Can a broken jack produce out-of-phase sound?


One of my Yamaha HS-50M monitors fell from the desk recently. It had a normal Tip/Sleeve connector plugged in, but upon impact the jack got a bit loose.

Now in order to get a signal, I have to pull the connector a few millimeters out of the jack.

When listening to music, now I get a really strange effect. It sounds like the monitors are out of phase, with the music (and especially vocals) not having a distinct stereo position.

Is this something only in my imagination? Or is it technically possible that such an effect occurs because of a broken jack?


Posted 2011-07-28T11:54:54.530

Reputation: 339



Pulling the connector out slightly will connect the tip of the plug to the ring of the jack on the speaker. This will definitely give you an out of phase signal.

Even if you inverted the phase of the signal to the monitor or modified your cable to compensate, I don't think you can get the same quality of sound you would have from a good connection. Also I would imagine that there is a slight possibility of damaging the monitor because of the bad connection.

Your best bet is to repair/replace the monitor.

Friend Of George

Posted 2011-07-28T11:54:54.530

Reputation: 3 426

Very good explanation. +1 – None – 2011-07-28T16:43:39.063

> Your best bet is to repair/replace the monitor. I think that's what I have to do, eventually. Interestingly though, the sound is excellent, yet phase shifted. – slhck – 2011-08-02T10:17:22.433


No, sure it's not only your imagination... You described exactly what happened to me when my earphone broked, and only "worked" with few milimeters out of the jack and some "straaannggee" effects...

It's just a closed circuit between the right and the left channel, happening in the connectors jack. Then, with the "circuit-mix" on, the first thing pops out its the "karaoke" effect, which occurs mainly because voices are centered-mixed, and the phases get cancelled. Anything not center-mixed, will go to the other side of the pan. Anything on the middle, it will cancel. Very funny effect.

Change the jack, get all right sounds back!=)


Posted 2011-07-28T11:54:54.530