Audio Jack Plug

A TRS connector, also called a jack plug (UK) or phone plug (U.S.), is a common audio connector. It is cylindrical in shape, typically with three contacts, although sometimes with two (a TS connector). It was invented for use in telephone switchboards in the 19th century and is still widely used, both in its original quarter-inch (6.3 mm) size and in miniaturized versions. The connector's name is an acronym derived from the names of three conducting parts of the plug: Tip, Ring, and Sleeve hence, TRS.

  1. Sleeve: usually ground

  2. Ring: Right-hand channel for stereo signals, negative phase for balanced mono signals, power supply for power-requiring mono signal sources

  3. Tip: Left-hand channel for stereo signals, positive phase for balanced mono signals, signal line for unbalanced mono signals

  4. Insulating rings

You can gain access to the internal connections by cutting a cable in two. Inside you will find two ground-shielded wires. The cable I cut had a white wire for the left channel and a red wire for the right channel. You can check for continuity to the appropriate part of the plug as shown above.


TRS Connector, Wikipedia article

Maintained by John Loomis, last updated 21 February 2008