“The 3.5mm jack is over 50 years old and doesn’t do much besides carry an audio signal. It needs its own power amplifier and digital audio converter, which can be built into headphones, so removing the jack makes room for other things, such as a second speaker,” JV Chamary writes for Forbes. “As Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller said during the iPhone 7 launch, ‘Maintaining an ancient, single-purpose, analogue, big connector doesn’t make sense because that space is at a premium.'”

“Schiller said the decision to drop the 3.5mm jack was down to courage. However, even if you accept that the change was brave, ‘courage’ doesn’t clearly highlight the advantages to customers. Apple should have used another word to explain the iPhone 7′s lack of headphone jack: progress,” Chamary writes. “‘The headphone jack is really quite limited,’ says Dr Joshua Reiss, an audio engineer at Queen Mary University of London. ‘For the person who wants really great sound, using the Lightning port is much better than using the headphone jack.'”

“One drawback of a 3.5mm jack is that its digital-to-analogue converter alters the audio signal prematurely, before it reaches a headphone’s speakers, which can allow data to be lost from a recording. ‘Generally, the jack itself will have had some audio degradation just getting the audio,’ says Reiss,” Chamary writes. “Manufacturers of high-end audio equipment obviously have a vested interest in saying we’re able to tell the difference between ordinary CD quality and hi-res audio. Reiss recently settled the argument by bringing all the relevant research together, a meta-analysis of 18 studies that included 400 participants from 12,500 experiments. ‘Putting them all together, it showed that people did definitely hear a difference,’ he says…”

More info and links in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All but the worst tin ears can hear the difference.

Kill the 3.5mm anachronism across all product lines, Apple!

Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. — Steve Jobs

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