Can You Use iPhone Headphones on PS4? A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Nurul

For many gamers, the audio experience is just as crucial as the visuals. Hearing footsteps approaching from behind, deciphering subtle environmental cues, and enjoying the booming soundtrack of your favorite game all contribute to a truly immersive experience. So, when it comes to choosing headphones for your PS4, compatibility becomes a key concern.

Can you leverage those trusty iPhone headphones you already own, or is a dedicated gaming headset a must-have? This guide dives deep into the world of PS4 audio, exploring the compatibility of iPhone headphones and offering solutions to maximize your audio experience.

Unveiling Compatibility: iPhone Headphones and the PS4

There’s good news and a potential hiccup when it comes to using iPhone headphones with your PS4. Let’s break it down:

The Good News: Audio Bliss Awaits

The PS4 controller boasts a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, ensuring broad compatibility with a wide range of headphones. This means your iPhone headphones, including the ever-popular EarPods, will fit perfectly into the controller’s jack. You can fire up your favorite game and enjoy clear, crisp audio, immersing yourself in the world on your screen.

The Potential Hiccup: Microphone Functionality

While audio playback works flawlessly, microphone functionality might hit a snag. This stems from a difference in the way headphone jacks are wired, specifically the arrangement of the pins within the jack. There are two main standards: CTIA and OMTP.

  • CTIA (Used by iPhone Headphones): This standard positions the microphone pin differently compared to the ground and left/right audio channels.
  • OMTP (Used by PS4 Controllers): The PS4 controller utilizes the OMTP standard, where the microphone pin occupies a different location.

Due to this mismatch, the built-in microphone on your iPhone headphones might not work when plugged into the PS4 controller. Fear not, though, because there are solutions!

Conquering the Microphone Hurdle

Here’s how you can overcome the microphone incompatibility and chat with your teammates seamlessly:

The Reliable Approach: Invest in a CTIA to OMTP Adapter

This tiny but mighty adapter bridges the gap between your CTIA headphones and the OMTP-based PS4 controller. It essentially rewires the incoming signal to match the PS4’s expectations, allowing both audio output and microphone input to function flawlessly.

When choosing a CTIA to OMTP adapter, prioritize quality. Opt for adapters from reputable brands that utilize durable materials like braided cables. These features ensure the adapter can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use.

The “Half-Plug” Method: A Risky Maneuver (Use with Caution!)

There’s an unofficial method circulating online that involves partially inserting the headphone jack (around halfway) into the controller. This supposed “trick” might activate the microphone due to incomplete contact within the jack. However, we strongly advise against this method.

Here’s why:

  • High Risk of Damage: Forcing the jack halfway in can put undue stress on the delicate pins inside the controller and headphone jack, potentially causing permanent damage.
  • Electrical Shorts: Incomplete contact can lead to electrical shorts, which could harm both your headphones and the controller.

The potential downsides far outweigh any temporary benefit. Stick to the safe and reliable CTIA to OMTP adapter route.

Optimizing Your Audio Experience

Getting audio to work is just the first step. Here’s how to elevate your PS4 audio experience:

Fine-Tuning Audio Settings for Peak Performance

The PS4 offers a robust set of audio settings to personalize your experience. Here’s how to access them:

  1. Navigate to Settings on your PS4 dashboard.
  2. Select Sound.
  3. From here, you can adjust various options like:
    • Output Device: Ensure your headphones are selected as the output device.
    • Volume Levels: Fine-tune the overall volume and balance between game audio and chat audio.
    • Audio Format (Priority): For headphones, set this to “Stereo” for optimal performance.

Experiment with these settings to find the perfect balance that suits your preferences and gaming style.

Upgrading Your Audio Arsenal

  • Comfort Features: Extended gaming sessions require comfort. Gaming headsets often come equipped with padded earcups and adjustable headbands, ensuring a comfortable fit for hours of gameplay.
  • Noise-Cancellation: Noise-canceling headsets are a godsend for gamers who crave distraction-free immersion. These headsets actively block out ambient noise, allowing you to focus solely on the in-game soundscape.

Popular gaming headset brands include Sony, Razer, SteelSeries, and Astro. Consider your budget, desired features, and comfort preferences when selecting a headset to elevate your PS4 audio experience.


This guide has explored the compatibility of iPhone headphones with PS4. While they work for audio playback, a CTIA to OMTP adapter is necessary for microphone functionality. We’ve also highlighted the advantages of dedicated gaming headsets for those seeking superior audio quality, communication clarity, and immersive surround sound.

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