Headsets or Headphones are a common accessory for PC users. Because the sound quality of a wired headset is way better. But how do they use it with a PC?
We know that there are several ports and jacks available for device connectivity. For audio-related accessories, a 3.5mm jack and plug is a common connectivity solution.
In this article, we shall discuss whether you can use a 3.5mm headset on your PC and the merits and demerits of using such headphones on a PC.
Can you use a 3.5 mm Headset on PC?
Yes, You can connect a 3.5mm headset to the PC with the help of a 3.5mm jack present at the rear side of your PC case. You can find a green color jack with a small headphones symbol. Insert the plug of your 3.5mm headset and you have connected it to the PC. Some PCs will have the jack on the cabinet itself. You can also plug the headset there and get the audio.
The thing with PC jacks is that you will have separate ports for headsets and microphones. Therefore, if you plug in your headset through the headphone jack, then you can only hear and cannot record. Also, you will have only one plug in your headset.
Although that plug is sufficient for both a headphone output and microphone output, the motherboard has two distinct jacks for each of them. So, you will have to use a Y splitter which splits the headphone plug into two separate outputs for headphone audio and mic audio.
By solving this issue, you can easily use both the headphone and microphone in your headset using a 3.5mm plug.
Working of 3.5mm Plug and Jack
It is important to know the working of the 3.5mm headset plugs and jacks so that you can understand why PCs have two different ports.
If you look at a 3.5mm plug, you can find it has rings and sleeves with shiny conductive material. This plug is inserted into the jack (port).
The plug has a tip, sleeve, and ring (TRS) made using a conductive material. The wires in the headset cable are connected to each of these conductive parts. For example, the audio signal from headphones is connected to the tip and ring (for left and right) while the mic is to the sleeve.
If you look at the inside of the jack, you can find similar conducting material. When the plug conforms to the jack, it will conduct the audio signals and you can get the desired output.
For instance, if both the plug and jack have a similar configuration, you can get both microphone and headphone output.
In the case of a PC, the jack present in the motherboard will have only two conductive parts. So, if you plug in your 3.5mm headset to a two-part jack, you can only get the headphone’s output.
Even if the headset plug has a TRS configuration, the PC jack has only a TS configuration. So, it will conduct only audio signals from the headphone and not the microphone.
You will have a separate jack for the microphone and you need to insert another plug to get the mic audio output. That is why you have to use a Y splitter cable which can divide the signals into two 3.5mm plugs and you can insert each of them in their respective ports.
This is the case in most PCs and you will have to set up your headset and mics accordingly. If you have a separate mic and headphones, then you can simply make use of the individual ports and use the devices accordingly.
Read: How do you remove a broken headphone jack with a thumbtack?
Pros and Cons of 3.5mm Headset on PC
- 3.5mm is the most widely used standard for consumer headphones and microphones. So, you can get it in various price ranges and qualities. You will have several choices and you can choose the most appropriate one for you.
- 3.5mm headsets give you the best listening experience without any latency, lag, or distortion. They provide you with clear audio signals which you can enjoy irrespective of the media you are playing.
- The headset’s mic quality will also be higher and you can record or live chat with a clear voice every time.
- You don’t need any external power to operate the headset. It will work with the 3.5mm plug and jack itself.
- You don’t need to have a Bluetooth card or Wi-Fi card to use a 3.5mm headset.
- Even if you don’t have a 3.5mm jack, you have USB to 3.5mm jack adapters which will do the deed. But it is very rare to find a motherboard without a 3.5mm jack.
- They don’t easily wear out and the plug can last easily for years with proper care. Even with casual usage, you can have a long life with 3.5mm wired headsets.
- Requires a sound card in your motherboard for operation
- Can easily break if not taken care of properly
- You cannot move around freely. You have to remove the headset from your head or neck before getting away from the PC
- You have to buy a separate Y splitter for the mic and headphones while using with PC
Read: Why are my USB-C headphones not working on my laptop?
What to consider before connecting the 3.5mm Headset to the PC?
These are the things you should consider before plugging it into your PC:
- Check the 3.5mm plug configuration of your headset. Mostly a 3.5mm plug will have either TS or TRS specification.
- If your headset has only TS, then it will only have headphones and you can simply connect it to the headphone jack present.
- If your headset plug has TRS config, then it will have an inbuilt mic and you will need a Y splitter to divide the signal and plug each cable into the respective jacks.
- Make sure your motherboard has a sound card.
Read: How do I use my headphone amp with audio interface?
Using a headset with 3.5mm to your PC is the best way to listen to any audio. You can have a high-quality listening experience since it avoids latency and other disturbances. If you know how the PC jack works you will be able to choose the proper accessory for your headset.
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