The Nokia TRRS standard is what everything else uses, Tip = Left channel, first Ring = Right channel, second Ring = Mic/Control feed, Sleeve = Ground.
The Apple TRRS standard uses, Tip = Left channel, first Ring = Right channel, second Ring = Ground, Sleeve = Mic/Control feed.
Funny thing is Nokia started to use that TRRS layout well over ten years ago in Asia. Almost immediately China and Japan adopted it as an industrial standard and every phone manufacturer since has used it too.
Then Apple comes along years later, with all its infinite wisdom on how to do things that will alienate themselves from the rest of the market and switches the second ring and sleeve. So now the mic and controls for Apple headsets wont work with ANY other phone, and you can’t use any other headset with the iPhone unless it is Apple configured.
Things get even more complicated when apple decides to alter the amp setting for the output of their audio. This is even more interesting and dumbfounding: Apples headsets bass range can be driven at a much lower signal power, that means that you can still use the Apple TRS headphones for audio only (no mic, no controls) in any other device BUT you can’t properly use TRS headphones manufactured for the rest of the industries phones because they require a higher signal power to drive the low end. So if you try to use a standard set of headphones with an Apple device the bass will surely suffer. Those issues happen all the time with iPods because of the same configuration of the TRS standard.
With TRRS you get other issues caused by the signal grounding through the control buss, every now and then output from a song will bias a diode or transistor just right to skip the track or stop the song or do a whole slew of different and wacky things.
So if you ever see someone having this issue with a smart phone tell them to get non-Apple headsets.
If you see someone with an iPhone that’s having this issue, tell them to get an Android device. No, seriously though, tell them to get an Apple headset. Same thing goes if they are experiencing poor bass.
So it isn’t that there is only one brand making the correct headsets, its more like a few brands making headsets that only work with Apple. An easy way to identify the difference is Apples control standard is referred to as TapLine. Just buy headsets that aren’t TapLine or TapLineII. A vast majority of ALL the headsets on the market use the Nokia TRRS standard which is what everything other than Apple is configured for, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a headset that will work for audio and voice.
If you want to use Bluetooth, then you have a world of options for headsets, pretty much everything works. I like the MOTOROKR S305, inexpensive, uses micro USB to charge, and has FULL control, even with voice commands.
If you want to save your battery and use corded headsets with FULL control, then be prepared for disappointment. Right now the Droid X does not support phone controls through the headset command controls. You should still be able to control your music player (maybe, that is still a hit or miss), but if you want to answer and end a phone call then you only have the option of setting the phone to handsfree. With the phone set to handsfree answer and the headphones are plugged in, the phone will answer and you just have to allow the caller on the other end to terminate the call.