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Author Topic: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4  (Read 19091 times)

Lee Patzius

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TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« on: January 08, 2011, 11:56:45 am »

First of all, greetings! And WOW! Another forum reset.

Well, anyway, I recently purchased my first piece of Apple gear, an Iphone 4, which IMO, is incredible piece of kit, to say the least.

But of course in all its greatness, I hit a snag.   

That dog-gone TRRS headphone output!

My initial intent was to sign in and crank Pandora through our band's PA during setup, and breaks. So, with last minute intentions and no experimentation, and noticing Apple's OEM earbuds had 1/8" TRRS, I went out and found a 3 channel RCA to TRRS adapter and naturally ASSumed red and white RCAs were audio, (assuming yellow is reserved for things like video in its off the shelf intention) and further adapted the red and white RCA outputs to Male 1/4" TS each channel.

Of course, I ASSumed again, and made them semi-permanent with electrical tape over the various RCA to 1/4" adapters strung together so I wouldn't lose the matched pairs, without any pretesting... But NO!

For its first time trial, live on stage, at the last minute, trying to setup the PA for overall sound check, in frantic tunnel vision mode, with absolutely zero time available, signing into Pandora, which was paintstakingly slow, I finally get through only to find my adapter's red RCA channel coming from the adapter is a piece of crap.

Iphone 4 uses the White and Yellow RCA outputs for audio!

So, let it be known, for off the shelf 3 channel 1/8" TRRS to RCA adapters, the Iphone's output uses White and Yellow RCAs for audio output.

In addition, I placed a female to female RCA barrel over the exposed male Red RCA and taped it together as well, to keep its prong from going to ground.
 

 
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Lee Patzius

Rory Maguire

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 07:29:24 pm »

How curious... I don't use an iphone personally. Android user here!! But point well noted. Maybe I'll borrow a mates and do a little experimenting!

Have you tried multi metering your cable to check it's not just a stupidly mis-labeled RCA connection?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 07:32:15 pm by Rory Maguire »
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Larry Robbins

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 11:31:40 am »

I also bought a generic TRRS to 3 RCA adaptor and on mine, the yellow is the mic which I believe to be the ring closest to the sleeve.  I think that it is the aftermarket cable maker's color coding that is what you found a surprise, not Apple's wiring scheme.
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Ned Ward

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 01:54:55 pm »

Lee - Apple does this so they can charge $30 for their proprietary AV cable, which as you've found just has the video and white for audio, red for video. Great for using an iPod that supports video with any camcorder RCA cable. I read about this back when I got my 60GB ipod and tried it out. Fun for the kids to play videos on long trips in the car.

FYI - a normal 1/8" TRS to stereo RCA works as expected for audio; I have 3 in my mixer drawer to use for iPod break music or for recording stereo in on my Zoom H2. There are also people that sell a line level out version that connects through the dock connector  - http://www.moon-audio.com/Moon_Audio_Mini_Audio_Cables.htm - scroll down a bit.

TIP - go into settings and turn on Airplane Mode - this will silence any "didit didit didit didit" noise during performances.

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Lee Patzius

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 02:49:24 pm »

How curious... I don't use an iphone personally. Android user here!! But point well noted. Maybe I'll borrow a mates and do a little experimenting!

Have you tried multi metering your cable to check it's not just a stupidly mis-labeled RCA connection?

Well, curiousity got the best of me so I took some measurements.

I attached pics, but the preview button didn't confirm my upload.

In case my picture doesn't load, this is what I got:

TRRS Tip = RCA White
TRRS 1st Ring = RCA Yellow 
TRRS 2nd Ring = RCA Ground 
TRRS Sleeve = RCA Red 

I'm surprised to say the least!

I did notice that if I plug a standard 1/8" TRS headset into my Iphone, they will play in stereo properly, even though they'd short out Apple's 2nd ring to sleeve.

One other thing to consider is the fact that my OEM earbuds have a cool push button volume control inline with the cable. That, along with other features I don't know about must be why they require an extra wire I guess.

But something tells me there may be something odd with the color coding on my Guitar Center's off-the-shelf TRRS to RCA adapter.

Without any searching, I'm kind'a wondering if this is normal, or did I get a bum unit?

Either way, it's no big deal. I'll just keep an eye out for it and leason learned...

NEVER ASSUME!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 02:52:41 pm by Lee Patzius »
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Lee Patzius

Lee Patzius

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 03:42:42 pm »

TIP - go into settings and turn on Airplane Mode - this will silence any "didit didit didit didit" noise during performances.

Yes, I was concerned about receiving a phone call during break music just last night! So I tried "Airplane Mode" and it killed my internet connection to Pandora. A message popped up saying I could go through local WIFI to continue the stream.

But what's worse is, if I do receive a call, my ringer will blast through the output with incredible volume. So next Friday I'll try forwarding my phone to a new number and experiment to see what happens through the PA.

What I really need to do is fill up my phone's Ipod and play internal music. Then go to Airplane Mode.

Speaking of which, my lead guitarist's amp gets those "dit-did-it-dits" all the time as well.

In the size clubs we play, sadly, it's become a normal nusiance we seem to live with lately.
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Lee Patzius

Ned Ward

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 05:07:35 pm »

Tell me about it - my '65 Bandmaster combo wasn't exactly designed by Leo back in the day for blackberry/iPhone interference. Blackberries seem worse offenders than the iPhone, but the airplane mode silences them all.

Forgot about Pandora - I'm a latecomer to it but now can't believe I ever lived without it.

I have an older iPod that I keep for file backup and keeping break music on, but I also keep about 1G of music on my iPhone.
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 08:47:48 pm »

Lee - Apple does this so they can charge $30 for their proprietary AV cable, which as you've found just has the video and white for audio, red for video. Great for using an iPod that supports video with any camcorder RCA cable. I read about this back when I got my 60GB ipod and tried it out. Fun for the kids to play videos on long trips in the car.

FYI - a normal 1/8" TRS to stereo RCA works as expected for audio; I have 3 in my mixer drawer to use for iPod break music or for recording stereo in on my Zoom H2. There are also people that sell a line level out version that connects through the dock connector  - http://www.moon-audio.com/Moon_Audio_Mini_Audio_Cables.htm - scroll down a bit.

TIP - go into settings and turn on Airplane Mode - this will silence any "didit didit didit didit" noise during performances.
I even have some that are Trs 1/8 to Xlr that work well I keep them in the doghouse of consoles that don't have any 1/4" inputs.
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bigTlamb

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Kent Thompson

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 12:29:01 am »

All you need is a standard 1/8 stereo cable to "whatever" connectors you want on the other end (as others have said).That's what I use on my iPhone 4 it works great. The extra ring is for the microphone which you don't need for playback. The iPhone will recognize there is no microphone ring on the cable and save your volume setting for that cable the next time you plug it in. If you plug in the supplied earphones it will remember that volume level separately.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 12:30:46 am by Kent Thompson »
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Dave Bjornson

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 02:42:05 pm »

Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I'm not using my Iphone for playback in front of an audience.
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Steve Hurt

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 09:11:01 pm »

Last time I plugged in an I-Phone into the PA, it rang (thru the PA of course) 
The guitar player came over to the board and instead of silencing it, he answered the call!

When he hung up, there were a LOT of people staring at him.
(no one on the dance floor was staring though.... because there was no one left on the dance floor!  What a wanker! )




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Ned Ward

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 10:31:08 pm »

Last time I plugged in an I-Phone into the PA, it rang (thru the PA of course) 
The guitar player came over to the board and instead of silencing it, he answered the call!

When he hung up, there were a LOT of people staring at him.
(no one on the dance floor was staring though.... because there was no one left on the dance floor!  What a wanker! )

Hence the airplane mode, which turns your iphone into a video iPod without the annoying ringing in the middle of a show.
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Adam Wh3tham

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2011, 02:33:54 am »

Hence the airplane mode, which turns your iphone into a video iPod without the annoying ringing in the middle of a show.

Not sure on the iPhone but on my Android I just disable 1x and i keep my EVDO/3G data so I can still run slacker/pandora for breaks without having to worry about voice.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 02:31:32 am »

At least with the 3G, a TRS out cable works fine.  I believe that the second ring is a mic input, as the only thing I've seen with a TRRS plug is the Apple earbud+mic gadget.
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Brian Gowing

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 10:31:24 am »

As long as you can get a wi-fi signal you can turn on airplane mode which will turn off the phone and then go in and turn on the wi-fi which will get you the internet.
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Brian Gowing
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Tim Brackett

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2011, 01:51:54 pm »

 I have a Plam Pre and the silent switch will silence the ringer in the headphone jack but not silence pandora or other media audio output.  There might be a way to do this with the iphone.  The issue I have though is that Verizon is my carrier and their network does not support phone calls and internet at the same time.  When I get a call I don't hear the ring through the PA but internet streaming will stop.  This will happen with the iphone if you get one from Verizon. 
  I don't often use my phone for music playback through the PA but it does come in handy in a pinch.  One trick I have found is that if your phone is connected to the console you can always PFL that channel and be able to hear a call through the cans during a loud set. 
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Dave Bigelow

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2011, 08:57:17 pm »

Putting the phone on silent (vibration only mode) doesn't fix the ringing through the PA along with keeping the 3G connection?

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Justin Bartlett

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2011, 02:21:23 pm »

I even have some that are Trs 1/8 to Xlr that work well I keep them in the doghouse of consoles that don't have any 1/4" inputs.
Just be careful about phantom power...your phone could have a bad day.
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Kurt Stephens

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2011, 02:52:41 pm »

Good info!

Crazy that apple chooses yellow as video.
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Rory Maguire

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Re: TRRS output from Apple Iphone 4
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2011, 03:10:55 am »

Somewhat related...

I had an interesting thing happen the other day. During a festival, had a group show up to do a dance and their only playback format was an iphone. Thought sweet, popped it on aeroplane mode and thought nothing of it...

Halfway through their track the iphone skips to the next track... Apparently there is quite a volume different from Miles Davis to Metillica... Gave me a hell of a fright.

On further investigation, iphones will play back as much of a corrupt wav file as they can, and when they can no longer, they skip to the next track!!

You learn something new each day...!
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