Apple killing the headphone jack more user-friendly than some people think

“Even before Apple has confirmed it will actually move on from the 3.5mm headphone jack, maker of analog and digital signal processing products Cirrus Logic already seems to be on board with the port’s evolution,” Daniel Sparks writes for The Motley Fool. “In place of the 3.5mm headphone jack, users will likely be able to utilize headphones with the device in one of two ways. Listeners will either be able to use Bluetooth technology, or they will be able to plug compatible headphones into the iPhone’s Lightning port.”

“Among other benefits, lighting-based headphones can support more power, better sound, and more customizable EQ adjustments,” Sparks writes. “As the rumored 3.5mm jack-free iPhone 7 is beginning to look all but certain, it’s comforting to know the move away from the old technology will at least represent an upgrade in the listening experience.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There are even more possibilities than meet the eye, including, for just one example, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004.

Apple supplier preps for removal of 3.5mm headphone jack in next iPhone – June 30, 2016
Mossberg: New Even earphones tune themselves to each individual’s hearing – June 29, 2016
Alleged iPhone 7 chassis lacks 3.5mm headphone port – June 28, 2016
iPhone 7 rumored to get second speaker, larger camera – June 27, 2016
Apple is known for dumping legacy tech before the rest of the world catches up – June 27, 2016
iOS 9 code reveals Apple’s plans to dump 3.5mm headphone jack in future iPhones – January 20, 2016
Apple’s intention to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack is brilliant – January 13, 2016
iPhone 7 said to be waterproof, replace 3.5mm headphone jack with Apple’s Lightning – January 8, 2016
The fastest Lightning cable is also one of the least expensive – January 8, 2016
Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too – January 7, 2016
Petition demands Apple keep 3.5mm headphone jack in the ‘iPhone 7’ – January 7, 2016
More reports claim Apple has dumped the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 – January 5, 2016
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may be poised to kill off the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 7, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014
Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, iOS software update to deliver support – June 5, 2014
Apple preps HD audio for iOS 8 plus new Apple In-Ear Headphones and lightning cable – May 13, 2014
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
Apple paves way for more affordable iOS accessories with lower MFi and Lightning licensing fees – February 7, 2014


  1. Funny, how this and other stories talk about “killing” “destroying” “dumping” and many other highly charged words like this thing is somehow alive. Seems the rumors are, that they may simply “remove” the headphone jack. No one will die. countries will not fall, civilization, as we know it will not cease to exist. Wheather it is a good idea or not I guess remains to be seen. I will now put on my tinfoil hat and crawl back into the bunker.

  2. Combined length aside I would assume you could have a lightning lead with a remote on it, and a traditional plug and then just use any regular set of headphones which would mean not having to specifically buy a pair with a remote which that feature is then redundant on for other devices.

  3. It has nothing to do with user experience and everything to do with 1) Justifying the purchase of Beats, 2) Appeasing the music cartel by eliminating the “analog loophole” and thus enforcing whatever new DRM scheme they can dream of — and most importantly, 3) Selling you dongles.

    There is zero user benefit to doing this, save for shaving off the odd mm of an already thin enough device. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just shoveling Tim Cook manure.

    1. Yes, and this article is BS when it claims stuff like “better EQ”, because at some point, the digital source data must be converted to analog in order for a human to hear it.

      As such, stuff like equalization is merely a “shuffling of the deck chairs” from one part of a device to another.

      Similarly, because the data must be converted into analog (audible sound) in order to be consumed by the customer, 100% infallible DRM is literally an impossible goal to achieve.

    2. Yes, because Apple is losing all rhos money selling all these millions of iPhones at $650+ each, that they desperately need the massive profits of a few hundred thousand cable adapters that cost $20 (and compete with third-party offerings at $9)…


  4. This is sure beginning to smell like a done deal. I can only hope that Apple doesn’t go ape overcharging for an adapter. I’ve got enough damned battery chargers as it is. And I want to use high-quality earbuds–not hip-hop crap.

    1. Agreed … and for me, the talk of wireless Bluetooth is:

      “Oh God … YET ANOTHER damn device that I need to keep charged”.

      The irony is the meme that’s around that’s showing kids an old school wired telephone and their response is … “Wow! Its always plugged in so there’s no battery to charge! What a great invention!”.

  5. I don’t mind changing the buds’ port, but it appears Apple’s changing won’t allow for listening and charging at the same time.

    “Oh, wait, sir. We have these $199 wireless earbuds for that.”

    Apple, all about the money….

  6. As principle, I’m not against technology moving from A to B, when it’s justified.

    But there’s a reason the headphone jack hasn’t chaged in so long:

    Because it’s well designed.

    Check Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design.

    I remain skeptic with the change. Remember the iPod Shuffle where you could only operate it with Apple headphones? It was awful. Everyone I know who go one hated it. Why? Because what most people want (me included) is to plug in my favorite pair of headphones! And if they are good enough, I don’t want to change them because of the device’s compatibility.

    One of the great feats of the good old 3.5mm plug is, it’s 100% serviceable by anyone. All you need is to buy a new jack, a soldering gun and some cutting plyers. And you can repair them easily.

    it’s a little bit like a USB cable. We can all build it. The lightning cable has a lot of electronics in it. Not serviceable at all.

    But, while Lighting provides better transmission speed, and you can say you sacrifice erviceability for speed, what benefit would a new jack bring to the end user?

    Better sound? We all know that’s not gonna happen. Sound quality has to do with the conductivity of the jack, cable, and the speaker quality. The kind of plug has nothing to do with it.

    So, what’s the point? To make the iPhone thinner? I dont’ buy it. Does it need to be thinner? I don’t know. Perhaps. Is it worth pushing all users to change headphones? I still hate the idea of doing that.

    Let’s hope Apple provides a good solution for it. We still don’t know what they have in mind. But I’m still not confortable with the idea.

    1. The evolution of the iphone is not congruent with many of Dieter’s guidelines. I think removing the headphone jack is an anti-user move. Hope it doesn’t happen. Thanks for the link.

  7. Do none of y’all read MDN’s take? My gosh. First, it could allow for Apple to make even better tech regarding sound. Sound made just for one’s hearing and ears, maybe. Sensors for virtual reality or health stuff, if any can be gotten from the ear, lol. Gosh, plenty of stuff is possible with Apple. Learn folks, learn.

    1. Learn? Most of us already know everything worth knowing, at least in our cloistered worlds. What? There are other worlds, other needs, other viewpoints? Unthinkable. Unimportant! Upgrade my Mac Pro!

  8. And you know…. all of those things are possible if they left the existing port in place. Headphones could still connect via bluetooth, or lightning, … or a 3.5mm jack.

    Of course the 3.5mm analog port is free of any DRM and component/code licensing fees.

    Just leave it alone.

  9. Where has it been mentioned that using a lightning port for Audio needs or uses DRM? Considering that Apple has been selling DRM free music for “years”. If this about licensing MFI, its Apple’s device, and they are in business to make , OMG, Money.. to many of you always want something for nothing or next to it, and it really doesn’t work that way, and never has.

    1. Licensing agreements with the music labels have evolved but Apple clearly adheres to the labels’ limitation on digital music reproduction. Streaming music, including Apple Music, is all DRMed. The only digital music from major labels that is not DRMed is low bitrate stuff in MP3 or MP4/AAC codec. The high fidelity digital stuff comes on disc, from indie labels, of from a few boutique stores online. In general Apple doesn’t support the sale or distribution of any high fidelity music or video. Ironic, since they used to claim to be a premium company and actually once put some effort into creating an efficient Apple Lossless audio codec. I guess those days are gone.

  10. Headphones are like clothes – they need to be changed from time to time. You don’t want year-old earwax going back into your ears.

    I’ve used bluetooth, and it is a pain. I have to keep telling the phone to forget and remember the device. It gets worse if you need to use more than one device – say a car and headphones. On my car I use a cassette adaptor instead, which uses the 3.5 mm port, and so is much faster than digging into the settings menu to select the device.

  11. BTW, Right now I can’t watch iTunes content on my 1080p TV because iTunes tells me the TV’s HDMI somehow isn’t good enough! Sooner or later there will be audio that can’t be played on analog headphones.

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