Duplicate Your Stereo Signal with a 3.5mm Audio Cable

A 3.5mm splitter cable allows you to send an audio signal from one device to at least two peripheral devices. The host device typically attaches to the adapter using a male connector, and two additional leads plug into any peripheral devices you may own. These 3.5mm male cables can be useful if you need to send one audio signal from your host device to share music with other people using headphones.

What connectors are available?

Because these products are designed to duplicate a signal or otherwise make it compatible between different electronic devices, they may contain multiple connector types. These connections are usually defined in millimeters and represented as 'mm.' Most male 3.5mm connections also contain an adapter to accept other connections. Some common connections or plugs you might find during your search include:

  • 3.5mm male: The 3.5mm cable with a male plug has a pin at its centre to merge with a female port.
  • 3.5mm female: The 3.5mm female cable has a space to accept a pin from a male port.
  • Optical audio male: This type of audio cable uses fiber optics and lasers to send a digital signal between various electronic devices. These cables can support up to 7.1 channels and may be useful if you want to keep older audio equipment working.
How can you split or duplicate the connection?

You may be able to categorize these stereo cables depending on how many times they will split a single signal. This feature is usually represented as a ratio. If you know how many times you need to duplicate the signal from your host device, then this is one way you might be able to narrow your search and find the product you need. Some common ratios include:

  • 1:2: This ratio will double your audio signal and transmit it to two devices, such as a pair of external stereo speakers.
  • 1:3: This ratio will triple your audio signal. You may wish to use this cable type to power a set of speakers and an MP3 player.
How do you use a splitter cable?

To start splitting or duplicating your audio signals for stereos and other devices, consider the following steps:

  • Connect the host: Many cables will have a single jack at one end and multiple jacks at the other end. You can attach the single 3.5mm jack into the appropriate port on the host device.
  • Attach your peripherals: You can now attach the 3.5mm jacks at the other end of the adapter to the peripheral devices of your choice.
  • Test it: If you have attached your male 3.5mm splitter cable to a microphone and headphone combination device, you can test the audio to see if it will pick up voices and sounds.