TRS and TRRS: The Differences That You Need to Know About

You find different cables for audio devices like headsets, but in this article, we will company the most common ones. TRS and TRRS are the most common cable types that many people use to connect their audio devices with audio jacks.

The headsets you use either have a TRS or a TRRS cable to help you connect with your laptop. These two are the most common configurations that you will find. You can identify them by counting the number of bands since two bands mean that it is a TRS, whereas three bands indicate a TRRS.

So, what is the difference between both of them? And which one should you choose? We will discuss their significant difference to give you a better idea. But before that, let’s get a better understanding of these terms.

What is TRS?

TRS stands for Tip-Ring-Sleeve, which describes its three contact points that run along the cable. A Tip, Ring, and Sleeve connector is a common choice for stereos since the extra ring provides the two contacts a way to get a right and left audio channel. The TRS cables come in three different varieties, including:

  • TRS ¼” Balanced Line Cables: These cables contain a shield and two signal wires
  • TRS 2.5 Millimeter TRS Cables: The common usage of the TRS 2.5 Millimeter TRS Cables is for guitar cables.
  • TRS 3.5 Millimeter TRS Cables: The cable is commonly used for stereo signals.

The TRS ¼” balanced line cables are a good option for balanced signals since the Tip and the Ring can carry audio signals while the Sleeve is utilized as the ground. Conversely, the 3.5 Millimeter TRS cables are used for carrying stereo and unbalanced signals via the Tip and the Ring as channels for both speakers and the Sleeve as ground.

Lastly, the 2.5 millimeter TRS cables are used for mini-jack connectors, which are usually common in TTY devices. A key thing to remember is that the TRS is used for one-way audio, such as a camera or portable audio recorder.

What is a TRRS?

The term TRRS stands for Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleeve as it has an additional ring compared to a TRS cable. Most laptops, computers, gaming consoles, and mobile phones come with TRRS jacks. They allow you to speak through the built-in microphone and listen to the audio. Similar to the TRS, you will find the following sizes for the TRRS cable:

  • ¼-inch
  • 5mm
  • 5mm

Most TRRS cables meet the CTIA criteria, also known as the American Headset Jack (AHJ) standards. The first ring, along with the Tip, will carry the right and left channels while the ground is on the second ring. The Sleeve, in this case, is the microphone or the video channel.

OMTP standard is a less popular standard than the TRRS cables use. According to this standard, the second Ring is utilized mics while the ground is on the Sleeve. The most common use of the TRRS cables is to carry stereo, unbalanced signals.

The primary reason is that additional contact points will carry the video signal rather than balancing out the signals. But, few devices would utilize the extra contact point to carry out balanced signals.

Compatibility of TRS and TRRS

Usually, the TRS headsets can function adequately with devices such as computers, laptops, etc., that have a TRRS socket. After you plug the TRS headset, the device microphone will stay active, but the internal speakers will turn off.

The same is the case with a TRRS headset which you can use with a TRS port, which can be used for the microphone, but the microphone's channel will not be active. Talking about the TRS microphones, they wouldn't be compatible with a TRRS socket because it is designed for audio input. However, you can use a TRS to TRRS adapter to get it working.

How to Connect Your EKSAs Headset with 3.5 mm Audio Jack to Your Computer?

You might wonder how you can connect your gaming headsets with a 3.5 mm audio jack to your computer. So, here is a step-by-step process to give you a better idea.

  1. The first thing you need to check is that no audio devices are connected to your computer. If there is any, you need to remove it before proceeding to the next step.
  2. Next, you need to look for the position of your 3.5 mm audio jack in your computer. You need to look for the correct jack according to different 3.5 mm audio jack types. Below is a picture to give you a better idea about it.


  • Headset Jack:This jack will be the microphone input and the headset output.
  • Microphone Jack:This jack will only support your microphone input and not headset output.
  • Headphone Jack:This jack will support headset output but will not support microphone input.
  1. Usually, the EKSA's headset does support the microphone input and headset output simultaneously. Therefore, you can choose the Headset Jack. If you go for the other two jacks, there will be no sound from your headset or the microphone.
  2. You can use a Y-cable Splitter if your computer doesn't have a Headset Jack. It will connect with your Headphone Jack and Microphone Jack, allowing you to use it usually.  


These simple steps can help you connect your ESKA headset with a 3.5 mm audio jack to your computer in no time without any hassle.

TRS vs. TRRS: Which Is Better?

Now that you have a clear idea regarding TRS and TRRS, you might wonder which one is better for your device. Many think that TRRS would give an optimal result compared to the TRS since it has an extra cable point for the additional channel.

However, that is not the case since both serve different purposes. Each cable has an integral role and serves a different or same purpose as the others. However, they co-exist because one may come in handy where using the other cable might not be suitable.


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