Headphones are an essential accessories with phones, music systems, laptops and even TVs. For any audio-based system, a headphone is often an essential part. The headphone can be wired or wireless.
Wired headphone comes the cable and its cable glands. Also known as connectors, glands attach a cable to the equipment. Each of these parts are important to create a stable and balanced connection.
So, the cables are as important as the glands. Some of the most common glands are made of brass because of the metal’s high conductivity. For brass cable glands manufacturer’s audio headphones are among their biggest clients.
Just as there are different types of cables and connections, there are also different types of connectors, plugs and jacks. These are:
Standing for Registered Jack, RJ9 is a connector that you will see on a desk phone. It has a four contact construction that connects it to 4P4C handset plug. It goes into the square port that you see at the side of the phone. The connector is usually customised, meaning not every connector will fit into every port.
Short for Universal Serial Bus, we are all familiar with this connector. With a universal port, the USB connector is pretty versatile and can fit into any module. Usually used with a computer, it is used to transfer all kind of information from one device to another from text to audio.
For mobiles and tablets we have micro-USB, a shortened version to accommodate for the compact body. Within USBs there are now various versions like USB 2, USB 3.
This is the standard and hence, most common audio pin you will find. Chances are that your mobile or music system uses the same connector. It is most commonly found with the new cell models, portable music systems and computers.
The older computers may have two ports for the 3.5 mm jack one for the headphone and one for the microphone, though new models combine the function. Some headsets may also come with two separate jacks one for input and one for output.
The connector has 2 bands. One acts as positive and the other is negative. Earphones with a mic use a third band with a mechanism to switch functions. Although cheap metals are often used here, it is worthwhile to look for brass cable glands manufacturers here for longevity and functionality.
2.5 mm plug
You have probably seen this one with your older phone headphone or your walkman. This is the older version of 3.5 mm plug. the 2.5 mm balanced pin are sometimes found in high fidelity audio players.
6.35 mm plug
Also predating the 3.5 mm plug, the 6.35 is still widely used in professional studio headphones. Preferred by musicians, the 6.35 is a TRS connector which gives it balance.
The red, yellow and white connectors of the RCA are quite familiar to anyone who has tried to connect DVDs and other audio-visual equipment. The separate pins are meant to accommodate the multiple function of the cable, transferring both audio and visual.
Usually there are two pins for audio and one for the video. These are also used with Waterproof Headphones and amplifiers.
Although not commonly used with headphones, the TOSLINK is quite a preferred connector in high quality audio-video connections. It is often combined with RCA for a complete and high standard transfer. Despite the quality, this plug is not used as often because of the high cost.
Found in many professional headphones, XLR is also used for professional video, lighting and audio equipments. Circular in design, it usually has three pins that fit snugly. The resultant connection is stable and balanced.
Four, five, six and seven pin XLR connectors are also found, but the three-pin design is most common. This pin design is seen in all kind of professional equipment, from PA systems, loudspeakers and microphones.
A smaller version of this is the mini-XLR. This is the type that is used in headphones. The most common design here is mini-XLR with a 6.35 mm on the other end.
Today headphones are available with many different kind of connectors, depending on its usage, price and level of efficiency required. These are some of the common connectors made by brass cable glands manufacturers.