See, I wanted to use my beloved Shure i2c headphones as a headset with my computer. Here in this modern world, you'd think that shit would be standardized by now, but no. It turns out that the Shure model I have, with the microphone and 2.5mm plug, is not a "cell phone" model, but actually a "Treo" model.
So, when I went and bought a USB dingus and an adapter cable to go with it, I found that the adapter cable was wired wrong (only one channel and no mic.) Apparently the Treo wiring plan is... creative? (This also explains why the retro handset doesn't work right with the Treo: it's wired in the same "wrong" way as the above cable.)
So, I made my own cable. Which was approximately 500% harder than it should have been because, bizarrely, it turns out that 4-conductor 2.5mm jacks are near-unobtanium -- and 4-conductor 2.5mm jacks in cable rather than board-mount form factor are complete unobtainium. (Radio Schlock has 3.5mm 3-conductor male cable plugs, so at least the other side is easy to get.)
So, to do this, you need to buy one of the rare board-mount sockets (Digikey CP1-42515RS-ND) and swaddle it in electrical tape.
(G=ground, L=left, R=right, M=microphone)
Oh, and if you're wondering why I didn't just cut up that cable and rewire it, it's because A) the wires are microscopic and unsolderable (apparently insulated with paint instead of plastic!) and B) the jack is 3-conductor instead of 4-conductor anyway. I didn't bother to figure out which of "no microphone" or "mono output" was implied by that, because either would be lame.
Here in this modern world, you'd think that shit would be standardized by now, but no.
You wouldn't really expect that, would you? I didn't think so.
I know that sometimes I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box, but I didn't really think that "how you wire up the plug on headphones" would still be a subject of innovation here in the twenty-first goddamned century, no.
The problem is you're looking at it from the technological perspective, a lens through which the modern world makes zero sense.
The decision was likely that such an arrangement would be proprietary and thus they could make more money by selling accessories and preventing other companies taking that money away by offering cheaper accessories easily.
If it wasn't always about money, we'd never have had the HD format wars or DRM.
Sho, you're right.
it turns out that 4-conductor 2.5mm jacks are near-unobtanium -- and 4-conductor 2.5mm jacks in cable rather than board-mount form factor are complete unobtainium
Bullshit. You just didn't look hard enough.
Hm. I think JWZ may have found the lazyweb solution. "Dear lazyweb, please find me connector x" will get you a lecture on why 1/4" phono jacks are superior. While instead "there is no such connector x" will get you an immediately link to what you want, dumbass.
Seriously, this is not the first time I've observed this phenomenon.
Yeah. I followed proper internet protocol in my response. ;) Actually it is a panel mount socket which is probably as close to a cable one as you are going to get. It is better than the little square one anyway.
although this isn't really my area of expertise, looks like it's a standard female socket type thing rather than a board mount.
As it's *precisely* that sort proprietary/profit-over-standardization bullshit drives me borderline batshit-postal:
Thanks for posting.