On July 29th without much fanfare ITU-T standardization committee approved a new “recommendation P.382”. The standard specifies critical physical and electrical-acoustical characteristics for the universal headset interface with more than 4 terminals. To put it in other words, the geometry and technical requirements for 3.5mm audio plugs and jacks that have 5 (or more) separate communication channels were outlined and standardized. That’s right, good old TRRS audio connector featured in billions of audio devices used and produced anew each year is about to get a huge makeover.
Increasing a number of poles of the 3.5mm audio connector interface has been tried in the past several times. All attempts were not adopted by the market due to issues arising from backwards compatibility with existing 4 and 3 pole solutions currently in use.