In the age of wireless and Bluetooth headsets, some of us still prefer using headsets with wires. Why? Because headsets with wires provide unmatched sound quality, elevating the audio experience for music lovers and gamers.
So, how to use a headset mic on a PC with one jack?
The best way to use a headset mic on a PC with one jack is to use a y-splitter. With the advancement of technology, most headphones nowadays come with a single jack that is capable of handling both the speaker and the mic. Therefore, you can plug it into the audio slot on your PC and start enjoying the audio experience.
However, if your headphone comes with two jacks or if your PC has separate slots for input and output audio, then follow the next steps to use a headset mic on a PC with one jack.
Steps to use headset mic on a PC with one jack
Connecting Dual jack headphones on PC with one jack
Currently, most computer systems come only with one audio slot that acts as both input and output. So, if you have a headset that comes with two jacks – one for the mic and the other for the speakers, then what do you do? The best solution, in this case, is to use an adapter.
An adapter is a small piece of wire that can convert your dual-wire headset into a single one. All you have to do is to connect the microphone and speaker jacks into the two jacks in the adapter and then connect the adapter to the PC. These adapters are also known as Y-Splitters and some variants work with smartphones, tablets, and other computer devices.
Some splitters have the 3.5mm jack and some even come with a USB-C variant as well. You can buy one online or pick them up at the nearest electronic store.
Single Vs. Dual Jack Headsets
So, why do some headsets come with single jacks and some with dual? Single jack headsets are the most commonly used product as they have less wiring and the majority of the devices come with a single audio slot. They are lighter, occupy less space, and are much more compact than dual jack headsets.
Alternatively, dual jack headsets offer more versatility. You could use the input from one device and the output from another. This offers more flexibility to the user.
How does a dual jack headset work?
Take a look at your headset jack closely and you will notice a golden ring on it. The older headsets had just one ring denoting that the devices had the mono capability. If there are two rings on your headset jack then it comes with stereo but without input capabilities. And all the latest headset jacks come with three rings meaning that they have stereo as well as input capabilities.
This is why all the new headsets can send and receive audio signals and there is no need for a separate mic. Headsets with two jacks will usually have two rings on them. Each jack is for stereo and the other one is for input, letting you use the mic. So there should be a total of 4 sections divided by 3 rings.
Y splitters are usually used in two scenarios
- Your headphones have two jacks for input and output
- You want to connect multiple headphones to one audio source
In any case, a splitter can be very useful. These are known as y-splitters, headphone splitters, or audio jack splitters and can be easily found in online and offline electronics stores. Even though splitters are an additional piece of hardware attached between the audio source and your headphones, they usually do not result in reduced audio quality.
Here are some suggestions for the best splitters you can use to fix the problem of connecting your headphones with your PC with one jack.
1. Headphone 3.5mm Splitter Mic Cable for Computer
This splitter connects a headset with two jacks into a PC with just one audio slot. This KOOPAO 3.5mm stereo y-splitter lets you connect your headset & Mic to a computer audio port and mic port simultaneously. By doing this you can enable a mono microphone input, as well as a stereo output to your PC, through one 3.5mm audio jack.
The splitter comes with gold plating for better sound quality, lower loss of input, and a long, durable wire. The cable is completely braided ensuring lost lasting high performance with a reliable mic connector.
2. Pack of 2 Headphones, 3.5mm Splitter Mic Cable for Computer
This splitter comes in a pack of two and is very useful if you have multiple headphones that have two pairs of jacks. This splitter cable has a single 3.5mm female 1/8 inch jacks to 2 Dual 3.5mm male stereo plug. The main features of this splitter are that it is made with flexible and durable material, comes with gold plating to resist corrosion, and the braided cable means that it won’t get damaged even if it is tangled.
However, do note that this particular model is compatible with CTIA standard Android headphones and not compatible with CTIA standard Apple Earbuds.
3. Headset Splitter Cable for PC 3.5mm Jack Headphones
Another great option for you is this pair of y-splitters that retail cheap. The 3.5mm headset splitter stereo cable adapter allows you to easily connect your stereo headset to a PC audio port and mic port at the same time. The green plug is for audio of your Desktop/PC, and the pink one is for the Mic port of your Desktop/PC.
Copper wiring and gold plated jacks ensure high audio quality, and the braided wires deliver long-lasting performance with reduced chances of getting broken or cut. Other highlights include Oxygen-free copper provide maximum conductivity and durability, flexible cable length of 20cm, and compatibility with all devices.
4.TechRise USB External Stereo Sound Adapter
This is another fantastic product you can use to fix your headset compatibility issue. TechRise launched this stereo adapter that actually is a 3 in 1 adapter with a 3.5mm TRS jack for a headphone, a gaming headset, and standard audio headphones. It connects to a computer via the USB slot and doesn’t need any additional software to work.
The device comes with its own volume adjustment, mute button, and microphone button which means you don’t have to use the settings on your PC to adjust them.
What are TS, TRS, and TRRS terminologies?
If you are not aware of these technical terms, then the simple explanation is that they denote various connector types or audio signals. They are present in the jacks and the wires of your headphones or other audio devices.
T stands for TIP, R for RING, and S for SLEEVE. Each T and R are contact points that transmit certain audio signals and the sleeve acts as the return path. A TS device has only one tip and one sleeve and no rings in it. These are primarily used for mono audio signals that come from a single audio source. An example of this would the amp that connects to a guitar.
A TRS device has one tip, one ring, and one sleeve. You can identify them by the two black bands present on the jack. Sometimes, these are golden as well. The two rings divide the jack into 3 sections that deliver stereo audio. TRS devices come in different sizes that range from 2.5mm to 6.35mm and the most popular one is the 3.5mm jack we all usually use.
The TRS devices can be used only for stereo audio input or microphone input. This is why there are headphones that come with two separate wires for listening and talking that need to be inserted into the two audio ports on a computer.
TRRS devices can easily be identified by the 3 rings they contain. Therefore, there are 4 contact points divided by the 3 rings. These transmit stereo audio, microphone, and video all at the same time. Latest smartphones, cameras, tablets, etc deploy the use of such TRRS devices.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when using these devices.
- If you use a TS cable on a TRS device, then you will face audio issues. Due to incompatibility, you might end up losing one audio channel or problems with the volume levels as well
- You can use a TRRS plug in place of a TRS plug. But because the TRS device has only one ring it might lose the ability to retain both the audio and the microphone. So, only one might end up working properly
When you decide to buy new devices, do remember these points because if you buy the wrong one, you will continue to face problems with the audio.
FAQ’s about splitters
Here are some commonly asked questions about headphone/headset splitters.
1. Do spitters reduce the sound quality or audio levels?
No. The 3.5mm jack headset splitters should not result in loss of audio, bad quality, or an audio lag. But if you use substandard products then there is a possibility that you might see some change in the audio quality. That is why it is essential to buy good quality splitters.
2. Do I need a splitter for my headset?
You will need to use a splitter if your headset has two jacks and your computer has only one audio port. Or if you want to connect two headsets to one computer. In any other case, there is no need to use a splitter.
3. Will the splitters work with mics?
Yes, they should. If you face problems with using your mic, then you will need to check your device’s audio settings.
4. How much do splitters cost?
The cost of the splitters depends on the brand. They usually range from $4 to $10 each. However, the prices keep fluctuating and you can check the prices of some recommended splitters in the reviews we provided above.
What if your headphone has one jack and the PC has two jacks?
Please follow the below steps to resolve your headset problem if your headset has one jack and if the computer has two jacks.
For older PC’s
- Find the sound icon found on the bottom right corner of the Taskbar
- Click on the icon and open the Sound settings
- Or you can go into the Control Panel and open the Sound options
- Once the Sound settings window is open, head to the Recording tab
- Your microphone should show here. In case it doesn’t, click on Setup Microphone
- Once the system starts the process of validating your microphone, it should start working
- Click on Apply and then Exit the settings
- See if the headphones now work or not
For Apple users
Mac users shouldn’t face this issue, as the system has one combined audio slot for input and output. However, if you are facing problems, try the following troubleshooting steps.
- Click on the Apple logo on the top left corner of the mac system
- Once the menu opens, click on System Preferences
- Under System Preferences, you will see an option for Sound
- Click to open it and then navigate to the Input tab which is the last one
- Select the desired microphone as the default microphone
- Close the window and check if your headphones now work or not
With the advancement of technology, our devices become obsolete very fast and we often face the issue of having many incompatible devices at home. Headphones and PC technology move ahead at a fast pace so it is but natural that you might get stuck with old products.
In this article, we have not only provided solutions for using two jacked headphones on a slit slot PC but also for a single jack headset to be used on a PC with two audio slots. Both situations are found all over the world and you could be facing any of these two issues. Hopefully, our solutions have helped you out and you are using your headsets and enjoying the experience. Also, make sure to check out our guide on how to use apple headphones as a mic on pc.