Most every pair of wired headphones has the cable attached to the left earcup, probably for reasons similar to why most of the microphones are placed on the left.

One would expect then that devices at the other end, e.g., computers, also place their headphone connections to the left of the device to prevent the cable from crossing the user's field of action. However, there seems to be no such consensus in the industry.

Why is that?

Lenovo laptop with headphone jack on the right-hand side

  • My HP work laptop has the headphone socket on the left. Although, I use Bluetooth headphones anyway. Aug 2, 2017 at 13:01
  • Are you looking for a particular design principle that manufacturers are following? I doubt there is one (as you point out), so I don't think this question has an answer. Aug 2, 2017 at 13:12
  • "Why aren't all headphone connectors on the left?" Probably down to the design of the internal components, as manufacturers try to squeeze more components into ever smaller bodies. Aug 2, 2017 at 13:19
  • In his answer, @DasBeasto brought up the idea of left- and right-handedness. This has been brought up about headset mics also. I think it's just logical to keep cables and other obstructions away from the dominant side (when a choice can be made), which would explain why it's on the left so often.
    – jsejcksn
    Aug 3, 2017 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: This is pure speculation, as I don't design laptops, and as you said there is no standard so it's hard to prove a negative.

This question on Quora about why charging ports are typically on the left inspired my answer: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-charging-ports-on-the-left-sides-of-all-laptops

Most people are right handed. They use mouse by placing it on the right side of the laptop. Since mouse only requires USB 1.0 /2.0 port, Laptop manufacturers keep these ports on the right side of the laptop.

So as it says a majority of people are right handed so they leave the usb ports on the right for mouse users. If you Google motherboards, you see that manufacturers seem to keep all of their I/O ports together (I don't know enough about hardware to say why, insert language about "serial bus" and "form factor" here) this includes the USB ports for the mouse as well as video and audio ports.

enter image description here

So I wager that it wasn't a direct decision to put the headphones on the right. They most likely made the decision to put the USB port on the right and the other ports just came with it.

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