For those of you who know me, you know I’m an audio nut, I guess that’s what happens after spending almost a decade at Sonos. Yes, I have more speakers in my house than rooms and more headphones than devices to plug them into. Along with loving music and listening to it just about every minute of the day (yes we have Sonos all over our office too!) I also love good sound for movie and tv shows.
But I have something to admit that seems to baffle most of my friends, it doesn’t bug me that Apple removed the headphone jack from their new iPhone. I pre-ordered the iPhone, can’t wait to get it, and don’t think my life is going to be a complicated mess in any way in the absence of a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
Across the Interwebs the removal of the headphone jack definitely struck a nerve, here are some examples:
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.
(Source – BGR)
While it’s tough to make the case that dropping the headphone jack is better for consumers, the benefits for Apple are much easier to see. The iPhone 7 will be bought by tens of millions of people during the next few months alone, and its lack of a headphone jack is going to make many of them consider buying Lightning or Bluetooth headphones. Apple profits from both. (Source – The Verge)
Apple’s iPhone 7 has no headphone jack.
Instead, Apple wants people to use its proprietary Lightning connector to attach headphones — or, better yet, to buy Apple’s new $160 wireless AirPods.
If that sounds like a major frustration to you, don’t worry — there’s a very silly-looking dongle that you can plug into your phone so that standard headphones will work. (Source – Business Insider)
So why I am not grabbing my pitchfork and heading for Cupertino? To be honest with you there are three simple reasons why this doesn’t but me at all, and sorry in advance if my reasoning bugs you but here they are:
- I actually think it will drive innovation and move consumers towards wireless headphones faster. While the act of a removing the headphone jack from a device isn’t innovative, the fact that it got so many people talking about it and thinking about wireless headphones I do think will move consumers away from wired and into wireless faster. Wired headphones have been around for 100+ years, wireless is quickly becoming the norm and the more we can thrust it into the focal point of conversation the faster that transition will take place. Yes, Apple as the owner of Beats headphones and a newly minted “expensive” set of earbuds will benefit in the process but let’s be realistic, there are a zillion other companies that make wireless headphones and the iPhone 7 works with all of them.
- I do think that Apple will benefit from having more space for hardware inside the iPhone 7 chassis. As someone that spent a great deal of time with microelectronics (I’m an Electrical and Computer Engineering Major) I know that every millimeter of space counts. Simply put, the headphone jack took up space, and without it there’s more space for other more innovative/useful things inside the chassis.
- The audio quality through the lightning port is higher quality. Like I said, I’m an audio nut, and I like great sound quality, so connecting my wired headphones to a port that provides for higher sound quality is a-okay by me.
Also, just one last point and then I’m done here…Apple does include a free dongle that you can use to still plug wired headphones into the iPhone 7 so it won’t cost anyone a penny more to listen to their current wired headphones.
So that’s my two cents, what do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!
(Image source – 9to5mac)