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Searching for a Good Reason to Remove the Headphone Jack

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Jason Snell, writing at Six Colors:

    I have a point of view on all this, but I’m trying very hard not to get mad about something that hasn’t happened. This is a tech unicorn, an unannounced feature on a nonexistent product, and it’s important to keep that in mind. Still, it’s not a bad intellectual exercise to ponder why Apple might make such a move, and what the ramifications might be.

    The speculative conclusion at the end about the rumored “AirPods” sounds right to me. What I really hope for is that any wireless headphones that Apple ships don’t use Bluetooth, but instead use a new, maybe proprietary, technology. Bluetooth is a massive pain in the ass to use with multiple devices and flaky as hell.

    One thing I have seen when I’ve talked about this with some non-techy friends: they either don’t care at all and just use whatever headphones come with their phone or they really care and find this to be an absolute abomination. I don’t see much middle ground. We discussed this whole thing in more detail on this week’s episode of Encore because it really does fascinate me to no end. The tradeoffs seem almost unbearably negative, but yet it seems so inevitable at the same time.

  2. teebs41

    Prestigious Prestigious

    I recently switched to the bose soundlink headphones and I've been loving bluetooth.. but I also like that they come with the auxillary input incase the battery dies..
  3. peoplearepoison

    It’s a perfect day for letting go... Supporter

    I think this is the same thing as taking away the disc drive with the macbook air. Once Apple does it, it's over. Once they take away the disc drive, we realize "wow, I don't really NEED this many physical things, I can just download it" and the culture shifts. It will be the same with the headphone thing. They will probably do it on the next phone, but since only ONE phone will have that, it will be a while before it becomes a thing that everyone does (as I'm sure if you wanted to you could still by an older phone). But eventually, it will fade out like the CD, the disc drive, etc...
  4. Surfwax

    bring on the major leagues

    Bluetooth works and sounds like shit. When there's a good solution that sacrifices 0 sound fidelity and isn't a pain in the ass to sync, it's reasonable and buying a small dongle to make existing headphones/aux cables work will be fine. But unlike the disc drive example, the tech is not there yet (at least in public knowledge) and it seems inevitable that the initial implementations will be a step back in the two most important areas for what I can only imagine is the significant majority of consumers.
  5. disambigujason

    Trusted Supporter

    Pardon my tech ignorance, but can apple not just make Bluetooth work better/easier? I'm playing a bit of devils advocate here, as I would actually be ok with them getting rid of the jack, but it seems like the best compromise between moving tech forward and keeping people happy is making Bluetooth better (surely wireless is the successor of lightning cable audio anyway). Granted, Apple doesn't care about appeasing people, but if there's a way to achieve your goal and not piss people off, then wnats the incentive to do otherwise? Replacing the headphone jack fixes no problem and fills no need, whereas people want lighter laptops and simply don't need the disc drive. Seemed like a no brainer in that case.
  6. theredline

    Trusted Supporter

    Aren't the going to use the carting port as the headphone jack too? I thought that's what I heard we could still be corded of possible.

    Side note...for my phone I don't worry about audio fidelity too much. I have vinyl for that. I could probably be swayed to ditch pretty easily...
  7. muttley

    "Fuck you, Peaches!" Prestigious

    I use my headphone jack every day. Whole lotta nope.
    Jake Z, Raku, AelNire and 1 other person like this.
  8. Connor

    we're all a bunch of weirdos on a quest to belong Prestigious

    And one day you'll likely use wireless headphones every day.
  9. ReginaPhilange

    Trusted Prestigious

    It is inevitable, but why now. Wireless headphones suck right now. They need a better alternative than bluetooth and until they have that I don't see justifying removing the headphone jack. I think the article mentioned charging is annoying but I disagree -- we're well equipped to charge our devices in the mobile age. Charging the wireless keyboard and mouse that come with iMacs has never been an issue.
    AelNire likes this.
  10. amorningofsleep

    No-rope barbed wire Jones

    Luckily, I won't have to deal with this until Android decides to adopt it.
  11. bobsheiskawy

    is it the same for you? Prestigious

    i'm curious about what bluetooth headphones people here have used. i recently bought a pair of jaybird x2s and have been pretty happy with them thus far. they're not as good as my bose ae2s, but i wasn't really expecting any earbuds to be (bose wireless owners, what are your thoughts on sound quality vs. wired ones?). whatever the small tradeoff in sound quality, the convenience factor makes up for it for most daily use.
  12. theredline

    Trusted Supporter

    Don't forget they're still talking about having wired headphones, just in the charging port...everyone seems to be missing this...
    CMilliken likes this.
  13. muttley

    "Fuck you, Peaches!" Prestigious

    I will be ready in 5 years when I have a new car stereo and whatever phone they make in 2018.
    Carmensaopaulo likes this.
  14. Raku


    Not a fan, I like things optional (but for me, I prefer to be plugged in (and as mentioned earlier, I like to buy physical copy of things DVDs/Blu-Rays/CDs of things)).

    Hell, I still have my PS4 controller still wired into my console when I play even though I can do things wirelessly on that.
    CMilliken likes this.
  15. elphshelf

    100% made of farts Supporter

    Cue clunky dongle with lightning passthrough and a headphone jack!
  16. David-


    Pretty happy that this doesn't effect (yet) me since I have Android. But I couldn't get behind this. Don't like wireless earbuds and I'm not a huge fan of headphones... I don't know, it seems like a stupid idea to me.
  17. Connor

    we're all a bunch of weirdos on a quest to belong Prestigious

    I mean at some point your probably going to have to get behind it or just not ever use headphones. Technology is moving towards it.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  18. The_Effort

    Regular Supporter

    That means you'd have to have a certain type of headphone, right? That, to me, isn't ideal cause I have good headphones I already like and can use with my phone or computer or any other device with a headphone jack.

    Does this mean you wouldn't be able to charge the phone and listen to headphones simultaneously or no?

    This isn't to say I like or dislike the idea, I have no idea how it'd work but I also think Apple probably knows more than I do about building their devices so I'm just gonna wait and see.
  19. skogsraet

    Trusted Supporter

    I don't have a Bluetooth option in my car, which is a 2012 that I plan on driving till I can't anymore, so I'm looking at least at another 6 years and I really don't want to have to use a dongle for 6 years or choose between charging and music if they go the Lightning route. I don't think this is a problem unique to me and I think if audio playback and simultaneous charging aren't feasible, why remove the headphone jack at all? Apple has to have a really, really good trick up their sleeve to get away with removing the jack, and I'll wait for it, but the amount of foreseeable inconveniences this creates means that trick has to be really, really fucking good.
    Raku likes this.
  20. theredline

    Trusted Supporter

    I'm sure there will be adapters, which might not be ideal. And yeah probably no listening and charging at the same time. Probably not ideal either
  21. CMilliken


    I'm the exact same way hahaha. Even down to the PS4 controller.
    Raku likes this.
  22. Dirty Sanchez

    Prestigious Prestigious

    fenway89 likes this.
  23. AutopilotYears


    all apple need to do to fix Bluetooth is allow their already existing NFC tech to be used to pair the headphones like Android devices already do.

    when I use my 6P and my UE Boom it couldn't be simpler to pair them... I just tap my phone on the side of the speaker and it will turn on Bluetooth and connect to the speaker.
  24. Kiana

    Goddamn, man child Prestigious

    I'm old at :heart: and it takes me like 5 years longer than everyone else to jump on a new tech so I'm sure I'll be ready in a few years lol. Then again I still use the cd/dvd player in my laptop and have yet to upgrade my ps2
    elemenohpe likes this.
  25. muttley

    "Fuck you, Peaches!" Prestigious

    I felt out of the loop when I saw how many laptops got rid of the built in disc drives. I need to catch up before technology leaves me in its wake.
    iCarly Rae Jepsen likes this.