The connector's name is an initial derived from the names of three conducting parts of the plug: Tip, Ring, and Sleeve hence, TRS. MX TRS connector also called an audio jack. MX TRS connector is cylindrical in shape, typically with three contacts, although sometimes with two (a TS connector) or four (a TRRS connector).

MX Mono jack is provided with a single normally closed (NC) contact, which is connected to the tip (live) connection when no plug is in the socket, and disconnected when a plug is inserted. Stereo sockets commonly provide two such NC contacts, one for the tip (left channel live) and one for the ring or collar (right channel live).

Tip/Ring/Sleeve terminology

  1. Sleeve: usually ground
  2. Ring: Right-hand channel for stereo signals, negative phase for balanced mono signals.
  3. Tip: Left-hand channel for stereo signals, positive phase for balanced mono signals.
  4. Insulating rings The non-inverting and/or "live" wire of each pair is known as the ring, while the inverting and/or "earthy" wire is known as the tip. If the pair is shielded, this third conductor is known as the sleeve.

  Unbalanced Output Unbalanced Input Unbalanced Insert Balanced Stereo
Tip Signal Signal Send or Return signal Positive/"Hot" Left channel
Ring Ground or No Connection Ground or No Connection Return or Send signal Negative/"Cold" Right channel
Sleeve Ground Ground Ground Ground Ground
 

When a TRS is used to make a balanced connection, the two active conductors are both used for a monaural signal. The ring, used for the right channel in stereo systems, is used instead for the inverting input. Another advantage offered by TRS connectors used for balanced microphone inputs is that a standard unbalanced signal lead using a mono jack plug can simply be plugged into such an input. The ring (right channel) contact then makes contact with the plug body, correctly grounding the inverting input. TRS connectors are also commonly used as unbalanced audio patch points, with the output on many mixers found on the tip (left channel) and the input on the ring (right channel).

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