The most controversial thing about the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, both which came out in September, was the fact that neither had a headphone jack built into the actual phone. Even BGR, the most pro-Apple website in the world, didn’t think removing the jack was a good idea.
“Either way, the burden was decidedly on Apple to convince users that they wouldn’t miss the headphone jack. And now that we’re a few days removed from the event, we can calmly ask: did Apple adequately justify its decision to remove the headphone jack? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is resounding no.”
Is Apple really being “hostile”? [Image by Daryl Deino]
Then came The Verge, which recently claimed that Apple was being downright hostile to its iPhone customers by removing the headphone jack.
“I am surrounded by wireless speaker systems. (I work at The Verge, after all.) And while they mostly work fine, sometimes they crackle out and fail. It sucks to share a wireless speaker among multiple devices. Bluetooth headphones require me to charge yet another battery. You haven’t known pain until you’ve chosen to use Bluetooth audio in a car instead of an aux jack.”
Author Nilay Patel added that getting rid of a deeply established standard will impact accessibility, and that, at worst, nobody is even asking Apple to remove the headphone jack. But this is where Patel and the headphone jack critics get it wrong. Apple didn’t intend to “kill” anything. Instead, they made a thinner device and packaged a very simple headphone jack adapter to fit into the Lightning port. As one can see from the main picture in this article, the adapter barely adds inconvenience.
This author started to use wireless headphones with the iPhone 7 Plus before being reminded that the sound from wireless headphones simply can’t match wired ones. Using the wired Bose QC20i noise canceling buds has been almost as easy as using them with the iPhone 6s Plus. One can simply put the adapter on the plug of the headphones they are using so they can be prepared anytime. Some carry the QC20i with them in a pocket pouch. They can do the same with the adapter connected.
Apparently, Apple isn’t the only company that is not putting a headphone jack directly into their smartphones. iTech Post has the news.
“Amidst the high-end specs being rumored to come in the Samsung Galaxy S8, there are talks of it adopting a rather surprising feature… it may actually arrive sans the headphone jack. Considering the backlash that Apple received when it launched the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, is it really a wise move for the South Korean company?”
The next version of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone may not have a physical headphone jack either. [Image by Daryl Deino]
By the time Samsung releases the Galaxy S8, which should be soon given all of the problems with the Galaxy Note 7, the removal of the headphone jack on the actual device won’t be as controversial. Samsung will likely include an adapter as well that will be easy to use. There will be some early complaints, but consumers will ultimately accept it as long as the S8 doesn’t blow up in their faces like the Note 7.
According to The Verge, headphone companies are unfazed by Apple’s removal of the headphone jack. Co-CEOs of Sennheiser say that that they have seen many different connection standards come and go over the years and think 3D audio technology may take over anyway. Rory Dooley from Jaybird thinks Apple has confirmed what they have known for a long time — the world is going wireless.
However, all these headphone makers should state the most important reason why they are unfazed: You can still easily use regular headphones with the iPhone 7 and will likely be able to use them for several years to come. Apple did not kill the headphone jack.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]