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Q&A

Can confusing the plugs for earphones and microphones do any damage?

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The plugs for microphones and for earphones are the same, however their functionality obviously is quite different. Now because of the same plugs it is easy to insert one of them in the wrong socket.

Now I'm wondering if such erroneous insertions can cause any damage.

Also with the headset plugs for phones, could any damage be caused if normal earphones are inserted instead?

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2 answers

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Yes, plugging a microphone into a headphone output could possibly damage the microphone. Microphones are designed to work on tiny vibrations and tiny currents. A dynamic microphone will work backwards as a speaker, but at very low power.

In any case, across all the various combinations of ouputs/inputs and plugging passive devices into them, it is quite unlikely that the electronics would be damaged. The only case of damage I can think of is plugging in a delicate microphone into an output with significant power capability.

As for "headsets" versus "earphones", I don't know what the difference is supposed to be. Supposedly both are passive devices intended to driven from audio outputs that are intended to source some power.

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Thank you for the answer. On the phone headset, the difference is that the connections for earphone a... (4 comments)
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If you mean electret microphone, no damage to JFET buffer.

Microphone input won't damage a headset with it's current limited pullup resistor for electret Mics.

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