Should Smartphones Do Away with the Headphone Jack? Here Are Our Thoughts

Even though Apple removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 has been long-rumored, after the official announcement last week confirming the news, it has still become a hot topic.

For those not in the know on this latest news, Apple has removed the headphone jack from the phone, and the headphones will now plug into the lightning port. Those that want to still use their existing headphones may, as there is an adapter that ships with the phone along with the lightning headphones. They are also selling a new product: AirPods. These are wireless and are inserted into your ear. The biggest advantage is that by eliminating the jack they were able to make the phone dust and water-resistant.

Being it’s such a big story right now, we asked our writers, “What are your thoughts on Smartphones doing away with the headphone jack?”

Derrik believes that “Apple’s way of doing it is a play to push more expensive peripherals that do not comply to an open standard.” He also doesn’t want to have to charge something every five hours, meaning the AirPods. While he understands that the 3.5mm jack is aging, as an “audiophile” he would love a new, open standard, but “proprietary pushes” worry him about device freedom.

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Damien doesn’t really even use the headphone jack these days as he has Bluetooth headphones. He hates that wire anyway, so feels “this is a good move.” Yet he also understands Derrik’s point about the wireless headphones running out of battery, leaving him with “nothing to fall back on.

Trevor is very upfront in saying he thought it was “dumb” until he heard you couldn’t charge the phone and use the headphones at the same time and realized it was “dumb X 2.” He uses the headphones/headphone jack all the time in a work van without Bluetooth and listens to audio or podcasts. He uses the plug-in style as Bluetooth drains his battery.

Simon is not a big fan. He hasn’t seen much reasoning past it leaving more room within the device. He figures “it will then come down to whether or not consumers favor wireless headphones, an adapter, and water-resistance over not being locked into AirPods, lightning, or an adapter”. He fears it might be “too early to jump into removing ports” and likes a “one pair fits all” standard.

James believes that wireless technology is progressive, so he sees it as a good move “especially for Apple in terms of hardware sales.” He happens to use expensive headphones, so personally he’s “yet to be convinced,” noting his Xperia is waterproof and has a jack.

Jeffry points out that “almost every transition attempt in the tech world always starts with strong opposition from those who won’t benefit from the changes.” He remembers the flak Apple received when they removed the floppy disk drive and decided not to support Flash, and now both are industry standards. He believes everything is evolving for the better, removing the audio jack is “just the first step toward the future,” and Apple is just the one who is “brave enough to lead the way (and make a few bucks in doing so).

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Vamsi doesn’t mind the removal of the headphone jack as long as there is a “better solution applicable to all the users that use different headphones and other gadgets.” He doesn’t feel using headphones via a lightning port is a good solution as it renders nearly all other headphones obsolete. Regarding Bluetooth headphones, he just doesn’t want to deal with another gadget. Additionally, he doesn’t get the argument of it being good for water resistance since there are existing devices with headphone jacks that are water resistant.

Mahesh prefers a phone with a jack because many times he is charging his phone and listening to music simultaneously. He believes we’ll get to see how it affects the public in the next few months.

Derrik chimed back in to say that by “removing open standard ports and using a proprietary connection too.,” you can be technical and say there are adapters, but Thunderbolt is also closed, and Apple can stop selling those adapters at any time. He also notes that the AirPods won’t be Bluetooth.

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As for me, I’m always up for two things: New technology and anything Apple. I’ve been using iPhones since a few weeks past the very first model being introduced, yet I haven’t updated since 2012 and the iPhone 5, so I was overdue. I’ll be among the first to get my hands on the iPhone 7. I hate that stupid white wire being in my face, so I just might be opting for AirPods at some point. I am very appreciative of the phone becoming water-resistant. As for charging vs. listening, the charge on new iPhones lasts so long that I don’t expect it to be much of a problem. Even my old iPhone 5 usually lasts about twenty hours on a good day and twelve hours on a bad day. So I don’t expect that to be a problem.

Our writers have given you a lot to think about. What are your thoughts on Smartphones doing away with the headphone jack? Will you miss it? Is it a deal breaker for you? Or do you relish the upgrade in technology? Will you be trying the iPhone 5 or the AirPods? Let us know in the comments below.

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