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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Galaxy S3 headphone/mic jack incompatibility

    So very frustrating it is for us smartphone enthusiasts that the smartphone manufacturers don't standardize on something as simple as the old-school technology in a headphone jack. For example, I tried to use my iRig guitar interface in my buddy's Galaxy S3 and no luck. I learned that the mic and ground contacts are swapped between the iPhone and Galaxy S3.

    So for anyone interested, my research has revealed that for the iPhone the connector is wired (in order of tip end to shield end, or more accurately, "cable end"):

    Tip = Left Audio
    Sleeve 1 = Right Audio
    Sleeve 2 = Ground
    Shield = Microphone

    Galaxy S3 is supposedly something like this:

    Tip = Left Audio
    Sleeve 1 = Right Audio
    Sleeve 2 = Microphone
    Shield = Ground

    Being an EE I understand why Apple chose the ordering. It makes perfect sense considering that once upon a time a person could utilize a standard camcorder style A/V cable with a TRRS 3.5mm connector on one end and red, white and yellow RCA's on the other so you could watch movies played by your iphone/ipod and viewed on your TV. It also makes sense for audio because condenser mics in today's headphones are very sensitive to low voltage input signals. Condensor mics are dominant in headsets and are perfect for capturing low amplitude spoken audio even when at a distance. But that also makes them sensitive to unwanted background noise and induced electrical noise as well. For example, if the person you're talking to using your headset is loud enough, the electrical signals coming out via the right and left audio of the jack contacts could induce into the mic signal going into the phone. If severe enough it would result in very unpleasant feedback. Video would be even worse since this problem of cross-talk gets worse with higher frequency, proximity of the wires to each and with lessening quality of shielding. Apple solved this problem by 'shielding' the mic input signal from the audio output signals. They achieved it by putting the ground in between mic input and R+L audio output of the same cable and connector. I call that smart engineering. But surely Samsung engineers have thoughts of this. Right? Apparently not.

    Now comes my real problem, being an avid musician who loves playing guitar through his smartphone I'm depressed. I was once-seriously considering a Samsung Smartphone instead of an iPhone but there doesn't seem to be a good (any at all?) guitar interface for the Samsung smartphones. What about apps too? I love Ampkit+, Garage band, Amplitube and the like, but... what about Android versions? Guess I'm sticking with my iPhone5 for the forseeable future.

    To start with, can anyone help me demystify the Samsung headphone port? Being an EE I'm half tempted to design and build my own guitar interface, but I need to know how the mic input is enabled. HELP!
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Galaxy S3 headphone/mic jack incompatibility

    This is total crap. I am a huge audiophile, and I hate the fact that I cannot use my B&W earbuds with my s3. I promise you, this is the last samsung smart phone I buy.

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