A Audio Splitter, also known as a “headphone splitter” or “audio jack splitter“, is a device that allows two headphones to be connected through to one audio jack. They can be used to listen to audio through multiple audio input devices, such as headphones on devices such as an MP3 player, CD player, modern Computer with audio-out compatibility (such as a headphone socket) or boombox.
Although earbuds, a type of headphone design, can be shared with a friend (with one “bud” in another’s ear), a dual headphone adapter can be more practical. Dual headphone adapters can be purchased at various audio and electronic stores. Headphone adapters can be used by inserting a 3.5mm Audio jack plug into the headphone jack.
A phone connector (tip, ring, sleeve) also called an audio jack, phone plug, jack plug, stereo plug, mini-jack, or mini-stereo. This includes the original 6.35mm (quarter inch) jack and the more recent 3.5mm (miniature or 1/8 inch) and 2.5mm (subminiature) jacks, both mono and stereo versions.
There are five common uses for Audio Splitter in signal paths:
- combining signals (feeding two outputs to one input).
- splitting signals (feeding one output to two inputs);
- consolidating connectors (feeding signals from two output connectors to a multi-pole input connector, keeping the signals separate);
- un-consolidating connectors (feeding signals from one multi-pole output connector to two input connectors, keeping the signals separate);
- send and return (outbound signal on one leg of the “Y”; inbound signal on the other; signals kept separate).
A Y-cable common in domestic settings has a stereo 3.5mm (1/8″) stereo male minijack at one end, to plug into the line- or headphone-output of an MP3 player, mobile phone, or computer soundcard, and a pair of RCA (phono) male plugs to connect to the left and right mono inputs of an external amplifier. This is an example of un-consolidating connectors, as described above.
Types of Audio Splitter
Many designs of Audio Splitters have been created by various individuals and/or manufacturers. The most common types are the “Y” design, adapters with up to six headphone sockets, and wired headphone adapters.
Audio Splitter are electrical or optical connectors for carrying audio and video signals. Audio Splitters define physical parameters and interpretation of signals. For digital audio and digital video, this can be thought of as defining the physical layer, data link layer, and most or all of the application layer. For analog audio and analog video these functions are all represented in a single signal specification like NTSC or the direct speaker-driving signal of analog audio.
Physical characteristics of the electrical or optical equipment includes the types and numbers of wires required, voltages, frequencies, optical intensity, and the physical design of the connectors. Any data link layer details define how application data is encapsulated (for example for synchronization or error-correction).
Application layer details define the actual audio or video format being transmitted, often incorporating a codecs not specific to the interface, such as PCM, MPEG-2, or the DTS Coherent Acoustics codec. In some cases, the application layer is left open; for example, HDMI contains an Ethernet channel for general data transmission.
Some types of connectors are used by multiple hardware interfaces; for example, RCA connectors are defined both by the composite video and component video interfaces, but DVI is the only interface that uses the DVI connector. This means that in some cases not all components with physically compatible connectors will actually work together.
Some of these connectors, and other types of connectors, are also used at radio frequency (RF) to connect a radio or television receiver to an antenna or to a cable system; RF connector applications are not further described here. Analog A/V connectors often use shielded cables to inhibit radio frequency interference (RFI) and noise.
For efficiency and simplicity, the same codec or signal convention is used by the storage medium. For example, VHS tapes can store a magnetic representation of an NTSC signal, and the specification for Blu-ray Discs incorporates PCM, MPEG-2, and DTS. Some playback devices can re-encode audio or video so that the format used for storage does not have to be the same as the format transmitted over the A/V interface (which is helpful if a projector or monitor cannot handle a newer codec).
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