Difference Between TRS and TS Cables

TRS and TS cables are both audio cables that are used to carry audio signals. TRS cables are frequently utilized in professional audio applications such as recording studios and live sound reinforcement. TS cables are frequently used in consumer audio applications, such as connecting a guitar or piano to an amplifier or home radio system. While they appear to be identical, there are some significant differences between the two.

Read this article to find out more about TRS and TS Cables and how they are different from each other.

What are TRS Cables?

TRS cables, which stand for Tip, Ring, and Sleeve, are three-conductor audio cables. The positive signal is carried by the tip conductor, the negative signal is carried by the ring conductor, and the ground is carried by the sleeve conductor. TRS cables are often used in professional audio applications because they are designed for balanced audio transmission, which aids in noise and interference reduction.

Balanced audio signals are employed in professional audio applications such as recording studios and live sound reinforcement because they help to reduce noise and interference. In a balanced audio signal, the two signal wires are known as the hot and cold wires, and they carry the same audio signal but with opposing polarity. This means that while one wire is positively charged, the other wire is negatively charged. The ground wire serves as a reference point for the audio stream and aids in the elimination of any noise picked up during transmission.

It is crucial to remember that not all TRS cables are balanced; some may just have two conductors and act as a standard TS wire. Furthermore, not all audio equipment is built to take balanced signals, so guarantee compatibility by checking the specs of your equipment.

TRS cables are widely utilized in professional audio environments such as recording studios, live sound reinforcement, and DJ equipment. They are frequently used to connect microphones, musical instruments, and other audio gear to mixing consoles, amplifiers, and other audio equipment. TRS cables are available in a number of lengths and diameters, including 1/4 inch and 3.5mm (sometimes known as 1/8 inch).

TRS cables are a popular choice in professional audio environments for transferring balanced audio signals. They are dependable and long-lasting, and they deliver high-quality audio transmission with minimal noise and interference. They are a must-have for anyone involved in music creation, live sound, or broadcasting.

What are TS Cables?

TS cables are audio cables with two conductors, or wires. The abbreviation TS refers to the two separate sections of the connector that plug into the audio equipment. The tip of the connector is the long, thin component, while the sleeve is the part closest to the cable. Unbalanced audio signals, which require only one signal line and one ground wire, are typically transmitted using TS cables.

The tip is the end of the connector that conducts the signal, while the sleeve is the metal that surrounds it and serves as a ground connection. The connector is normally a 1/4-inch jack, while certain TS cables can use other connector types, which include RCA or micro jacks.

TS cables come in a variety of lengths, ranging from a few inches to several feet or more. They also come with a number of shielding and insulation choices, depending on the application and environment. Some TS cables may additionally have other functions such as noise reduction or signal processing.

It's important to remember that TS cables are occasionally used to transport balanced audio signals, but this necessitates a particular wiring technique known as "re-pinning" the wire. Re-pinning entails unplugging the sleeve from the ground wire and reconnecting it to the negative signal wire. This produces a pseudo-balanced audio signal, which can aid in noise and interference reduction. However, in professional audio applications, TRS cables are often chosen for balanced audio transmissions.

When using TS cables, ensure the connection is fully placed into the device, as loose or partially inserted connectors can cause intermittent signal loss or noise. It's also a good idea to inspect the cables on a regular basis for damage or wear, especially at the connector ends or anywhere they might bend or twist.

Difference between TRS and TS Cables

The following table highlights the major differences between TRS and TS Cables −


TRS Cables

TS Cables

Number of Conductors

TRS Cable consists of three conductors: tip, ring, and sleeve.

The tip and sleeve of TS Cable are made up of two conductors.


They are used in stereo and balanced signals.

There are used in balanced and unbalanced signals.

Type of Connector

It is a three-section connector type.

It is a two-section connector type.

Balanced or Unbalanced Audio Signals

TRS cables are used for balanced audio signals.

TS cables are used for unbalanced audio signals.


studio monitors, connecting microphones, balanced inputs and outputs

Electric guitars, keyboards, effects pedals, and amplifiers are all connected.


Professional audio and headphones

Consumer electronics and musical instruments


TRS and TS cables are both utilized for audio signal transmission, but their number of conductors and the sort of audio signal they are meant for differ.

TRS cables are usually used for balanced audio transmissions because they are less susceptible to noise and interference, whereas TS cables are used for unbalanced audio signals because they are more vulnerable to noise and interference.

Because TRS cables use balanced audio transmission, they are generally of higher quality and more expensive than TS cables. To ensure the best signal quality and performance, it's critical to select the proper cable for your audio demands.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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