I plan to use a conventional stereo headset on my Raspberry Pi 3B+. Can I safely connect its 3.5mm TRS plug to the TRRS A/V jack on the Pi?

Is the composite video signal on the 4th ring not short circuited to ground?

  • 1
    The 3.5mm jack is line level only. So you will need an amplifier between your RPi and your headphones. Shorting the video to GND is not a problem in any way.
    – Dougie
    Jun 20, 2020 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


The quality of the output jack is not the greatest even with an amplifier or headphone that can take the line line level output (it also has an odd software pop and been known to miss the first second or so of sound).

Quality is greatly improved by using a I2S HAT that outputs either line level or headphone level signal for you but it does obviously increase case size and cost.

Pimoroni produce a HAT that has a display on it (Pirate Headphone Amp) or you could look at the JustBoom series of boards using the DAC (Digital to Analogue Circuit) they sell.

If you want a great sounding output for an amazingly low cost and are OK with making a few cabling connections and basic soldering, then go for a UDA1334x chip board (such as this one) - they output has a sweet sound with a decent bass.

Obviously other suppliers are available at many cost points - may I recommend this video as a good intro?

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