Does the number of rings in 1/4" connectors has anything to do with mono/stereo. My understanding so far is 1/4" connectors with 2 rings are balanced stereo audio and one ring is unbalanced mono audio.

Please correct if am wrong. Waiting for the comments



It depends on the application. A 1/4" TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) connector can be used to carry either BALANCED mono signal, or UNBALANCED stereo signal.

Recall that a balanced signal requires three conductors: signal+, signal-, and common. Stereo on a single cable also requires three conductors: left, right, and common.

So, a TRS can be either carry a balanced signal, or a stereo signal, but not both.

The type of signal is determined by what the input/output jacks you are plugging into expect, not the cable itself.


You've gotten the basic answer already, but the flip-side is that TRS/XLR aren't necessarily always balanced. You probably won't run into unbalanced TRS/XLR in any decent store bought cable, but it's always good to have a cable tester (or multi-meter) to confirm.


they're rings ;) you can make them anything depending on your connector. 1/4" TRS is normally mono (single channel) - balanced, like an XLR.

Read up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS_connector#Tip.2Fring.2Fsleeve_terminology


I inquired with one of my teacher.1/4" phono connector without a ring ie a TS connector carries a unbalanced mono signal and TRS connector carries a balanced mono signal and unbalanced stereo signal.THANX for the comments

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.