Why does audio from my headset sound unusual ?

Applies to: all audio interfaces

While most headsets like these can physically be plugged into the 1/4 inch headphone ports on our interfaces (either directly or by using a 3.5 mm to 1/4 inch adapter), the connectors found on such headsets are designed to transmit both stereo audio output as well microphone input from the built in headset microphone. Such a design usually translates to three black rings around the connector, often referred to as a TRRS connector - 
The headphone ports found on audio interfaces and other studio equipment however are designed to only transmit the stereo audio output, thus featuring two black rings - 


This essentially means that connecting a TRRS connector on a gaming headset to a TRS headphone port on an audio interface would result in an incorrect contact being established due to the mismatch in the number of rings/connectors. This often leads to an imbalance in the stereo image presented by the headphones, at times often leading to the audio sounding filtered or low quality. It is recommended to only use studio headphones that feature a TRS connector with audio interfaces. In some cases however, gaming headsets do come bundled with TRRS to TRS adapters which can be used with standard TRS headphone ports.

The above also applies to headsets that come bundled with mobile phones. Below is a picture showing such a smartphone headset with a TRRS connector - 

If you have any further questions regarding the compatibility of headset microphones with our products, please contact our Technical Support Team.


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