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Headset/Microphone combo jack question

stubbornboy 343 February 7, 2013 at 07:36 AM
Just got a new laptop and it comes with a combo jack. All my existing headsets have a 3.5 mm for headphone and another 3.5 mm for mic.

What is a good way to go about getting something that I can use for voice chat on the new laptop for the best quality experience. Do all of below work? If so which would be the best option

a) Buy a 3.5 mm headset like this [amazon.com]-

b) Use my current mobile phone headsets (I believe 2.5mm) using a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter like this [amazon.com]

c) Use a 3.5 mm to 3.5mm Y Splitter to connect my current PC headsets. Does this even work? Why is this [amazon.com] so expensive and supposed to work while this [amazon.com] (it is not even advertised to work with combo jacks but seems to be the same) so cheap

Incase it matters - laptop is a Dell Latitude E6230

5 Comments

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Joined Jan 2008
L2: Beginner
19 Reputation
#2
The cheap Belkin Y Adapter only duplicates the headphone sounds, so you can use two pairs of headphones, or headphones and a recording device. It would prevent you from using a microphone.
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Joined Sep 2009
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#3
My Samsung cell phone came with a headset with the mic built in, all for a 3.5mm plug.

The easy way to tell is to look for 3 'black rings' on the plug you are plugging in. A stereo headset will only have 2, and you need the 3rd ring to pass the signal.

Most 2.5mm headsets only have 1 speaker so only 2 rings (1 ear, 1 mic) so if you want full headphones that option won't work for you either. Do you want stereo for when you are not on a call? Looks like that doesn't really matter much to you due to the pic you posted from Amazon..
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Joined Sep 2009
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#4
Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
b) Use my current mobile phone headsets (I believe 2.5mm) using a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter like this [amazon.com]
Also...this is the wrong thing! Do not get this. This adapter is for a cell phone with a 2.5mm plug on it...and allows you to use 3.5mm headsets with it. (Notice it keeps talking about gaining a 3.5mm output.)

You'd want this. [amazon.com] You want a 2.5mm female end.

this is by far your cheapest option, and would work perfectly if you aren't going to want an option to also listen to music. A 2.5mm headset is the same thing the Xbox 360 still runs.
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Joined May 2006
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Original Poster
#5
Quote from Curtieson View Post :
My Samsung cell phone came with a headset with the mic built in, all for a 3.5mm plug.

The easy way to tell is to look for 3 'black rings' on the plug you are plugging in. A stereo headset will only have 2, and you need the 3rd ring to pass the signal.

Most 2.5mm headsets only have 1 speaker so only 2 rings (1 ear, 1 mic) so if you want full headphones that option won't work for you either. Do you want stereo for when you are not on a call? Looks like that doesn't really matter much to you due to the pic you posted from Amazon..
Well won't stereo be better for VOIP ?
I guess I want the best quality for VOIP calls without spending a fortune. So what you are saying is using a 2.5mm with an adapter to make it 3.5mm compatible will only get me one speaker + microphone right?

Quote from Curtieson View Post :
Also...this is the wrong thing! Do not get this. This adapter is for a cell phone with a 2.5mm plug on it...and allows you to use 3.5mm headsets with it. (Notice it keeps talking about gaining a 3.5mm output.)

You'd want this. [amazon.com] You want a 2.5mm female end.

this is by far your cheapest option, and would work perfectly if you aren't going to want an option to also listen to music. A 2.5mm headset is the same thing the Xbox 360 still runs.
Why would it not be possible to listen to music? Do you mean it won't sound good compared to stereo headphones?
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Joined Sep 2009
Gooooo Tigers!
592 Reputation
#6
Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
Well won't stereo be better for VOIP ?
I guess I want the best quality for VOIP calls without spending a fortune. So what you are saying is using a 2.5mm with an adapter to make it 3.5mm compatible will only get me one speaker + microphone right?
Stereo won't matter for VOIP...I am not an expert...but giving it the logic test I'd guess you are just going to get a mono signal split to both ears anyway. Think about it, there are not two mics on the other end, so there is only 1 signal going in...only one will be able to come out.

Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
Why would it not be possible to listen to music? Do you mean it won't sound good compared to stereo headphones?
Yes. I worded that poorly. You will still hear the music, but only one channel going to both ears.

To try and bring my thoughts back together...using an adapter will work just fine no matter what you do for the VOIP. However...if you want to use the same setup to also listen to music on a consistent basis, you will want something that allows stereo just...because. laugh out loud

I am not saying that using a certain adapter will cause a huge loss in signal...and cause cracking and distortion. So you don't really have to worry about that.


Really...just get this if you don't mind ear buds [amazon.com]. haha

$1 extra for black ones. [amazon.com]


EDIT:



See the THREE rings on the 3.5mm plug? Whatever you put into the computer...to get both ears and a mic, you need to have those 3 rings.
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