Audio Adapter Connectors
In today’s technologically advanced world, there are literally dozens of different standards for everything. It really does make you want to rethink standards doesn’t it? Audio, visual, signal processing, you name it. When it comes to audio, there are many different type of “standard” connections available. You have mini ports, 3.5mm connectors, USB audio, etc. Thanks to the many audio adapter connectors, you don’t have to worry anymore.
The 5 Most Common Audio Connectors
You have probably seen many different types of audio connectors. Below are the 5 most common types of audio connectors you will come across when dealing with audio systems.
6.35mm audio plugs were one of the first types of audio plugs around. If you have ever seen those thick audio connectors at the end of a microphone, you know what a 6.35mm audio connector is. For those who don’t, refer to the picture. These connectors are usually used in professional audio equipment and many older generation stereo systems.
3.5mm audio connectors are the single most common audio connectors ever. The little green or black plug you see at the end of you headsets, ear buds or speaker wires are all 3.5mm audio connectors. They plug into 3.5mm audio jacks.
This is a miniaturized version of the normal 3.5mm audio connectors. Most of you probably remember these types of connectors being used in older mobile phones. Due to the fact that this type of connector was not common, they assured that consumers would purchase the phone manufacturer’s specific headsets.
After 3.5mm connectors, RCA are the most common type of audio connectors in the world. RCA stands for “Radio Corporation of America” as they were first used by them to connect their hardware components. Since then, they have grown into one of the most common audio jacks in the world.
oslink is a type of audio link that was created back in 1983 by Toshiba (hence the name). Now, a variation known as mini-Toslink is widely used in many Apple products.
What are Audio Adapter Connectors?
Audio adapters allow you to convert one standard into another. For example, you may want to connect a large stereo system into your Smartphone’s jack. However, your stereo system may not have a 3.5mm jack but simple red and white RCA female sockets. A simple 3.5mm-2xRCA adapter would do the trick and allow you to connect your Smartphone to your stereo.
However, depending on the quality of your connector, the quality of the final sound can be a little up or down. Remember, there will always be a little signal loss during conversion. However, you can compensate by using high quality audio adapter connectors. The higher the quality of the connector is, the less audio quality loss there is. There are many advantages of using such adapters. The most common advantage of using audio adapter connectors is compatibility. You never have to worry about compatibility when you have a multi-audio adapter connector. You can literally connect one device to any audio output device, regardless of how old it is or what type of audio jack it uses.
If you want to play a specific song at a party from your Smartphone, you can (provided you have the proper cable and connector). Furthermore, audio adapter connectors nullify the need to purchase conversion boxes or even new equipment. You may have a 10-year-old stereo system that only accepts an RCA connector. With an RCA adapter connector, you can still use your old stereo system.
However, to properly use the old stereo system, you may need to purchase another cable. Each cable is used to connect each device to the connector. However, many modern audio adapter connectors will not require another cable. You will only need to connect a cable from the input device to the audio adapter connector. All you would have to then do is connect the audio adapter connector into the output device just like you would a normal cable.
How to Choose the Right Audio Adapter Connector
One of the most confusing decisions to make is deciding which type of audio adapter connector to buy. There are 2 main things you need to look at before you make any purchase. The first is about what the input and output devices are. This will determine what type of connector you buy. The second pertains to connector quality.
If you want to output songs from your Smartphone to your television or stereo system, you will most likely need a 3.5mm connector as input (female jack) and 2xRCA connectors as output (male connector). If you buy this audio adapter connector in reverse, you will literally be sending signals to your Smartphone rather than a song to your audio system. That is if your stereo system has male RCA connectors (unlikely).
As a rule of thumb, the output audio device will always have female connectors behind it. You will never see a stereo system with male jacks in the back. The input (male) device will always be the device you are transferring audio signals from. In other words, the source of the sound signals will always be the male. Audio adapter connectors are not just simple pieces of metal. The conductors are made of different material(s), as is their plating. In this day and age, gold plating signifies that an audio adapter connector is of a high quality.
Most people usually purchase normal nickel-plated audio connectors due to its reduced cost. However, considering the inexpensive nature of most audio adapter connectors, most people choose to buy gold-plated audio adapter connectors. You no longer have to throw out old audio equipment due to an incompatibility between connectors. If you have a device that needs to have its audio signals SENT to a different jack, you need to purchase an audio adapter connector. Remember to ensure which device is going to act as the input and which device will act as the output.