Above: These connectors are often called jacks but the correct name is plugs.
The term jack connector or jack plug often refers to the type of plug pictured right. These come on various sizes and configurations, and are very common in audio equipment.
However the term jack is not strictly accurate. It's good idea to differentiate between a jack and a plug.
- A jack is generally considered to be the "fixed" part of a connection, i.e. the part that is housed on a piece of equipment that doesn't move as much. A jack is usually a female socket.
- A plug is the male connector on the end of a cable, which plugs into a jack.
To avoid confusion it is better to avoid terms like jack plug, and instead call these connectors TRS plugs*.
Below: Jack connections on the back of a small audio mixer.
* You may notice that we still sometimes use the term jack to refer to plugs. This is a pragmatic response to the fact that so many people search for jack when they mean plug. We try our best to provide people with the information they need while steering them in the right direction regarding terminology.