Have you ever wondered how aux cables work? Maybe you have or maybe you haven’t. However, one certain thing is that they are very common. In fact, you probably are using then now as we speak. You may be listening to music from your smartphone or tablet; they may be hanging from your desktop pc or computer, or from the microphone.
These devices make listening to audio easy and more convenient. They have been around for more than a century and are still a prized possession for most people. They were originally designed for telephone operators back in 1878. However, do you know how they work? Well, in the following read, we will help you to understand them better. Before you read further also check our article on How Much To Install Aux Cable In Car?
A Complete Guide On How Do Aux Cables Work?
What are the aux cables?
While they have been around for decades, a good number of people can’t really explain what they area. Some may know them by a different name and may be thinking that we are talking about an unknown product. How you define them will depend on the area of application. For instance, a telephone operator will refer to them differently from a music producer. A person from the UK may call them a different name from what an individual will call them. The following are the common terminologies for the product:
- Headphone jacks
- stereo mini jacks
- Auxiliary cables
This is simply a device that is used to transmit or convey sound or studio from a component to a listening device. It will transfer the sound signal from the computer, tablet, laptop, or any other device to the headphones, earphones, or speakers. You may also use them to connect two similar devices, for example, speakers. They come in many designs, colors, lengths, thickness, brand names, and much more. What may work okay for you may not be ideal for another person. This will depend on the application, individual preference and also trend.
What are the main parts?
If you have ever looked or carefully examined the stereo phone jacks or aux cables, if you prefer, you have obviously noted that it has several features. Yes, the color, length, thickness, and other aspects may differ. However, they all come with the same features and functionalities. What may be different may be the quality of audio, which is usually because of the materials used and the design too. One may deliver crisp clear sound while the other may have fuzzy audio with lots of background noise. Generally, the accessory features the following main parts:
This is the part found on the end of the cable. It is made of metal and will come in different colors. The most common is gold and silver. It’s made from metals such as stainless steel, copper, aluminum alloy and others. Reasons for using metal are that it has good conductivity. This allows the sound signal to pass through it faster and efficiently. This also minimizes signal loss.
You’ll also see a section, also made of metal encircling the plug. This is what is known as the ring. And as the name hints, it does look like a ring. Just like the tip, its role is to improve the signal reception and distribution. This is why it is also made from high conductive metal like copper or stainless steel.
At the end or base of the connector, you will see a long metal section known as the sleeve. It provides a path for the studio signals to pass through. It will come in gold plating, tin plating, or other designs. This helps to enhance the connectivity and prevents things such as corrosion, rust, or chipping.
Connecting one end, which comprises the Tip, Ring, and Sleeve, and the other end, which also contains the Tip, Ring, and Sleeve, is a wire. It provides a good avenue for the signals to pass through. The most commonly used material is copper because of its good conductivity. It is also less prone to interference or signal loss.
The wire is not exposed but has sheathing. This is a protective material made from rubber, plastic, and other materials. It protects the wire from the elements, cuts, dust, contamination, heat, moisture, oil, and other things. A good piece has high-quality sheathing made of durable and tear-resistant material.
NB: You will normally hear people talks about TRS when describing the unit. This is the acronym of the main parts. T is the Tip; R is for the ring, while S is for the sleeve. Hence the term TRS.
3.5mm cable is the most common. It’s loved due to its simplicity and versatility. This makes it compatible with many devices and components.
Make sure to read our article on Best Aux Cables. I am sure you will love to read it.
How does an aux cable work?
As stated earlier, you will find the Tip, Ring, Sleeve, and Wire. Each end will have the tip, ring and wire will connect sleeve and the two ends. One wire will connect the tip to the tip on the other end, the two rings, and also the two sleeves. Each wire will be protected by a thin nonconductive coated which prevents the audio signal from jumping from one wore to another or causing interference.
Each signal will move independently in the different wires. One wire, for instance, the one running from the tip, will connect to the right side of the earphone, the other one, linking the ring; will connect to the left side, which the other will be the common connector.
NB: If one wire is damaged or cut internally, it will affect the specific parts. This is why you may hear only one side of the headphones working while the others do not. If two wires or all are cut, then the entire thing won’t work.
The wires usually come in different Colors for easy identification and connecting. Red, blue/ green and copper are the main colors. You’ll only be able to see the wires if the main sheathing or covering is broken.
After going through this article, we believe that you are now better informed. You know want aux cables are, the main parts, and how they work. This information is not only helpful but will also help you pick a good product.