TRS Cable: All You Need To Know

Are you a lover of instruments? Many individuals desire to get the best sound from their instruments. They lack the necessary know-how of the right things to do.

There are differences between the TS cable and the TRS cable. The differences seem minute, but if you do not possess adequate knowledge, there are chances you cannot get it right.

More so, many people tend to confuse the XLR cable with TRS cables. Both cables share similar characteristics yet differ in several ways.

Do you want to know how to distinguish between the XLR and TRS cables? Read along!

63mm TRS phone male XLR

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Chapter 1: What is the TRS Cable?

Explain TRS cable

TRS cables are also pro-audio devices. The acronym TRS stands for Tip, Ring, and Sleeve. Another name for this cable type is inserted cable. This represents the different jack plug that connects to the conductor.

The best way to interpret the TRS cable is to envision a headphone.

The TRS cable possesses three conductors against the two conductors on the guitar cable.

Uses of TRS cable

The TRS cable performs some functions. It helps in connecting stereo signals between equipment.

A stereo signal is when you plug the headphone into a jack

It is also efficient for mono, balanced signals.

Additionally, it serves in two different ways. First, a single cable transmits two audio signals and a ground signal.

The two audio signals are either hot or cold. However, it is much dependent on how it connects to another device.

If it connects to the left audio, it becomes a balanced mono TRS cable. However, if it connects to the right audio, it becomes an unbalanced mono cable.

TRS connector design

Chapter 2: Differences Between TS Cable and TRS Cable

TS cable is a cable type that is significant for mono-unbalanced signals. This cable type is efficient in connecting guitars and keyboards.

This cable type is longer and accommodates the movement of musicians who use this cable when performing on stage. However, they also accommodate noise a lot.

The noise it gathers is not suitable for the individual who wishes to use it to transmit sounds. The TS cable possesses two wires running in it. One of the wires carries the audio signal while the other transmits the ground signal.

The noise in the TS cable is a result of the presence of only one audio signal. Thus, it is susceptible to noise.

On the other hand, the TRS cable possesses three conductors. Two conductors transmit audio signals, while one transmits a ground signal. It is not as long as the TS cable.

Musicians favor the TS cable over the TRS cable for two major reasons.

The first reason is that the TS cable enables sound transmission better than the TRS cable. The TRS cable does not produce the right tone from the guitar as the TS cable does for the guitar.

Another reason is as a result of cost. The belief is that purchasing the TRS balanced cables is more expensive than the unbalanced counterpart.

The TS cable is quite identical to the TRS cable. Some persons encounter difficulty in differentiating between both cable types. The black insulation ring on the TS cable is sometimes referred to as a component of the TRS cable.

The TRS jack possesses a metal ring in the middle, and it is the third conductor. Two black insulation bands separate the three conductors.

On the other hand, the TS cable is suitable for a mono instrument such as a guitar. The tip of the TS cable transmits the signals. The TRS cable often uses an additional conductor for transmitting balanced and audio signals and connecting a voltage divider.

The TRS cable also comes in handy when there is a need for a third wire. Certain applications require a third wire to function correctly. The output is usually inferior if such an application connects to a TS cable.

Chapter 3: The Variant of TRS Cable

The TRS cable is a vital cable that helps transmit balanced audio signals. However, the TRS cable also possesses different variants that help ensure excellent performance.

An excellent example of a variant of the TRS cable is the TRS insert cable. The TRS insert cable is a fusion of the TRS cable and the TS cable. How? On one end of the TRS insert cable is the TRS cable and on the other is the TS cable.

One notable feature of the insert TRS cable is that it is very functional in the recording studio.  These insert cables connect various outboard equipment to some insert points on a mixer.

More so, they also are suitable for multifunctional purposes. If there is a need to connect a cable to different equipment, the insert TRS cable is the best bet. When two devices use two separate wires, the insert TRS cable reduces the stress of attaching the cable types.

Chapter 4: Different Plug Sizes of TRS

There are different plug sizes for the TRS cable. The same way it applies to the TS cable, it also means the same for the TRS cable.

1/4″ jack: 

This is the most common form of the TRS plug. It is also commonly known as the phone jack. Its external diameter is at 1/4 sleeve. The different plug sizes are:

It is the oldest connector type and is still very much relevant today.  Its first use was significant in the 19th century for manual switchboards. The 1/4″ jack is about 137 years old. Thus, it is indeed an age-long electrical conductor.

3.5mm jack:

 Another name for the 3.5mm jack is the miniature size. The 3.5mm jack came into the limelight in 1950. Its presence is notable for connecting two conductors for earpieces and transistor radio. It is also an age-long electrical conductor.

Additionally, it is significant for Sony radio and other portable applications. The initial radio that favors the 3.5mm jack is the Walkman. However, they do not possess their speakers. So, the only way to use them is to connect them to an earphone.

The recent innovation of the 3.5mm jack is the four-conductor type; the four-conductor types of the 3.5mm jack are suitable for specific applications. Some portable devices, such as camcorders and portable media players, use the 3.5mm jack.

These jacks ensure proper transmission of stereo audio sounds. It further ensures playback, call, and volume on certain laptops and mobile devices.

Furthermore, other devices rely on their users to connect to balanced stereo devices. Any equipment that needs stereo and video input use a 3.5mm jack. Other devices, such as cameras and recorders, use the 3.5mm microphone connector.

audio cable icon of 5.5mm TRS

Chapter 5: TRS Cable and XLR Cable: Similarities and Differences

The TRS cables and XLR cables share some similar features and also some differences. The capacity of both cable types depends on the connectivity modes.

High-quality interfaces usually come with TRS outputs. When using many signals, it isn’t easy to detect the differences. Balanced connections are safer for minimizing the interruption of sound and electrical interference.

 The TRS and XLR cables possess three connectors. The wires can transmit ground and hot signals if both cable types are balanced connectors. Balanced connectors are better at transmitting the right signals than their unbalanced counterparts.

Interestingly, the XLR cables lock, while the TRS cables do not lock. Another notable difference between the TRS cable and the XLR is its usage. The XLR cables are sometimes placed on the mic inputs of soundcards.

On the other hand, the TRS cables possess mic inputs on their line internal and external units. Nevertheless, most XLR cable component devices own the XLR on virtually all devices.

TRS cable makes use of a stereo connection. This connection usually appears in a large format. This cable type is also the most efficient for studio functions.

The capability of the TRS cable to transmit stereo signals makes it a unique cable type. It is equivalent to a good mono connection. Nonetheless, the stereo cable is not comparable to the mono cable.

The balanced XLR cable possesses three signals. One of the signals is a ground signal. In cases with a ground signal, the signal becomes unbalanced.

It is easy to change the XLR cable from an unbalanced cable to a balanced cable. The TRS cable is an easy cable to make use of. It is very suitable for mono applications.

The XLR cable attempts to rectify the issues it encounters in its ground signals. It is also important to emphasize that it is not usually a balanced connection when the TRS cable functions as an insert cable.

In this way, it is impossible to derive the same output from its cancellation of external interference, such as noise.

The right way to define the insert cable is to fuse two unbalanced connections that produce a stereo signal.

The XLR cables possess three wires, just like the TRS cables. Unlike the TRS cables, the XLR cables are mostly unsuitable for applications.

However, the XLR cable is compatible with any application using three wires. It is essential for transmitting balanced signals.

XLR cables possess other benefits that are not easily seen in the TRS cables. Balanced signals are vital in transmitting signals over long distances.

The only disadvantage to this is that it easily picks up noise from the environment, which quickly disrupts the transmission of the signal.

XLR to TRS jack balanced studio cable

Chapter 6: Where to Buy TRS

The issue is not just about making use of the TRS cable. There are a lot of TRS cables on the market that is efficient for your device and use. The question that plagues many hearts, especially those eager to get the right cable type, is “Where to purchase the TRS cable.”

This doubt and fear are very understandable as no one wants to spend his resources on purchasing an item with no guarantee. It is problematic and uninteresting.

Individuals favor good organizations that provide the right TRS cable with little or no trouble to avert such an ugly situation. Sometimes, it isn’t just about purchasing and returning the cable when it doesn’t live up to expectations.

The problem lies in the time that returning the cable takes. In this case, you are not only losing precious sufficient time to achieve results; you also worry about the stress you encounter in the process. The good news is that all of this is avoidable when you go through a reliable organization.

There is no better organization to provide the assurance and guarantee you desire than Cloom Tech. A large Tech organization that is notable for excellent service delivery relating to cable.

The name, Cloom Tech, is synonymous with excellence in delivering the right result when you expect it.

It eliminates the risk and stress of buying from the wrong individuals and organizations. The right thing is to buy from the right organization.

CLOOM Tech is the safest place to buy TRS cables. There are no issues when it comes to doing business with us. Should you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact us.

Chapter 7: CLOOM Tech- The Custom-made Supplier

CLOOM Tech is very reliable when it comes to supplying custom-made TRS cables. There are no issues whatsoever when establishing a business relationship with us.

The custom-made TRS cable is a must-have for everyone who wants maximum output from using TRS cables; there are countless benefits to a custom-made TRS cable. It saves cost, time, and resources.

Additionally, a custom-made TRS cable is easily achieved to your specifications. This implies that there are chances of getting the TRS that suits your demands. The only role you play is to provide us with your specifications.

You may choose to do it on your own. It is acceptable. However, how certain are you that you can achieve the right result?

This is one of the reasons we strongly encourage individuals to trust us to build their TRS cables.

At CLOOM Tech, we encourage and promote a hassle-free environment. That is an environment that actively supports hazard-free factors. This is easier to achieve with CLOOM Tech.

Interestingly, CLOOM Tech helps you to save time and cost. We recognize your place as the king and treat you as such. Your worries are our concern, and we ensure that we provide maximum satisfaction.


The TRS cable is very different from the TS cable. Many people are guilty of confusing these cable types, mixing up different ones.

The TRS is notable for its fantastic stereo signal connection. It also transmits a mono connection and is adequately useful as a balanced connection.  

All you need to do is provide us with adequate and accurate information on how we can get to you. It is easier for us to deliver your custom-made TRS wherever you specify when you do this.

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Enjoy a free sample worth UP TO $100!
Explore our custom services now. Email us at [email protected] for more details.

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

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