The Headphone Jack: A Luxury Once Known

In 2016 Apple announced the release of their new iPhone 7. Surprisingly, and to everyone's dismay, it would be the first iPhone to not include a headphone jack. Since then, the latest devices from Motorola, HTC, Huawei, OnePlus, Razer, Google Pixel, and Samsung also do not include headphone jacks. Apple had originally been including an adapter in the box to allow you to adapt the charge port into one, but since 2018’s iPhone XS it is no longer included.

So why is the headphone jack going extinct? How will we survive? And what does this mean for the future of audio technologies?

Why did Apple remove the headphone jack?

Apple had said in their September Event in 2016 that the reason they were removing the headphone jack was to provide more space for newer hardware in the device and to help with water-proofing. Removing the headphone jack was also a move to encourage more research into the development of better wireless technology. The idea is that one day the iPhone will only have wireless audio, wireless charging, and be completely portless.

Why is everyone else removing the headphone jack?

Mainly, everyone else is following suit because of the same reasons: cost and space. Device manufacturers are trying to make thinner phones with bigger batteries, and more features, that cost less to make. Removing it is the sacrifice that's been chosen to make these things easier.

"Or maybe they’re just evil"

Probably not, but I suppose there’s some arguments against them; I can’t defend these guys forever. Apple’s Lightning connector is proprietary so they do make money off of manufacturers using it on making Lightning headphones that plug directly into the charge port. There are benefits to Lightning and USB-C headphones as they can utilize more power and can sometimes be configured to provide more precise audio features using apps, though most feel this doesn’t justify the additional costs.

So what happens now?

For now, there are adapters to be able to still use our old headphones albeit with inconvenience of having to carry them around and not being able to charge your phone at the same time. Lightning, USB-C, and Bluetooth headphones are becoming more abundant with more features and better sound quality. Wireless headphones are probably the best way to go for your next pair of headphones. Here are some coupons:

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