Is The Headphone Jack Really Dead?

Apple wants you to believe that the headphone jack is no longer important. The Cupertino company thinks it can do to the headphone jack what it did to Adobe Flash. But it’s not so easy.

Since Apple took the headphone jack out of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, I (as well as others) expected that we’d see the amount of people using wired headphones greatly reduced. This hasn’t been quite the case. In my personal experience, I would say that there has been a small change, but not the type of radical change people had expected.

Many iPhone 7 owners carry around an adapter so they could still use wired headphones.

I have often seen iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus owners who carry an audio jack adapter with them just so they can use their wired headphones. I have fully transitioned to wireless headphones, but can understand why these iPhone owners do this. After all, wireless sound still doesn’t have the same quality as wired sound, though it has greatly improved.

It’s interesting; Apple still includes the headphone jack on all the new iPads, new MacBooks, and even all of the new MacBook Pros. And Samsung still includes the headphone jack on their new Galaxy S and Galaxy Note 8 devices. So it seems as if the headphone jack is missing from the iPhone for design purposes only.

I’m certainly not the only one who notices that the headphone jack isn’t dead. Here’s what The Verge has to say.

“For now, the headphone jack is still the safest route for most mobile manufacturers to take. It serves their users’ needs and doesn’t really get in the way of doing cool things like waterproof designs, wireless charging, and dual-camera systems. For now.”

Bluetooth 5 has been introduced, and audio products that take advantage of it should start appearing this quarter. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X, and the Galaxy Note 8 all are Bluetooth 5 compatible. Bluetooth 5 will certainly help improve the wireless range as you can now play a song from your kitchen on your iPhone and hear it on your Bluetooth speaker that is all the way upstairs in your room.

Bose and other major audio companies have yet to release Bluetooth 5 compatible headphones.

There has been debate on whether or not Bluetooth 5 really improves audio quality. While Bluetooth speed increases to 6.25 MBps, that’s still far behind the transfer speed of wired devices. There are other factors to consider, but one really won’t be able to say anything until high-quality Bluetooth 5 headphones arrive. If you have one of the newer smartphones by Apple and Samsung, it would be advisable to at least wait another month or so before you put down your money on Bluetooth 4 compatible headphones. But if you don’t want to take any risk, you can also just buy wired headphones — after all, most people still are doing the same.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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