• What is this for?

    It’s a slow news day here in Fraktopia. An Epic Storm is allegedly on the way. School was canceled. So, I’m home keeping the fraktions (my kids) entertained. It’s not hard. This big fort was hours of fun.

    Meanwhile, the trusty USPS delivered my daughter’s new kid’s headset, which she needs for the school computer lab. It’s got the standard 3.5mm jack at the end of a reasonably long cord. (I didn’t measure it, but it’s long, maybe 3 feet). And yet, included in the package was this:

    cord 1

    What you’re looking at is a a four-inch cord with a male 3.5mm male jack on one end and a female 3.5mm receptacle on the other. As such, it isn’t a 3.5mm converter to something else. That, I’d understand. That would have utility. But this?

    At first I didn’t believe it wasn’t a converter, so I checked that male fit perfectly into female.

    cord 2

    Indeed it does. It’s snug. So, what is this for? Are there circumstances in which a three foot cord is just not quite enough and four more inches would do the trick? Maybe, but those have got to be rare. Perhaps it’s just a manufacturing mistake. What’s your guess?

    Like I said, slow news day.

    UPDATE: Best answer by Aurora.


    • Maybe if your port is inaccessible this would give a more convenient access?

    • A couple possibilities.

      1) it could be a stereo in to a mono out (hard to tell from the images provided)

      2) it could be for a device that isn’t meant to be moved frequently (a PC or stereo unit). Plug that into the back, and hang it off the side. You can reach that easy enough without having to slide the whole unit out of the way.

      3) it might be intended to stay semi-permanently in the device (ipod, whatever) and to have the headphone/earbuds plugged into it. Then when you repeatedly plug and unplug the earbuds from it, the wear and tear is on the $1 piece, not the multi-hundred dollar music device.

      I don’t actually know though

    • How about; to let you plug the headphones in to a jack that is recessed; either from poor design (i.e. the original iphone) or because a case limits access (i.e. most current iphone cases).

    • It is a modern art installation intended to inspire reflection on how technology fails at fostering real human connections and instead promotes narcissistic self-involvement.


    • a lot of expensive headphones come with a long M-F and a short M-F chord, together with the modular main headphones. Shure makes great headphones and they ship theirs this way. i always assumed it was if someone didn’t want the long chord they could use the short one instead (the source was much nearer to their ear than their pocket). it costs them only a few cents to include this, and there are definitely situations when a small extender has made a difference for me. i’m glad they do.

    • It’s like a plug condom — because you never know where somebody else’s plug has been 🙂 Shh!!! don’t tell your kids.

      I think it’s some kind of adapter for an iPhone. From the iPhone wiki:

      While the iPhone is compatible with normal headphones, Apple provides a headset with additional functionality. A multipurpose button near the microphone can be used to play or pause music, skip tracks, and answer or end phone calls without touching the iPhone. A small number of third-party headsets specifically designed for the iPhone also include the microphone and control button.[79] The current headsets also provide volume controls, which are only compatible with more recent models.[80] These features are achieved by a fourth ring in the audio jack that carries this extra information.

    • Volume restriction cable … Common with kid headphones.

    • I guess the purpose of this is to narrow the “plastic part” of the jack to fit in appliances like the first iPhone. Pretty much something like this: http://www.amazon.com/3-5mm-Headphone-Adapter-iPhone-Recessed/dp/B000WKQ8LS