A mini plug is a 3.5 mm male connector with computer headphones, headset, microphone, and speakers that connect to the computer's sound card. This plug is one example of how audio gets transmitted from the computer to a peripheral device.
Some higher-quality headphones use the original 1/4" (6.35 mm) stereo plug. To connect these headphones to the computer, you must purchase a 1/4" (6.35 mm) female to 3.5mm male adapter.
Originally, this jack was developed in the late 1800s for use with telephone switchboards and was called a phone connector or phone jack. Over its evolution, it's also been called a jack plug, audio jack, audio plug, mini plug, stereo plug, sub-mini plug, and headphone jack.
Some of these alternative names describe the size of the phone connector, while other names are only alternative ways to describe the connector.
Phone connector sizes
Over its evolution, there were many different sizes of phone connectors. Below are the more common ones:
- 2.5 mm (1/10") mono (TS) (sub-mini)
- 3.5 mm (1/8") mono (TS) (mini)
- 3.5 mm (1/8") stereo (TS) (mini)
- 6.35 mm (1/4") stereo (TRS)
The 3.5 mm TRRS connector may have a length of 15 mm (0.59-inch) or 17 mm (0.67-inch). Using the wrong length may prevent the cable from working correctly and cause physical damage.
What are TS, TRS, TRRS, and TRRRS?
When describing a type of phone connector, TS, TRS (tip, ring, sleeve), TRRS, and TRRRS describe the type of contacts on the connector.
Where are phone connectors used?
The phone connector is widespread, used with many electronic devices for over 100 years, and is still used today. Below are examples of different devices that used phone connectors in alphabetical order.
- Digital camera
- DVD (digital versatile disc) players
- Electronic keyboards
- Headphones used with (cell phones, computers, radio, smartphones, and stereos).
- Keyboard on Apple Lisa.
- Mixing deck and other DJ (disc jockey) equipment.