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What Are the Differences Between TS, TRS and TRRS Audio Connectors? Which One Should You Use?

June 01, 2022 2 min read

As a creator, you may find yourself in need of a microphone cable at some point. There are three main types of audio jack connectors: TS (tip-sleeve), TRS (tip-ring-sleeve), and TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve). Here's a quick beginner's guide on audio connectors for mic cables so you can choose the right one for your needs.

TS Audio Connector (Tip-Sleeve)

The first type of microphone cable we'll be discussing is the TS cable. TS cables are the most basic type of audio connectors and are typically used for mono signals. What does TS mean? The "TS" stands for "tip-sleeve," which refers to the two conductors that make up the jack. The tip is the inner conductor, while the sleeve is the outer conductor. TS cables are usually used for unbalanced signals, like audio created by an electric guitar.

TRS Audio Connector (Tip-Ring-Sleeve)

The next type of microphone cable is the TRS cable. TRS connectors are more versatile than TS connectors and can be used for both mono and stereo signals. It's constructed of three conductors: tip, ring, and sleeve, which is where its name comes from - "TRS". The tip and ring are the inner conductors, while the sleeve is the outer conductor. TRS cables are typically used for balanced signals that eliminate noise.

TRRS Audio Connector (Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleeve)

The last type of microphone cable is the TRRS cable. TRRS connectors are the most versatile and can be used for mono, stereo, and mic signals. The "TRRS" stands for "tip-ring-ring-sleeve," which refers to the four conductors that make up the cable. The tip and two rings are the inner conductors, with the sleeve being the outer conductor. TRRS cables can be used for both balanced and unbalanced signals.

So, in the battle of TS vs TRS vs TRRS, which microphone cable should you use? That depends on your needs. If you're only using a microphone for a mono signal, like on an electric guitar, then a TS cable will suffice. If you need a cable that can connect balanced equipment, then a TRS connector is the way to go. And if you need a cable that can handle mono, stereo, and mic signals, then a cable with a TRRS connector is the way to go.

There you have it! A quick guide to the different types of microphone cables and when to use them. Hopefully, this has cleared up any confusion and you can now go forth and choose the right audio connector cable for your project.