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Comments on: Palm Treo Headphone Adapter Review

Palm Treo headphone adapterOther than the lack of a larger LCD, my biggest gripe with Palm’s Treo line is the baffling lack of a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. With SD cards currently available in 4gb capacities and larger sizes on the horizon, users will naturally to want to realize their Treo’s media playback/gaming capabilities in glorious stereo. Read on for the full review of Palm's 3.5mm Treo headphone adapter.
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I would have given it .00001 star

scstraus2 @ 8/15/2006 6:35:15 PM # Q
It's so lame to have to use that adapter, I've given up on it. At least Palm finally made a combi handsfree/headphones for the 650, and from what I hear include it with the 700. But what I'm getting is a nice bluetooth stereo headphones like these:

http://www.blueunplugged.com/Products/Original_Nokia_Wireless_Stereo_Headset_HS_12W.aspx

RE: I would have given it .00001 star
hkklife @ 8/15/2006 8:01:17 PM # Q
Like the review says, I bought these in a pinch and on a whim just to be able to rock a few MP3 tunes. This adapter WORKS just as advertised...the Treo just shouldn't need an adapter in the first place! 1 star is reserved for very, very bad products....like FM Radio SDIO cards ;-)(

Verizon, insanely enough but typical for them, doesn't include the same stereo headset + mic unit in the box that Sprint does.
My Treo 700P was a very early Verizon unit so they may be bundling it now (doubtful).

Those Nokias look lovely and all but until Palm or a 3rd party gets ROCK SOLID stable A2Dp support in their devices, it's just a pipedream.

I fear it's going to take Apple & Creative standardizing on A2DP BT headphone support for the standard to catch on (and even then it only has a glimmer of hope of really gaining traction).

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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Elbow?

LiveFaith @ 8/15/2006 8:22:01 PM # Q
Maybe I missed it, but no mention of the 90 degree turn in the adapter. Most earbuds already have a 90 degree elbow connection. Combine two elbows on the bottom of your Treo and you look like geek central. Not to mention the zip zagged wiring just waiting to get yanked out of each other.

Yes, Palm is insanely holding to the 2.5mm receptor, when the device is BT compatible. Just include the 3.5mm like the rest of the audio world and include a cheesy wired earpiece that uses 3.5mm instead of 2.5mm.

I had this stupid adapter and one of my kids lost it. Good riddance! I got another adapter off eBAY for $3 or $4 bucks that is straight and it is much better. Another option is the adapter that has about 3 inches of wire between the male and female. Either of these options are much better than this elbowed beast.

Pat Horne

RE: Elbow?
joad @ 8/15/2006 8:35:39 PM # Q
Radio Shack has a 3.5-3.5" wired extension with a volume control, it's about 4" long. Can be used to get a little further from the elbow and gives you simple volume control as a bonus.

For a $700 "smart" phone that touts it's multimedia power, I find it odd (but not out of character) that Palm hasn't gotten around to putting a standard 3.5" audio jack at the top of the Treos. Rigging up an elbow 2.5"-3.5" adapter to your headset of choice then having the whole shebang yanked on continually is *not* a good solution - it's a complete kludge. Yet Palm still ships these things as though they can be used to replace an iPod. Yikes.

As much as I'd love to use my licensed version of Pocket Tunes Deluxe to regularly stream internet audio, it's only an occasional treat when I can hold the whole thing together safely. Basically, since Palm can't seem to design a proper hardware interface for multimedia, Ipods (or equivalent) are necessary for any serious listening unless you want to risk destroying your "smart" phone.

You can bet Palm will deny you warranty coverage when that $6.95 elbow adapter eventually destroys your headset jack from the leverage it puts on it..

RE: Elbow?
freakout @ 8/15/2006 9:14:17 PM # Q
Have you considered BT headphones, joad? (horribly expensive, I know...)

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: Elbow?
hoodoo @ 8/16/2006 8:43:09 AM # Q
I bought earbuds with a 2.5mm plug and they work fine as well...another option...much sleeker with a small elbow right at the plug.

RE: Elbow?
LiveFaith @ 8/16/2006 9:24:05 AM # Q
If you're happy with the 2.5 earbuds, that's good. But the liion's share of them are standard size.

Pat Horne
RE: Elbow?
hkklife @ 8/16/2006 10:17:30 PM # Q
Is there such a thing as a "real" brand and/or decent audio quality 2.5mm stereo earbuds?

I'd love it if someone like Sony, Shure, Koss, Sennheiser, Etymotic etc came out with something approaching prosumer quality quality 2.5mm stereo earbuds (both with and without an inline mic)-at least with sound quality equivalent to a $50 paid of 3.5mm 'buds!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Elbow?
joad @ 8/17/2006 1:55:08 AM # Q
>RE: Elbow?
>freakout @ 8/15/2006 9:14:17 PM

>Have you considered BT headphones, joad? (horribly expensive, I >know...)

I have a set of Logitech BT ones that work O.K. with the Softick Audio Gateway. They were about $40 A.R. which isn't "horribly" expensive, at least to me. But:

1) I prefer the simplicity and reliability of wired devices

2) Palm doesn't support A2DP natively, so you are basically running a kludgy hack. It works, but isn't at all elegant or solidly reliable.

3) With BT headphones you are stuck with selecting from what very few are manufactured. You have battery limitations. In the case of the Logitech ones they have a nasty habit of breaking easily.


So even though you can get BT headphones at "horribly expensive" prices, they have their drawbacks. As 3.5mm jacks are the industry standard and there are thousands of models from which to pick to fit anyone's desire it seems common sense for Palm to simply put one in their devices. I'll be happy to have Palm just get the BT working reliably for the phone portion of the Treo!

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What the review doesn't mention...

freakout @ 8/15/2006 9:04:22 PM # Q
...is that this Palm adapter provides slighty superior audio quality to the "generic" adapters you can purchase in shops and on ebay. (the sound is clearer, and can be slightly muffled by cheap adapters.)

Still not a patch on the gold-plated Seidio one, though, and doesn't look half as good.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: What the review doesn't mention...
Storkdude @ 8/16/2006 9:33:24 AM # Q
Right. How would you explain the difference in sound quality?

RE: What the review doesn't mention...
freakout @ 8/16/2006 10:25:08 AM # Q
The sound is fuzzier. Bass is less pronounced and the highs blend together. You really can hear a difference, especially with some of the nastier generic ones available.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: What the review doesn't mention...
dmitrygr @ 8/16/2006 3:00:41 PM # Q
might i offer you a gold-plated platinum-wired super special ultra quality palm,god,and uncle sam approved 2.5->3.5 adapter ultra pro! it has 5x the sound quality and will cure all your ills.


wake up, dumbass. you cannot have differente wuality in them. it is 3 ****ign wires!

-----------
Software engineer at PalmPowerups.com
TH55/U + T|X2 + T|E2 + Zire 72 + Zire 31 + Visor Prism + WristPDA

RE: What the review doesn't mention...
freakout @ 8/16/2006 11:11:34 PM # Q
Dmitry, suck my balls mate. Do you have all three adapters? Have you compared them all? Didn't think so, so how 'bout you just quit with the insults and piss off?

You can hear a difference between cheap equipment and pricey stuff, and I don't give a damn if you think I'm nuts.

If you couldn't hear a difference, then why does high-end stereo equipment exist in the first place?

Dumbass.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: What the review doesn't mention...
freakout @ 8/17/2006 12:03:00 AM # Q
From Google:

"Cable Quality Factors:

Listen, I don’t want to get into the myriad of possibilities and examples of how cables can fail. I’d rather get right down to it and explain how cable construction and quality will make a difference in sound and image quality.

The signals that flow down your audio and video cables are in essence electrical voltage; granted it’s a tiny amount of voltage but susceptible to interference just the same. Just as the quality of the components in your receiver or DVD player make a difference in your sound and images, so can your cables.

Many factors go into what makes a “quality cable”. Some of those factors include: the purity of copper strands in cable itself; the type, design, and construction quality of the connector. Even the outer jacket material of the cable, which can reduce interference from other electrical sources, plays into how a cable “sounds”.

Even though you might think a small amount of voltage shouldn’t matter one way or another to how much interference your system receives, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt even a small amount of voltage that intersects a poorly shielded cable at just the right point, can degrade the overall sound/image quality of your system.

The most important function of an audio/video cable is to neither add nor subtract anything of its own to the signal flowing through it. This sounds incredibly simple but it’s obvious (to me at least) that many cables fail to do this. If I take cable (A) and play a few seconds of audio through it and take another cable (B) and do the same but (A) sounds significantly better, what other conclusion am I left with?"

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

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Cheap??

ocspub @ 8/15/2006 9:47:33 PM # Q
$10 for a piece of tiny plastic that either should have been built in or at least included in the box is not cheap.

When I saw this "review" appear on the PIC homepage I quickly checked my calendar to see if it was already April again...

Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

2.5mm is the phone standard....
freakout @ 8/16/2006 2:16:16 AM # Q
I can see why Palm have stuck with 2.5mm jack; people upgrading to a Treo from a regular phone may have a bunch of wired headsets and so forth they'd like to bring with them. It makes sense to keep the standard jack size for a phone on the Treo - and that's 2.5mm.

Personally, I'd prefer they ditched it completely for a 3.5mm jack - and one on the bottom of the device as well - but I can see where they're coming from.

I agree they should include the stereo adapter in the box.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Cheap??
Patrick @ 8/16/2006 2:31:31 AM # Q
Huh? Since when has Palm given a whit about extending the lifetime of legacy accessories?


Legacy?
freakout @ 8/16/2006 5:22:31 AM # Q
2.5mm isn't legacy. It's the standard for almost every phone made.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: Cheap??
ocspub @ 8/16/2006 10:54:09 AM # Q
> 2.5mm isn't legacy. It's the standard for almost every phone made.

Except, ummm, the billions made by that small Finnish outfit you may have heard of, what's it's name.... I think Nokia...

Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

RE: Cheap??
freakout @ 8/16/2006 11:00:15 PM # Q
I think you'll find the vast majority of Nokias have 2.5mm jacks. Of course, some of the media-specific ones have 3.5mm, but most are 2.5.

Case in point: there's six people in the office with me today, and they ALL have phones with 2.5mm jacks.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Cheap??
joad @ 8/17/2006 2:08:52 AM # Q
2.5: industry standard phone jack (look at any cell phone)

3.5: industry standard audio jack (look at your computer, ipod, home stereo)

When you have a device that serves both functions, best to include both jacks.

RE: Cheap??
ocspub @ 8/17/2006 12:18:53 PM # Q
Tim, the three Nokias I have sitting here on my desk all use the proprietary Pop port. And I just checked and the recently released E61 also uses that port. And since I was digging through my collection, I also took a look at my trusty old (retired, mostly) SonyEricsson T610, and it, too, has a proprietary port.

Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.
Reply to this comment

Mono

potter @ 8/16/2006 11:19:38 AM # Q
There are two industrial standards that we are dealing with:
  • The 2.5 mm head set jack.
  • The 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack.

Both have 3 electrical connectors:
  • 2.5 mm head set jack:
    • Common.
    • Speaker.
    • Mic.

  • 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack:
    • Common.
    • Left Speaker.
    • Right Speaker.

Therefore, this adapter does not and cannot provide stereo output. It can only provide the mono signal to both the left and right headphone speakers.

RE: Mono
hkklife @ 8/16/2006 12:25:04 PM # Q
Taken from:
http://store.palm.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1888275

Model Number: 3191WW

Get full stereo sound on your Treo™ 650 or 600 smartphone using standard headphones.


COMPATIBLE WITH:
Treo 700p
Treo 700w
Treo 600
Treo 650

So...shall we all try to raise a ruckus with Palm for false advertising? ;-)

Thanks for the tip, Potter. While I don't have any really good songs featuring stereo separation on my SD card, I just relistered to a few of them and it indeed sounds like mono to my feeble ol' ears. Amazing how I never notice these sorts of things unless I am "listening" for them.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Mono
nrosser @ 8/16/2006 3:56:34 PM # Q
I can tell you that the Treo itself does indeed output in stereo, at least to my Treo Hybrid Headset (mentioned above). I listen to various songs where the sound flies back and forth to each ear (Emerson Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery comes to mind, as does Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon), and I hear in stereo. As I do with The Car's Moving in Stereo. heh.

RE: Mono
potter @ 8/16/2006 5:12:43 PM # Q
Correction: I just checked the Palm Developers Guide. The Treo measures the impedance on the left and right "speakers". If the two impedances are relatively the same, then it will drive the connected device as a stereo headphone set. If the two impedances are relatively different, then it will drive the connected device as a head set. The jack also supports a 4-connector plug (common, mic, right, left).

RE: Mono
hkklife @ 8/16/2006 5:25:58 PM # Q
Potter et al;

This is super weird.

I just listened to my Treo again using what I had here in front of me here at the office: a pair of cheap Sony headphones that came bundled with a Discman and a pair of Logitech 2.1 desktop PC speakers with a line-in jack. Utilizing the Treo adapter I used for the review, the cheap headphones sound like they are in mono but the speakers definitely have a good sense of stereo separation!

So your comments about the Palm Developers' Guide is correct. Obviously certain low-impedence products like some (cheap?) headphones will be treated differently than something like a stereo line patch cord or an FM Transmitter.

Thinking back I've probably had 6 different devices connected to my Treo: My fairly good Sony earbuds, my very good Shure earbuds, my iRiver FM transmitter, the Logitech speakers, a pair of cheap Sony headphones and a pair of worthless no-name freebie headphones. All of the better name-brand items sound "stereo" whereas the cheap freebie headphons sound distinctly mono.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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Elbow Adapter Breaks Treo Jack!

MrPeabody @ 8/16/2006 9:40:27 AM # Q
I used the heavy Elbow Adapter when I first bought my Treo 650. 6 months later, the Treo jack had been damaged from the strain put on it (heavy adapter on small jack). That's my guess anyway; I wasn't using the Treo in the gym for music or other heavy use.

Fortunately I was able to return the Treo still under warranty.

This Seidio adapter causes much less strain on the jack, is cheaper, and takes the brunt of possible damage.

http://tinyurl.com/ov8jh

I have replaced the Seidio adapter at least once, and have had no issues with the Treo jack. I know at least one Treo person whose Treo jack breaks, and ends up having to use this adapter for audio, which plugs into the Palm Connector:

http://tinyurl.com/moacv

This I would have had to buy if my Treo was out of warranty, as happened with my aforementioned fellow Treonaut. ;)

Reply to this comment

Crap

gthing @ 8/16/2006 1:16:04 PM # Q
That adapter is the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen. This thing will break your unreinforced 2.5mm jack right of your phone's main board leaving you with a broken jack. It's called leverage, and even though the engineers at palm have apparently never heard of it doesn't mean its principles don't apply to their products. I'm really surprised they could be so careless as to A.) not reinforce the 2.5mm jack with real solder and B.) to release a jack-breaker and call it a "headphone adapter."

The commenter before pointed to a much better solution. I have the seido adapter, but I'm even careful with that.

And stereo bluetooth phones won't work with the Treo 650, as far as I know because it doesn't support BT 2.0

RE: Crap
hkklife @ 8/16/2006 1:20:15 PM # Q
The 650 supports BT 1.1

The 700P supports BT 1.2

But all of that is a moot point since the A2DP profile is not supported and Softick's Audiogateway program is still very, very buggy.

The easiest and most elegant solution possible would be the inclusion of a simple 3.5mm stereo headphone jack on the Treo. WIth the new models moving the SD slot to the side that completely frees up the top panel for a headphone jack.
I don't understand why Palm's so stubborn about this...With the Treo & standard headphones they act like they do with keeping a charge LED and an internal microphone off of their handheld models.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Crap
joad @ 8/17/2006 2:14:36 AM # Q
>It's called leverage, and even though the engineers at palm have >apparently never heard of it doesn't mean its principles don't >apply to their products.

The only "leveraging" anyone at Palm seems to care about is a leveraged buyout. There is a reason the iPod has always had the jack at the top of the device. Leave it to Palm to put the jack in the worst possible location for the durability of the device. (Actually, blame Handspring for the original placement - but Palm's had 2-3 chances to fix it over the past 3 years...)

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Not Even Close

Haber @ 8/16/2006 5:08:17 PM # Q
Hardcore music aficionados should look to one of the more streamlined options or carry a separate mp3 player.

No audiophile would ever listen to music mangled into an MP3 file.

Yes, MP3s butcher music, but they serve a function
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 8/16/2006 10:12:52 PM # Q
No audiophile would ever listen to music mangled into an MP3 file.

Don't be silly. Most true audiophiles can easily adjust from critically listening to music on high end gear to "kickin' back the tunes" on a decent MP3 player. It's all about context. Only a pretentious twit can't see the difference. The dumba$$es that biotch endlessly about the masses (ironically) moving from CD to MP3 as a format of choice are also the same dumba$$es that rave about B.S. like the Shun Mook Mpingo discs, etc.

Of course there is a HUGE range in the quality of Lo-Fi audio, but with a little effort it's possible to get an MP3 player that produces adequate sound for mobile listening. (e.g. LAME-encoded 320 kbps files playing on an iRiver iFP-799.) Yes, the MP3 format butchers percussion and can't resolve subtle detail worth a damn, but is that REALLY essential for music being played on car stereos, cellphones, desktop computer speakers, etc.?

Pick yer battles, Bubba. (But if anyone starts trying to push MP3 as a serious format for home listening, I've got your back...)


TVoR
- Audiophile

RE: Not Even Close
hkklife @ 8/16/2006 10:54:07 PM # Q
And with that KD-34XBR960 Sony, it's also:

TVoR
-Videophile


;-)

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Not Even Close
freakout @ 8/16/2006 10:57:18 PM # Q
No audiophile would ever listen to music mangled into an MP3 file.

WHAT?? ... sorry, couldn't hear you over the sound of the generator. You know. The one I take with me everywhere to power my vinyl plaer.

:P

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Not Even Close
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 8/17/2006 10:40:03 PM # Q
And with that KD-34XBR960 Sony, it's also:

TVoR
-Videophile


;-)

And that's one sweet television, hkklife! I'm actually not a videophile, but I do appreciate the quality of the 960. I don't expect to buy another TV for at least 10 years, so I was lucky to find the 960 before the stocks completely dried up a few months ago.

TVoR

Reply to this comment

Palm Treo Headphone Adapter Review--why not bluetooth?

hoopster @ 8/22/2006 6:04:59 PM # Q
One of the most frustrating things about my 700w isn't this odd jack and adaptor, its the fact that before the 700w was released, bluetooth stereo headphone/cellphone combination sets were already released i.e Motorola's HS820. However, the 700w can't pipe the sound by bluetooth to the headset, you still have to use the clumbsy irritating connecting cord. I don't want a jack and adaptor, I want the function this device should have. Have you noticed there's no easy way to send "suggestions" to Palm? When I did get in contact with someone at Palm, I got the "we're working on 'other' problems and basically don't care about modifying our programs to support bluetooth sound" attitude. Truly Disappointed! Leaves me wondering what I will buy the next go-around.

RE: Palm Treo Headphone Adapter Review--why not bluetooth?
hkklife @ 8/22/2006 6:31:15 PM # Q
Just hope that Softick hangs in there and keeps plugging away & updating Audio Gateway. Palm's finally gotten around to hacking BT 1.2 support into the 700P and the 700W/Wx already support 1.2 so that is conceivably a small glimmero f hope...that's about all we can hope for at this point. Unfortunately the 700P's not currently supported and the app hasn't seen an update since April so the signs aren't all that encouraging.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Softick Audio Gateway question
freakout @ 8/22/2006 10:23:03 PM # Q
Quick Audio Gateway question for anyone who's used it - I read on Softick's site that it supports bitrates of up to 304kbps. I've got quite a few VBR mp3's that jump to 320kbps in parts; how does the software handle bitrates higher than 304kbps? Is there static or does the sound just drop out, or what?

I'm seriously considering a pair of Nokia HS-12W earbuds, (http://tinyurl.com/o7gs8) but there's not much point if they're incompatible with half my library.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

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4 connector plug

eslonim @ 10/14/2006 2:13:44 PM # Q
A useful review. The impedance trick the Treo uses to detect a mic/headset vs speakers explains a problem I have been having.

For my aviation headset interface, the cellular interface doesn't work with Treo - the microphone is live but causes howling and echoes and is unusable. Playback of music appears fine, so I suspect the headphones (having ANR circuitry) don't have the expected impedance on both channels.

Does anyone know where I can get a 4 connector 3.5mm to 4 connector 2.5mm cable? (I don't really want to use multiple adapters/cables when flying)

Reply to this comment

2.5mm (3/32') stereo plug conversion service

Treoman33 @ 2/21/2007 12:32:13 PM # Q
I will convert your favorite pair of stereo earphones or earbuds from a 3.5mm(1/8") stereo phone plug to 2.5mm stereo plug for your Treo 600-720 for $30.00. This will include Parts, Labor and return delivery insured.

If you have a need for a mono signal, I can accomodate that also.

Please email inquiries to treoman@gmail.com

Headset conversions are in the engineering phase at this time.

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