Redditor Stumbles Upon Old Phone Adapter That Dramatically Changes Headphones’ Sound Quality

TRRS adapter and how it is used. (From:Reddit)
TRRS adapter and how it is used. (From:Reddit)

We independently review all our recommendations. Purchases made via our links may earn us a commission. Learn more ❯

A Reddit user’s experiment reveals how a TRRS adapter unexpectedly improves sound in older headphones.

Reddit user u/Nonov-213 unearthed an old TRRS phone adapter that they said improved the soundstage of an older pair of headphones. The home experiment offered interesting insights into the world of headphone adapters and their impact on sound quality.

On the r/headphones subreddit, u/Nonov-213 explained that using the TRRS adapter with the SHP9600 headphones had no change in sound quality. But when used with an older unspecified pair of headphones, there was a dramatic alteration. The user noted a wider, theater-like soundstage but a noticeable reduction in vocal clarity.

Understanding Headphone Jack Adapters

u/Nonov-213's phone adapter. (From: Reddit)
u/Nonov-213’s phone adapter. (From: Reddit)

Learning how jack and plug adapters work is key to figuring out why there’s a difference in sound. These adapters ensure compatibility between audio devices and sources, even if they have different sizes or types of plugs and ports.

A TRRS adapter, like the one u/Nonov-213 found, converts a single audio jack into a dual-functioning port. This supports audio output and microphone input on headphones with separate audio and mic connectors.

Compatibility Is Key

u/Nonov-213’s experience shows how crucial it is to understand the specifications and requirements of audio equipment.

It also underscores the impact of seemingly minor accessories like adapters on sound quality.

A mismatched configuration between the adapter and headphones can lead to various sound issues. For example, using a TRRS adapter with headphones made for a TRS setup can cause uneven sound or stop sound on one or both sides of the headphones.

Similarly, a TRS adapter with TRRS headphones can disable the microphone functionality or cause audio interference.

MIssing vocals due to a misalignment or short in the adapter's contacts (From: Reddit)
MIssing vocals due to a misalignment or short in the adapter’s contacts (From: Reddit)

That said, the improved sound but missing vocals on u/Nonov-213’s old headphones may be due to a misalignment or short in the contacts.

‘’Since vocals are usually dead center, that’s been taken out. This will happen if one of the channels gets shorted to ground, causing it to do a voltage split of all the signal common to the other channel.’’ – u/blitzkrieg4

As for u/Nonov-213’s SHP9600 headphones, the lack of sound difference is likely because the headphones are optimized for the standard TRRS connection in newer devices.

Leave a Reply