Apple innnovation at its best: Killing the 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7

“The iPhone 7 is rumored to be missing a headphone jack, which means that your new headphones will have to connect via the Lightning port or wirelessly via Bluetooth,” Oscar Raymundo writes for Macworld. “And your old headphones? You’re probably going to have to pay $29 to get an adapter at the Apple store.”

“At first, the lack of a headphone jack may seem like a misguided, ‘user-hostile’ move by Apple,” Raymundo writes. “But could Cupertino have a greater goal in getting rid of this audio technology that dates back to the 19th century?”

“After all, this isn’t the first time that Apple has abruptly killed off antiquated tech, from the floppy drive to Adobe Flash,” Raymundo writes. “And in hindsight, Apple has always been lauded for its innovative efforts. Killing off the headphone jack may be inconvenient in the short term, but it could also be Apple’s way of (forcefully) fostering wireless innovation.”

More from “The iPhone Show” here.

MacDailyNews Take: We certainly expect there to be the usual whining from the low information whiners – times a million, since Apple has so many more users now than when they killed the floppy in the iMac, for just one of many examples where Apple pulled the world kicking and screaming into the future – but, it’ll subside in time as usual.

Regardless of the impending idiotic whinefest, we can’t wait! Dumping the 3.5mm anachronism for Lightning will deliver myriad improvements and innovations.

As we wrote back in June 2014:

Bring. It. On.

Mac users are never wedded to old tech when there’s progress to be made.

Also, another good reason for the Beats buy. If Apple and Beats both change to Lightning headphones, the rest of the world will have to follow.

Of interest: Apple Inc.’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.

From your ear to your wrist in the blink of an eye™.

Also, if you’d prefer no wires at all, you can do as we’ve been doing for years now and just go Bluetooth – which works just fine for things like exercising, commuting, etc. We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (around $115)). They’re easy to charge, easy to pair, light and comfortable, and work perfectly with our Apple Watches and iPhones.

The real reason Apple wants to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack – August 15, 2016
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. Getting rid of a useful relevant port is hubris. There are many devices we use in our work (higher end than some silly mac blog) that require the analogue input. We would find it cheaper to switch platforms than to outfit anyone with adapters that may not work for us.

    1. Getting rid of a useful relevant port is something that Apple has been doing for over 20 years. SCSI, ADB, VGA, DVI, Ethernet, Modem, PCMCIA, Firewire, FW800, MiniDVI, 30-pin dock… And these are only the ones I could remember off the top of my head.

      Yes, you may certainly call it hubris, but it is hardly new. And if history is any indication, we’ll get over this one just as we did with the previous ones.

      Let us not forget; many non-Apple makers still use many of the techologies listed here in their devices. Apple has successfully managed to evolve past them without losing business along the way.

      I can’t imagine it being cheaper to replace a computer (or an iPhone) with a non-Apple device only because an iPhone is missing a 3.5mm port. And the “adapters that may not work for us” phrase is simply disingenuous. While Apple may be making one specific lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter, there will certainly be a number of 3rd-party solutions. It is inconceivable that a lightning-to-3.5mm output audio adapter “may or may not” work. It isn’t some complex digital format with limited support for various formats; it is simple analogue stereo audio. Even the worst of the worst will at least offer one specific signal level (line, headphone, mic, whichever), and more expensive ones may even have an output level/impedance switch (which is more than what’s offered on iPhone’s own audio output).

    2. On the positive side, this should stimulate sales for third party DACs and help hi-res files sound better through software like Onkyo’s until Apple moves into that market.

    3. why are u at this silly macblog then .
      and good luck with switching whole platforms that will cost you less than adaptors… lol..
      ps.. how successful are u guys in your buisness?

    4. All I know is that I break/lose a set of headphones every 3-4 months. Replacing a pair of 3.5mm headphones for $10 is no big deal. Replacing a set of $35 lightning headphones is far more problematic.

      And more important, while working I charge and listen to my phone at the same time. The new iPhone better come with either two lightning ports or inductive charging.

  2. I take literally every single iPhone call using headphones. I never use my phone without them, and this includes 100% of my work calls which also occur on my iPhone. Yet I am looking forward to this change more than most people. Apple will obviously have a more modern replacement. Quit whining about how you can’t buy VHS anymore and move on. Idiots.

  3. Well, I won’t be spending $29 for an adapter, or $49 if you want to be realistic about the price. Why? Because I’m not buying an iPhone without a headphone jack. My 6 works just fine, as does my already paid for Bose wired headphones.

  4. Apple may sell their adapter for $29 but the Chinese will be selling them for $5. The Motorola Z already ditched the 3.5mm jack and it hardly created a ripple of interest. However, any change remotely attached to the Apple brand will turn the world upside-down. It’s amazing the industry advances at all the way some people cling to the past. I’m almost 70 years of age and I’ve never missed reel-to-reel tapes, vacuum tubes, 45rpm records or the Lone Ranger. Yet you’ve got these young people trying to hold on to something like a headphone jack. Honestly, I’ve learned years ago that it’s nearly impossible to hold up progress so we might as well stop griping and move on. As far as I’m concerned all this newer tech beats old electronic tech by a country mile. The 50’s and 60’s were nice, but these times are better when it comes to tech.

  5. “low information whiners”

    MDN, it is your role to inform. If there are any low information whiners out there, then you share part of the blame.

    I think the people who are whining have legitimate reason to do so. It remains to be seen how inconvenient and costly that forcing an all-digital iPhone audio interface will be to users. On Sept 7 maybe we will find out.

    1. Low information whiners are not low information because of lack of information, no, they latch onto the negative argument and shun anything than counterbalances change. LIW is an attitude, not a state of being.

  6. Well I for one would like to welcome our new headphone jack-free iPhone 7 Overlords. (Especially since I never use headphones with my iPhone anyway and look forward to other improvements using the freed-up internal space.)

  7. @peterblood71

    So just because you don’t use the 3.5mm jack you are unable to sympathize with those who do; and have hundreds of dollars invested in 3.5mm accesories.

    Spoken like a true douchebag!

    1. Well Mac you really know how to persuade people to your way of thinking with such a polite, informative and respectful adult response eh?

      It’s not that i don’t sympathize as I use other devices with headphone jacks. I was just stating my own case and I think it’s legitimate in my case to be able to enjoy other features I WOULD use in lieu of the headphone jack.

      Perhaps you need to stop being the best example of the last thing you described so vociferously.

  8. As usual:

    But right now I still have to wonder what’s the BFD about killing the 3.5mm jack? I have NEVER read a good reason to do it. Not ever. This article included. Explain this to us Apple, if it IS real…

    1. MDN: Regardless of the impending idiotic whinefest, we can’t wait! Dumping the 3.5mm anachronism for Lightning will deliver myriad improvements and innovations.

      Like what, exactly? We can already use Bluetooth headphones. So skip that silly excuse. WHAT ‘improvements’ and WHAT innovations? The only thing happening is moving the digital to analogue converter to the headphones. So fscking what? Tell me! I don’t care if you bitch-slap me. Just explain this… if it’s real.

  9. Let’s see…who will whinge and whine…

    Ed Bott. Definitely.
    Adrian Kingsley Hughes. Likely.
    Mary Jo Foley. Possibly.
    Paul Thurott definitely.
    Gartner for sure.
    Everyone at
    And of course there will be an ad from Samsung mocking the move.
    Before they ditch the headphone phone jack from their next phone.

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