and it worked. I hate earbuds, but that was beside the point. This confirmed the tablet had TRRS. I bought a splitter online that would plug in, and then i would have separate headphone out/mic input. Something is wrong. The headphone output works, but the microphone output isn’t working, and it’s not disconnecting the built in mic on the tablet. When I compare the plug on the splitter to the plug on the cheap dollar tree earbuds it looks to me like the plug on the splitter is maybe a half millimeter shorter. Could that be what is not disconnecting the tablet mic and not allowing an outboard mic to work?


I have an issue with a device equipped with a TRRS jack plug, maybe you could help me figure this out: it’s a gaming chair that has built-in “bluetooth” speakers (they are actually wired to a 3.5mm jack that you plug into a Bluetooth receiver).

The sound is good over bluetooth, so listening to music is nice, but as for gaming or watching movies, there is just too much latency with the Bluetooth protocol, so I wanted to plug the 3.5mm jack directly to a sound source (laptop or smartphone).

But the output sound is extremely low and goes to the right speaker only. When I slightly pull the plug from the socket (but not totally), the sound gets louder, but still on the right speaker.

When toggling the pan settings in Windows, I noticed that both left and right channels output to my right speaker as if it were a mono speaker.

When I try another bluetooth receiver, I have the same low sound on the right speaker only.

When I plug regular headphones to the bluetooth receiver, the sound is extremely distorted, so I thought maybe it acts as a big-ass amplifier and since the speakers are not self-powered, maybe I just needed an amplifier, but the result is still the same.

That’s when I wondered why the jack plug is TRRS, which is weird because it’s just a set of stereo speakers (so there’s no microphone channel or anything else), then I don’t understand why there’s an additional ring on the plug.

I saw that regarding TRRS, there are different wiring standards with ground and mic/video inverted, still, normally left channel should be wired to the tip and right channel to the first ring, is that correct?

Nevertheless, the fact that pulling the plug a little from the socket results in better sound makes me think that maybe the right channel is wired to the second ring and not the first one.

Is it possible that the wires are totally messed up?


Nice article, Allan. It appears that it was posted about 5 years ago, but still quite relevant. I was just thinking though, you should probably either answer these guys asking questions, or turn off comments.

Steve Edwards

I find that the TRRS jack plug on my headphones is too long for the TRS socket on my (basic) media player, resulting in unstable stereo output. It can be adjusted by withdrawing the TRRS jack ever so slightly, then the two-channel sound output kicks in but it’s really fiddly.
Do you know of a solution? A simple one would be a small spacing washer on the jack to get the contacts to line up, otherwise a TRRS to TRS adapter to do it electronically.
Anyone else with this issue?

Roderick Sprague

Why is the outer shell that has been the shield and ground in stereo headphones been assigned to the mic? doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of having the ground on the outside to shield everything else from interference? This just seems ass-backwards, or do people hope to ad the ambiance of radio transitions to the mic signal?


Can I connect ts male to trrs female? and get the output from trrs male side.

Ratty Chicago

Any idea where I can get an adapter for waterproof (threaded sleeve) 3,5 TRRS with threaded plug, and threaded jack that crosses between CTIA and OMTP — the ground and mic are changed? It seems that Yaesu radios and Icom radios have them reversed.


I have also seen TRRRS on a (Logitech) Astro A10 headset and it is used throughout their lineup of headsets as well, possibly on other logitech products as well. The cable provided has TRRRS on the headset end and TRRS on the source device end.

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