It’s time to admit Apple was right to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack

“It was barely two years ago when we lamented the loss of the headphone jack on the iPhone. The iPhone 7 had just arrived with a gorgeous jet black color, a solid-state home button, and a dongle in place of the 3.5mm headphone jack,” Michael Simon writes for Macworld. “At the iPhone 7 introduction, Apple VP Phil Schiller talked about having the “courage” to make the change, to leave the headphone jack behind.”

“At the time it was kind of cringe-worthy. Rather than try to convince the audience of the benefits of wireless charging or the annoyances of wired earphones, Schiller basically told the audience that they might not understand now, but one day they will,” Simon writes. “You could hear the snickers in the auidence when he said that removing the headphone jack required the “courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.” It sounded ridiculous. All we could see was the inconvenience ahead.”

“But you know what?” Simon writes. “He was right.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not everyone saw inconvenience ahead.

Again, Apple leads. All others follow at a distance. As usual.

Buh-bye, 3.5mm headphone jack – and good riddance! Dumping the 3.5mm anachronism for Lightning will deliver myriad improvements and innovations.MacDailyNews, September 7, 2016

Apple is at their best when they’re making the rest of the world sound like Luddites.

SEE ALSO:
Apple kills the headphone jack – September 7, 2016

33 Comments

  1. I could be wrong but I think the only reason to “kill” the headphone jack was to make the iPhone thinner. It’s just that simple. What’s the big deal?

      1. Removing features (especially ports) often improves the product, and improves the ecosystem around the products. Apple’s removal of ADB when adding USB sparked the real beginning of the USB era.

    1. Well it certainly encourages Air Pod purchases, but that couldn’t have been one of Timmy’s motives… nah.
      I do believe it also helped with waterproofing ? One less entry point for water that needs to be “waterproofed”.

      1. Less thickness, less physical volume, better waterproofness — absolutely. It also allowed them to axe the last analogue components inside the iPhone (the digital-to-analog converter and the amplifier — both of which use power).

        1. As long as devices have speakers, I doubt DACs will ever disappear from devices. Or is that the next step for Apple’s iOS devices forcing you to get Airpods or Homepods?

    2. I use a Bluetooth neckband headset, a knockoff brand for about $30.00. It is better than wired in every way. Never looking back. The jack is a way for dirt and water to get in to the phone. My iPhone 6 has a jack and I wish could make it go away. Next they should adopt USB-c for everything sunset the lightning connectors. Apple got this one right. Wireless charging not so much. But quit forcing us to pay ever-higher average selling price! It has gone too far!

  2. I can honestly say that i used to tare through scores of earbuds due to something in the cable not working, Now with the new jack, i can say that the earbuds seem to work a hell of a lot longer, telling me the problem was within bad connections with the Jack,, just my experience,,,

    1. You’re right. Before, with analog you could have any condition of signal between no audio and clean audio. With digital you either have audio or you don’t. However, some may desire some signal no matter how weak for their use, but that may be a very small minority.

  3. Too bad Phil & Co. were DEAD WRONG about the 2013 Mac Pro – “can’t innovate my ass” notwithstanding. We can infer from that the company doesn’t always make the right decisions or can ill-consider the intended market grievously and then take years beyond the pale to reset (with another unproven innovative design).

  4. I still like using wired connections because I often have long meetings that would outlast an AirPod (even though you can remove one and charge it while you’re using another).

    For my iPad Pro 11, I bought a 3.5mm USB C dongle that allows me to use my standard earphones and charge the device at the same time.

  5. I completely disagree with Mr. Simon. Apple demonstrates once again that its narrow views are all it cares about. Then it wonders why it is no longer considered a brand for everyman. With the move to push more expensive headphones, it’s just herding the Apple sheep to give more money to the Timmy Muzak Co.

    Apple is removing the simple/intuitive in favor of the profitable forced obsolescence business model.

    Apple is actually downgrading audio quality. Apple doesn’t remove any part of the dirty audio chain, nor improving the quality of any component. Apple simply relocates the DAC and amp into a dongle or headphone. Then it adds a USB controller and/or a bluetooth controller and radio in the middle of the audio chain. Hence both bluetooth and wired lightning headphones have jitter and software latency worse than any wired setup.

    Apple knows that few 3rd party companies are actually going to manufacture Lightning wired headphones so now Apple can ensnare customers with outrageous prices for adapters or more sales on its shit quality Beats headphones. Both are anti-user behavior.

    Apple apparently doesn’t know that users often like to use their iPhones to plug into home entertainment systems such as the stereo at the cabin that is intentionally off internet or in the old car that has a 3.5mm input jack to the stereo. Apple dongle tax hits. But to add insult to injury, Apple eliminates the ability to conveniently charge while using legacy headphones/speakers.

    Normally vanity is the modern Apple priority, but Apple didn’t actually make its phones smaller to compensate for the loss of 3.5mm connectivity. The late iPod Nano (remember when Apple was happy to offer simple easy to use audio players?) proves that the 3.5mm jack wasn’t the limitation on phone thickness.

    Apple increasingly acts like a confused corporate profiteer. Now being a streaming audio company, Apple clearly wants to kill off traditional DRM-free iTunes. Jobs infuriated the industry by offering inexpensive (but low quality) unprotected digital files. Now Cook made sure Apple Music has DRM and all new Apple devices have no convenient outputs. Thus replication is mostly thwarted, at least among the dittohead class of consumers. Profits above all. Unfortunately, Apple alienates the audiophiles who have unique equipment capabilities and needs.

    Some people claim that Apple did it for waterproofness, which is complete BS. A 3.5mm plug is easier to seal than lightning. Moreover, non of the headphones Apple sells are waterproof.

    Apple feels that as the gorilla of the industry, it doesn’t need to play well with others. Lightning is proof of that. So even if we believe all things in the future must be digital, you can forget buying inexpensive USB-C headphones. Apple will force you to buy its connector or adapter. And if wireless is your goal, don’t forget that Apple is slow. While the rest of the industry is selling BT5.0, Apple continues to ship BT4.1 in many products. So again, performance and value at Apple lags the market. Going forward, it’s obvious that software and other silly incompatibilities will be used by Apple and others to attempt to corral their customers inside their ecosystem. I am not overjoyed at the prospect of diagnosing this in the future. A high quality 3.5mm jack JUST WORKED for everyone who used freebie earbuds through top quality audiophone systems.

    1. “a brand for everyman”
      Apple has NEVER been a brand for everyman, or even for people trying to pretend they’re everyman.

      “wired lightning headphones have jitter and software latency worse than any wired setup”
      Wired has latency worse than wired. Got it.

      Did those kids step particularly heinously on your favorite patch of lawn? Did you tell them, in no uncertain terms, to stay OFF your lawn?

      1. Did you sleep through all the Mac adverts from 1984 until Cookie arrived???? You are singularly the most annoying anti-Mac person on these forums. Go play with your iOS consumer junk, it was made just for you.

  6. Apple got rid of the headphone jack to drive profit. No more cheap wired ear buds.

    Now they sell you expensive BT ear buds that need to be replace every 2 years.

    It was a profit driven move and people fell for it. Buy knock off ear buds for 1/3rd the price. Don’t fall for the trap.

    1. I have a drawer full of Apple’s (very high quality) wired ear buds. Giving me more would have been a waste.

      I preferred in-ear headphones (which Apple couldn’t offer because they’re not really one-size-fits-most). And now that I’ve moved to wireless noise cancelling headphones, I’m never using ear buds again.

      1. Have you considered donating those earbuds to people who can tolerate Apples bad design but cannot justify paying $100+ for headphones ?

        My problem with Apple is every transition Cookie forces is abrupt with no discussion or planning. Is it too difficult to have an overlapping year with both jacks while the 3rd party manufacturers tool up for the next great thing? Totally sick of having to go buy Apples overpriced adapters because there are no alternatives.

        Cook: Mr. Money Grab.

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