We are living in an era where every sort of technology is becoming wireless. In the past few years, the popularity of wireless technology, especially headphones, has skyrocketed. But, in spite of that, wired headphones and headphone jacks are still being used on a regular basis. In this article, we will talk about the five types of audio jack.
3.5 mm connectors are worldwide recognized as the most common headphone jack in existence. They are found and used in almost all types of audio devices like portable audio players, smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, field recorders, mixing consoles, and the list goes on.
They are, however, at the risk of extinction as smartphone manufacturers are abandoning the 3.5 mm headphone jacks and are going full wireless. However, some manufacturers still provide audio output through USB C and Apple’s own lightning port. Despite all that, the 3.5 mm headphone jack is considered the industry standard and is still used worldwide on many devices.
2.5 mm Micro Jack
“Micro Jack” is just another name for the headphone jack. The only difference it has with the mini-jack is in its size, as the mini jack is 3.5mm, and the micro jack is a bit smaller, with 2.5mm.
At first, they were used in mobile devices, but with the invention of the 3.5mm, the manufacturers decided that it was the better choice. If you’re in the market scanning for a very small jack, the 2.5mm will do the job just right because it’s the smallest headphone Jack. The name “Micro” comes from the size of its 2.5mm diameter jack.
The Micro jack is often used in the cables of smartphones and portable audio players and is used solely for audio transmission. Nowadays, it’s regularly used in two-way radios like walkie-talkies and a small number of video cameras.
6.35 mm Jack
A very old standard, the 6.35mm audio jack is the jack you use when you’re playing an electric or a bass guitar through an amplifier. It also has a reputation for being used in comparatively professional-grade audio equipment. DVD players used to come equipped with this jack.
At present, the appliance and use of a 6.3mm jack are very rare. We can only see the use of this in professional-grade musical equipment, vintage microphones, and some metal detectors. The plug itself is very bulky. Depending on the number of pins, the 6.35mm jack can be divided into two categories; the two-pin category and the three-pin category, both of which contain a separate pinout.
Audio Lightning Jack
The lightning connector is Apple’s proprietary connection cable designed and intended to be used in tandem with Apple’s mobile devices with multiple functionalities, including charging the phone and sending or receiving digital information. Compared to the 3.5 mm jack, the lightning jack has a reputation for producing and transmitting a full sound. However, the 3.5mm jack can only transmit audio with 16-bit quality.
Better audio quality is not the only advantage the audio lightning jack has under its sleeves. Thanks to its built-in DAC, the lightning jack can produce perfect sound reproduction that has no distortion or compression. By using the lightning jack, you’re also able to provide electrical power to your headphone from the source directly. The jack also extends the capability of your portable Apple devices.
Commonly found in gaming headsets, the USB port is a different kind of connector. Nowadays, this port and line output is found in almost all audio sources. USB headsets have a reputation for producing remarkable sounds without creating noise, which is an issue with analog headsets. It is also comparatively easier to install and use.
However, this kind of headphone jack is pretty rare as it’s mainly found being used by professional or competitive gamers from eSports. They have a built-in amplifier, which produces a more powerful and cleaner sound. Some of the specific models do not need an external digital-to-analog converter. It is because the headphones possess a chip that has similar functionality.
One of the disadvantages of this is that usb-connected headphones are incredibly demanding in terms of power. The port is able to manage a 5-volt flow of current, which drains the battery fairly quickly, though it’s diminished when it’s hardwired to a computer or any other fixed equipment.
Audio jacks are essential, whether you’re setting up your amplifier, attaching your speakers, or plugging in your microphones. So that was the top 5 audio jacks we use on a daily basis, hope you got the basic idea about audio jacks.