Abbreviation for Tip Sleeve. Tip Sleeve refers to a specific type of phone plug (not phono plug) or 1/4″ connector that is set up for two-conductor unbalanced operation. The tip and sleeve are separated by an insulator. The Tip is generally considered the “hot,” or where the signal is applied, while the Sleeve is where the ground or shield is connected. Unlike balanced connections the shield connection of a TS cable is required for signal to be able to pass.