Gruber: Apple should include wireless earbuds with new iPhones

“Of course Apple could make something similar [to the Meizu EP-51 Bluetooth earbuds],” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball.

“Apple loves profit margins, but institutionally their distaste for wires and cables is even stronger,” Gruber writes. “They might go with Lightning earbuds by default, but they should go wireless.”

Gruber writes, “That’s what justifies removing the standard jack — not that one port is better than another, but that wireless is better than wired.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Or Apple could justify the move to Lightning by offering users more from their wired EarPods than mere reproduction of sound. For example, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”

Apple’s patent abstract: A monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the monitoring system can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device. In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures. More info here.

Apple’s next-gen iPhone will feature all-new non-mechanical Home button, no 3.5mm headphone jack – August 2, 2016
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. I bought some Anker SoundBuds Sport IE 20 for £20 and they’re great. Not remotely Audiophile, but they don’t sound terrible and are more than good enough for wearing on the tube and for darting around london. Not that it would happen, but I’d prefer if there was the option for no headphones (possibly no charger) and make the thing cheaper.

  2. I do wish that some serious controlled research could determine whether the EMR (electromagnetic radiation) from earpieces can contribute to tumors. I know someone who used bluetooth earpieces through most of his work days for many years, and used his cellphone up against his ear for years before that. There is no conclusive science yet to determine whether the brain tumor that formed within a couple inches of the earpiece was, in any way, caused or stimulated in growth by the EMR.

    Since Apple has had a history of looking out for their customers (at least as far as interface design – and yes, not a perfect record), and because so much of their tech produces EMR, spending some of their cache of cash on seeking to determine if there are any negative effects on the body caused by EMR would be a good idea. If it does have an effect, better they know first and build in protections for their products. If the “many people saying” there are negative effects turn out to be simply conspiracy lovers, with no real science to back up their claims – great! One way or the other, as we move further into wearable computing and ubiquitous EMR, it would be good to know.

  3. If Apple is going to do this dumb thing (no earphone jack). Then don’t bother with including wireless earbuds. I’m sure I’d toss them, just as I’ve tossed every other Apple earbud I ever got. Just include an adapter so that I can use quality wired earphones of my choice. Last thing I need is crap earphones and yet another charger.

    1. There’s nothing ‘crap’ about Apple’s EarPods. I have two pair, one for home and one for travel. They’re excellent, beating out my previous Sony earbuds.

      You, on the other hand, have a reputation for posting lots of crap under this anonymous coward nick. Try another one.

      1. A reputation, eh? For starters, I’m not Nick (whoever that might be). And to close, I’ve been an audio professional for decades. I’m glad you like Apple’s earbuds and I’m glad you liked the Sonys before that. But no serious audio person would think of using either of them. We’ll go with high-end Shures or possibly Etymotic.

        So I’ll say what I said earlier. Apple can take the two bucks those earbuds cost and give me a two dollar adapter instead. Pretty simple request.

  4. Apple should also include free macaroni & cheese with the iPhone 7. Because giving away macaroni & cheese is WAY better than NOT giving away macaroni & cheese.

    Most iPhone users get hungry, which would justify Apple giving them free macaroni & cheese. Therefore, Apple should give away free macaroni & cheese with the iPhone 7.

    1. If Steve Jobs were still alive, he would’ve included macaroni & cheese with every iPhone TWO YEARS AGO! In fact, by now he would have been shipping iPhones with macaroni & cheese AND little cut-up hot dogs, just to humiliate Samsung.

      Steve rocked. Tim sucks. Tim apparently hates macaroni & cheese AND iPhones. That’s why Samsung is running circles around Apple.

      Apple is doomed. The future belongs to those who justify free macaroni & cheese with their products.

  5. … No. I don’t want wireless earbuds if it means they’re Bluetooth only (IOW they have lousy audio reproduction due to Bluetooth’s crap bandwidth) and they require charging every day. I would NOT see the point.

    So Bluetooth SIG Inc! Here you are in the 21st century and you still only provide 20th century bandwidth. WTF is your problem already?

    Oh look, you now promise Bluetooth 5 “coming late 2016 to early 2017.” Hurry Up! It had better be good.

    Bluetooth® 5 quadruples range, doubles speed, increases data broadcasting capacity by 800%
    New version of Bluetooth technology delivers “connectionless” IoT, advancing beacon and location-based capabilities in home, enterprise and industrial

    Too bad Bluetooth 5 will be way too late for iPhone 7. And I wouldn’t brag about your IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities just yet. IoT has so far turned out to be a massive catastrophe if INsecurity, NOT remotely ready for prime time. Play in the cesspool and you’re going to stink.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.