What’s The Difference Between 2.5mm and 3.5mm Headphone Jacks?

Even though wireless headphones and earbuds are very popular, many people still use wired headphones. These headphone wires have different sized headphone jacks. The most common sizes are 2.5mm and 3.5mm jacks.

Jacks and Plugs

When referring to headphone jacks, the term is often used to refer to both the jack and the plug.

For this article’s purpose, the headphone jack is the female receptacle end on the device transmitting the audio signal, such as an MP3 player, and the headphone plug is the male end of the headphone cord that is inserted into the audio device.

Differences and Uses

The biggest difference between the 2.5mm plug and jack, and the 3.5mm plug and jack, is obviously the size.

2.5mm plugs and jacks are smaller, and are also called audio jacks. They are often used with two-way radios (also known as walkie-talkies) and video cameras.

3.5mm plugs and jacks range from 14mm to 17 mm in length, and are commonly used in video applications. These plugs and jacks are available on most analog wired headphones, and are also used as auxiliary aux cables.

Other uses for 3.5mm are portable audio players, laptops, smartphones, tablets, field recorders and mixing consoles.

There are two different styles of 3.5mm connectors. Headphones usually use TRS 3-pole 3.5mm connectors, and headphones with microphones use TRRS 4-pole 3.5mm connectors.

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Tips, Rings and Sleeves On 3.5mm Cables

TRS stands for tip, ring and sleeve. These are found on the connector ends, and correspond with components inside the jacks.

Tips are at both ends the plug and are the point that connects inside the jack to transmit 3.5mm cable signals.

Rings wrap around the plug’s circumference. They are electronically isolated and are designed to connect with conductors inside the jack at different points than the tip.

Sleeve is the part closest to the base of the plug. It’s larger than the tip, and provides grounding to reduce electromagnetic interference.

These components are the pole counts of the plug and jack and the internal wires that transmit the audio signal throughout the cable.

Different configurations produce different signal transmissions and results, and are used for a variety of uses.

2.5mm and 3.5mm Jacks and Plugs

There are many uses for these jacks and plugs, with the most popular being conducting audio signals between microphones, headsets, electrical musical instruments, loudspeakers, headphones, and audio devices such as DVD players, CD players, televisions and MP3 players.

Ultimately, your device will dictate whether 2.5mm or 3.5mm is the cable type you need. By far, 3.5mm is the current standard although some devices still prioritize 2.5mm. Shop both at PrimeCables.ca.

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