4.4 TRRRS Connector

Can someone please explain the purpose of a 4.4 TRRRS headphone jack?


Yes, I read that but does anyone actually use it? I have a couple pairs of balanced headphones but they use either a 4-pin XLR or a TRRS jack. Don’t get me wrong, I think balanced cables make a huge difference (it takes your environment out of the equation), I just don’t know why one would need the 3rd R…

While I don’t know the exact answer for this, my experience with SONY from the past makes me believe it could just be done for the reason of incompatibility to already established solutions readily available on the market so users have to buy overpriced SONY accessories and/or compatible SONY products.

I think it’s needless to say that I long ago stopped considering to buy any SONY (electronics) products ever again.


In most cases when it comes to Sony I agree with you; however, after using my Sony TV, I won’t go back to any other brand…

Yes walkmen DAPs with weird power plugs.

Then you have another Sony TV then me :wink:

have you ever seen any portable audio gear?
purpose of 4.4mm (pentacon) balanced jack is the same as 2.5mm balanced jack.
Sony wasn’t satisfied with 2.5mm connectors so they decided to use higher quality 4.4mm connector on their walkman DAP’s and IEM’s.
Now more and more manufacturers use 4.4mm socket for balanced output on their DAP’s

The question was pointed at why the 3rd R rather than why 4.4 mm. Just because SONY makes use of 4.4 mm TRRRS connectors doesn’t make it an official standard.

there is no official standard. astell&kern is pushing 2.5mm and Sony 4.4mm

FiiO and others support all 3. personally I find the 4.4 less issues when mobile as its a much more robust connection, I’m always worried my 2.5mm TRRS connections will be bent or ripped too easily and damaged in the process.

Maybe the 3rd ring is meant to reduce short-circuits while un/plugging…?

3rd ring is R-
4th ring shield


The last ring (sleeve in TRRRS) is likely a shield for the balanced pairs no doubt, but many headphone cables probably don’t use it.

I guess what I’m asking is why does is a 2.5mm balanced jack TRRS but a 4.4mm balanced jack TRRRS? I found a website that had an explanation of “everything you wanted to know about headphone jacks” but they don’t actually explain this which is annoying…

Also many balanced headphone outputs will be damaged if you connect the L- and R- pins to use with a normal TRS headphone cable set. This is because the outputs are in fact balanced and not tied together. thus there are separate amplifies for units with both output types. probably why a different connector size is used so there will be no accidents. TRS to TRRS adapters are of course not an issue, but the other way will likely not be a good outcome.

Some brands do support TRRS in 3.5mm output too, I think FiiO BTR3 and Oppo HA-2 had this ruction - at least it worked for my custom made TRRS 3.5mm headphone cable. but how it was internally amped I am not 100% certain.

TRRS - tip, ring, ring, sleeve
TRRRS - tip, ring, ring, ring, sleeve


here is one I got with some adapters

Why is a ground even needed (5th pole)? My balanced headphones seem to work fine with only 4 poles…

Maybe to eliminate some sort of humming or buzzing noise? IDK.