Why phone makers are trying to kill the headphone jack

“It looks like I ruffled more than a few feathers yesterday with my post urging phone makers to stop trying to kill the headphone jack,” Abhimanyu Ghoshal writes for TNW. “Xiaomi India’s product lead, Jai Mani, got in touch to share the manufacturers’ side of the story, which is certainly worth hearing to inform yourself about why this debate even exists.”

Ghoshal writes, “As we chatted on WhatsApp at 7:30AM this morning, Mani explained: ‘Headphone jacks are actually pretty big. And the common trends in smartphone design are making other components bigger: dual cameras with bigger pixels, big front cameras, smaller bezels, and waterproofing. It’s difficult to say exactly which components benefit from the removal of the headphone jack, since mechanical design starts after you define the product – but in general, we can certainly use the space it takes up nowadays.'”

“Right now, this may not be a huge problem for Android consumers, who have plenty of phones to choose from at every price point,” Ghoshal writes. “It could be an issue for iOS fans, though. You can only choose between the current and previous generations of iPhones, and Apple’s already dropped the jack last year, which means your options are limited to the iPhone 6 and the SE.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Much ado about nothing. The headphone jack is dead. Live with it.

We haven’t used our iPhone 7 Plus Lightning ports for anything other than charging since the day we unboxed them because:
Apple AirPods

And, even if we didn’t have AirPods, we’d be just fine, thanks, because in every iPhone box, Apple included:

Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter

The iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack really hurt sales, huh? – February 2, 2017
During the 98-day 2016 holiday quarter, Apple sold 39,000 metric tons of iPhones; over 9 iPhones per second – February 1, 2017
Apple’s iPhone 7 keeps converting Android users – February 1, 2017


    1. Head phone jacks are dead/dying and the Apple Air Pods don’t fit me worth s____ , w/o the stupid/silly condoms (that must be removed for charging). Ok MDN, I’ll live with it, but don’t you think that’s a pretty big product fail per Apple’s design goals? Or, do you think the rubbers and adaptor fits their MO?

      1. There are plenty of Bluetooth Earphones, and if you want apple reliability, Beats has some with W1 chip. Embrace the future, or strap the adapter to yours. 🙂 I have been using SONY wireless for (big over ear at home for 15 years) started even with infrared ones, and I use AirPods on the street (feel made for me, no need for plastics) , my daughter uses Panasonic Blue tooth that is able to be with 2 devices at the same time, work great ( over ear)

        1. Your comments do not address the complaint which many of us have: the crappy sound quality of Bluetooth versus the superior sound quality via the (analog) 3.5mm connector. You may not hear much difference on tiny EarPods, but you will on larger headphones and decent car audio systems.

          Being condescending (you, Fesarius) does not improve the audio quality of Bluetooth.

        1. Cheap shot!

          The limitations of Bluetooth are well documented. Just because you accept inferior quality doesn’t mean all of us should. No audiophile will ever choose wireless Bluetooth junk over a wired solution. Nor should they be forced to do so.

      2. I too have big ear holes for AirPods. I found a solution. I bought little foam earbud covers which are widely available and used a heated needle to burn a hole for one of the sensors on the AirPods. The other sensor does not get covered, being outside the edge of foam cover. These make the AirPods a snug fit AND they still fit in the charging case because the foam is compressible. For workouts I also attach over the ear hooks which only takes a few seconds. There is a YouTube video somewhere showing how to burn the holes although it suggests two holes which I found to be unnecessary.

      3. ripabo, I agree with one aspect of your post – the Air Pod charging module should be adaptable such that removable of silicone tips is not required.

        Apple performed a lot of scientific study to perfect the shape of the Air Pods to fit the majority of people. My friend at work bought Air Pods, but they did not fit him. I tried them before he returned them and they were comfortable and stayed in securely for me, even when I shook my head rather violently. But they clearly do not work for everyone.

        Perhaps Apple should perform a second ear shape study focusing on people who do not like the fit of the current Air Pods. A second design might help to cover most of that group. I understand that this type of thing will increase the breadth of Apple’s product lineup. But, the Air Pods represent a critical interface for the consumer to the Apple ecosystem. Apple made two sizes of the watch for that reason. Why not try to help those whose ears fall outside of the design envelope of the Air Pods? Disenfranchising that subset of the user base is unwise.

    1. Oh yeah, and I fall asleep every night listening to music or a podcast on my iPhone 5SE through those “dead” headphones (that are hard to lose, cheap to replace, and don’t require one more charger).

      1. I do the same thing: use the old wired buds to sleep. I have the Beats BT (which I find general very good), but they are too bulky when resting one’s head on a pillow, plus they are battery-driven. Charging while wearing/using BT buds is rarely practical, if at all possible. A wired set of earbuds are small, comfortable, and I don’t wake up to something that needs a full charging before I can take off in the morning. I will be keeping my 6S until I figure out this situation.

  1. Apple’s already dropped the jack last year, which means your options are limited to the iPhone 6 and the SE.

    No, not exactly. There is that headphone jack dongle in the box.

    From my POV, the bigger problem is the inability to charge at the same time as using headphones. Not one cable splitter has received a decent review, including Apple’s own. They’re a crap kludge that work if you follow the prescribed ritual and proclaim your belief in faeries. The better alternative is to get a set of AirPods. Thus the incentive for myself to get them.

    1. I’ve never had this need, and I don’t think I’ve ever even seen someone doing this. AirPods are the solution, with iPhone 8 those stuck in the headphone stone age can place it on the charging pad and plug in whatever they want with the adapter.

    2. The biggest problem isn’t what comes in the box. The problem is that Apple is killing compatibility in order to cash in on Lightning accessories licenses. It hurts consumers, it profligates ugly adapter kludges, and it is a noticeable step back in quality for those people who have superior wired analog headphones and stereos and car stereos that just work.

  2. I tried to get on board with wireless and the adapter being sufficient, but they just aren’t.

    I prefer for music to come out of speakers. Headphones are insufficient for decent sound quality, never mind a decent listening experience. (My standard of decent is very high compared to the average Joe – there are others here whose standards would surpass even mine.)

    And then I get in my old car, where there is usually nothing but conversation – I have to use my old phone or iPad for music, because my new iPhone doesn’t interface with my old car. Frustrates me to no end! If I carried that adapter in my car, it would get lost when not being used. If I carried it in my pocket for those rare instances when I need it, it would be lost before it was needed the first time.

    1. Sounds like an ultra niche case, probably makes a lot of sense for Apple not to factor it into their design decisions. If its so important maybe upgrade your sound system or get a new car to match the very high standards you claim?

  3. Big problem with Bluetooth headphones, including AirPods is latency. It’s difficult to use them with with anything that I need to make sure is in sync. You would think that Apple could compensate for the latency and put the display and audio in sync.

  4. Across the board, Apple, which was way out front with all-in-the-box systems (remember the orig iMac?), now is the undisputed king of dangling accessories and adaptors. Yes, some of us still have DVDs, USB hubs, stereo headphones and AUX connections. If Apple bundled all these externals at no charge …. well, it doesn’t. Apple, you’re keeping Belkin rolling in riches.

  5. I bought a pair of Pioneer RayZ+.
    They plug into the lightning port and include a charging port so you can listen and charge the phone.
    They do active noise canceling and a bunch of other stuff. They have updateable firmware so features can be added or improved.
    Very nice headphones with good added features, all without a headphone jack.
    Accessories makers need to pull their fingers out and get busy making money.

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