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Ditching the iPhone's 3.5mm headphone jack to make music better

There've been a lot of rumors over the years about Apple removing the 3.5mm headset jack in the iPhone 7. This year, those rumors, and are being taken more seriously than ever.

Jim Dalrymple, who knows his music and doesn't want anyone messing with it, brings up this point on The Loop:

If you look at the way Apple typically does things when introducing new technologies like this, there is no reason you wouldn't be all for this new plan. They make it better, not worse.I would fully expect that if Apple did implement this idea, the audio would sound better through the Lightning connector than the older headphone jack. Not only because Apple can add technology to the chip (noise cancelling, etc.), but because the headphone jack is not very efficient. It's been around forever and hasn't really improved how we listen to audio in a long time. A fully digital connection would improve everything.

Other companies, including HTC, have experimented with removing headset jacks before. If Apple does go 3.5mm-free for the iPhone 7, I expect it'll be for exactly the reasons Jim cites: better audio, and reclaiming the room inside the casing the current, 100-year old jack takes up.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

122 Comments
  • <sarcasm>I know I've been complaining about how much that headphone jack is messing up the size of my phone. I'm sure it will be much better and sleeker for me to have some adapter coming out of the lightning port for me to plug my headphones into. </sarcasm>
    If they make this switch, I vote to get rid of lightning and just go with USB-C so at least there is a chance of having more options available in adapters and headsets.
  • Lightning is smaller than USB-C, so I'm sure they won't switch.
  • I agree with you, I am just hoping.
  • They hold the patent on lightning and get a cut out of every licensed 3rd party peripheral using lightning. So I sure they won't switch it.
  • If the lightning connector takes of on the iphone then I'm sure Android phones would start using USB-C. As computer manufacturers are already trying to move to USB-C it would be more popular overall. Headphone manufacturers would move to USB-C instead of the lightning connection as it would be on more devices. Apple would then either choose to go with the crowd or continue with the lightning connection and see headphone prices for their devices rise as they're more specialised.Knowing Apple it's obvious they'd keep the lightning adapter no matter what.
  • Great post Sent from the iMore App
  • Well this is going to suck for all Android devices cause either manufactures are going to give Apple a hard time about this standard change or everyone is going to need to use adapters cause I don't think they will want to be making 2 versions of one headset going forward one with the 3.5mm adapter and one with the Lightning adapter.
  • Why will this suck for Android devices? Apple is the one rumored to axe 3.5 mm ports. Enjoy overpriced adapters or buying new headphones so your phone can fit in an even tighter pair of skinny jeans. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • It won't make much of a difference, to anyone, barring apple users. They axe it, they lose me as a customer. I maybe fronting a Nexus 6p right now, but i always have an iPhone on hand for my second no. This will cause me stop buying Apple phones and just stick to the iPad, for my iOS needs. Simple as that.
  • How dare they remove my floppy drive? I'm not going to buy any new devices!
  • Boy...that sure was a completely irrelevant comment. No comparison. If it were, this wouldn't be the most hotly debated issue I can remember Sent from the iMore App
  • No not really. Just parroting they same type of BS comments people made when Apple:
    - Ditched the 3.5" Floppy
    - Ditched the parallel ports
    - Ditched the dedicated Mouse and Keyboard ports
    - Went USB Only Guarantee you that if Apple does this, everyone will scream bloody murder, and every phone manufacturer out there will follow suite within 2-3 years. Even quicker if they decide to go the USB-C route and drop lightening from their phones.
  • Sure. Let's ditch something that nearly EVERYONE uses for more than just EarPods to increase profits for adapters and Lightning licensing fees for Apple. Or, reduce manufacturing costs for them. A DAC will still be necessary. Each of those examples you gave had superior replacements FIRST! My 6s has worse battery life than my 6. Apple, focused on something that I don't need (haptic engine) instead of something that I do need, battery life. It's impossible to enjoy vital experiences such as parallax and my vibrating iPhone 6s...with a dead or dying battery. For some Apple can do nothing right, others, (ahem René) Apple can do nothing wrong. For myself and EVERYONE I've spoken to about this, the audio jack is more important than some expensive new wireless option we will lose or damage somehow. Since they prefer to mess with an amazingly fantastic brilliant design (am I a fanboy?) by selling that horrible "Smart" battery to make up for the poor battery life of the 6s, they don't seem to care that an iPhone 7 with a dongle will have even worse battery life (the Lightning port will have to supply power to the now external DAC or the Bluetooth radio will be transmitting). I'm sure an iPhone in an OtterBox gives Ives fits. Sent from the iMore App
  • I would think that Android Manufacturers would be really happy if Apple ditches the standard Headphone Jack. More potential to get switchers.
  • You do realize there are more android devices than iphone devices worldwide. By a WIDE margin. Right?
  • Because most of the Android devices are cheap lie end laggy junk. Posted via the iMore App
  • The internet is freaking out about this already... Apple is evil, they just want to sell more overpriced adapters, etc... blah blah blah. Some are going so far as to even say it's a deal breaker and they will leave the iPhone if they remove the 100+ year old port. The dichotomy of some people is astounding. They want the best and most cutting edge technological toys, and then ***** and moan when those toys actually move technology forward because it might cost them $20 for an adapter, meanwhile they spend at least $600 per year for a connection and $650+ for a phone (and get a new one every year). WOW. I've got news for them, that 3.5mm jack SUCKS. I've always hated it because very often, with different devices from different manufacturers, the jack moves/turns, and static happens. It's not a good port and I'm totally fine with trusting Apple to kill it. Just as they completely improved everything by moving away from the 10 year old 30 pin connector to the fantastic Lightning port (and not adopting that piece of **** micro USB port that would get loose after a few months) and everyone freaked out about that too!
    Some people need to be dragged into the future kicking and screaming and then they STFU when they look around 1-2 years later and notice that all the other smartphone manufacturers have followed Apple and done the same thing they did earlier. If Apple does do away with the 3.5mm jack, I'll bet you my iPhone Samsung will do exactly the same one year later. And then, miraculously, no one will complain or say a word. Rinsed and repeat....
  • Samsung adds a Lightning port to their phones? That will be interesting.....
  • I've only had the headphone jack go bad on my iPod shuffles and that is after years of use through workouts and I've never broken a micro USB port, but my wife did break one once, but that sucks that you've had them break so regularly. I think I'm more likely to damage the lightning port if I have to use an adapter for my headphones. I'm not worried about the price of an adapter, but think of the size that adapter since it has to handle the length of the headphone plug. Now I have all that connected and put it in my pocket. This scenario seems much more likely to end up with me having a busted port. And yes I have plenty of wireless headphones, but I still fallback on the cable when the batteries die or some of my more expensive headphones which only come in a wired solution because some of those companies will argue that wireless offers a worse sound experience.
  • If the lightning port is used to send sound digitally to headphones, all that means is that the A-to-D converters are moved from the phone to the headphones, or to an adapter with a 3.5mm socket. How does that make the sound better? How will the hardware in the headphones or adapter be powered? If anything, its going to make it worse, and lead to even more annoying vendor lock-in. Given the mediocre sound quality of the standard Apple headphones, I don't see this as a positive thing.
  • I wasn't attempting to put any positive spin on Apple making this change.
  • Yeah, it's kind of an odd comment from Jim, since it's got to be converted somewhere to analog sound. I think you're right, this will be worse for sound for most cases.
  • More likely, the DAC (Digital to analog converter unit) will be on the cable where the volume controls are located. There will be very little physical stress at that location, the DAC can be very small and light and potentially better than the DAC that's currently in the iPhone. Meanwhile lots of space is freed up in the iPhone from the missing 3.5mm port and DAC circuitry.
    Also, the lightning port (or USB-C ports) will be able to power the DAC and sound canceling features so you won't need batteries in the headphones.
  • I don't see anyone (other then Apple themself) moving from USB port to Lightning port. To me, that's a step backward. Long before USB become the standard, each device will have their own proprietary connector. And one of the main reason for USB to exists is that it's "Universal" so that all the various device can share the same cable. At the time apple introduce lightning connector, the only benefit over the "standard" USB is it's ability for reversible connection. And now with the availability of USB Type-C, there is no advantage for lightning cable anymore. Soon it will become another extra cable that you have to maintain just because you need it for your dinosaur device. Where the rest of the world are moving forward.
  • Actually the 3.5mm jack is pretty awesome. I can go buy a dollar set of headphones anytime an old set breaks, or use one of 10 pairs I might have around the house. If I want a better quality sound, I can buy better headphones as well. The lightening port is not going to make a substantial sound quality difference on an iPhone. And I don't know to many audiophiles that will be sitting around comparing the sound coming from their lightening port headphones. This is a money grab by Apple, because they can. Much like Apple sticking with 16gb in their phones. And Apple based websites never call them out for anything they do and act like every decision is flawless, so people eventually go along with it.
  • Duke821 nailed it exactly. I could not have said it any better than this.
  • Well, you proved that people on the Internet are freaking out about this. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • speaking of people who need to STFU now rather than later....
  • I've never experienced any of the problems you speak of with the 3.5mm jack. Not once in my 20 year history of buying and using personal audio products and many of them were of much inferior quality to my iPhone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Agreed, well put... "Say My Name..." Sent from the iMore App
  • "I've got news for them, that 3.5mm jack SUCKS.' No, it doesn't
  • Well said, when Apple kills old tech it is only about moving technology forward. But I disagree with you about the 3.5 mm headphone jack being bad because it isn't, but I'm all for it being replaced by something that will improve it and I'm confident that Apple knows best. Posted via the iMore App
  • The audio is only better if the headphones do a better job of converting it from digital to analog than the DAC in the iPhone now. where you might bet better sound is connecting to another audio device (car, stereo, etc). But for headphones and earbuds? This sounds like potential for worse sound.
  • Currently I have 3 pairs of headphones/earplugs. The pairs I got with my iPhone and a pair of bluetooth ones. As long as Apple includes a pair withe the new phones I'll be fine. A lot of people will complain, but the majority of people will just use bluetooth or go lightning. The people who made huge investments in headphones will just buy adapters. Apple/Beats should focus on improving the battery life and sound quality of Beats bluetooth headphones. Wireless is the future.
  • Another thing to consider is that most 100$+ headphones have removable cables. I figure you'll be able to buy a lightning to 3.5mm / XLR / whatever else cable, so it's not such a big deal for hi-fi products, imo.
  • The world is going wireless and Apple is focusing on wires. Talk about skating where the puck used to be.
  • Correction....focusing on REMOVING wires. Sent from the iMore App
  • Correction....focusing on CHANGING wire connection. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • "Ditching "...it's right in the title of the article. If rumours are correct (big if), they are eliminating 1 out of 2 of the wire connections.
  • Ditching a port. Keeping a wire. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • You really think that if they do this it won't be an effort to push towards wireless headphone use?
  • No. If it were, Apple would just drop the wired connection entirely. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • The other part you are not addressing is that the rumor mill is stating that they will be shipping higher end WIRELESS headphones with the new phone. So yes, they ARE removing the wire, but still giving folks who are not ready to move a way to continue to use them if they want. Also, they are making more room inside the case and allowing for the next gen to be even thinner - which I could care less about - fill the space with more battery.
  • It's also one less port to allow dust and water into and probably lowers the manufacturing cost some as well.
  • Then how would you charge your phone?
  • Ditching a jack and adding complexity putting active components in a wire
  • Does this mean they've gotten rid the delay between the sound coming out of the device and when you hear it in your earbuds? If not, try watching a movie with video with earbuds - last time I tried this, anyway, I got a distinct out-of-sync music and video. Have they improved on this recently? This is also a disaster for musicians trying to play along with a device without an audio jack - again, if they haven't done something about the delay.
  • Never mind - I admit not really reading this post fully. They're not going from headphone jack to wireless, they're going form headphone jack to lightning port. So this is still a disaster for musicians using an iOS device for music making - one less port to use for sound input/output. For musicians in the near future, after the headphone jack is gone, those used iPad mini's and iPod Touch's that have a headphone jack will command a premium.
  • “Number one, things are packages of emphasis. Some things are emphasized in a product, some things are not done as well in product. Some things are chosen not to be done at all in a product. And so different people make different choices, and if the market tells us we’re making the wrong choices we listen to the market. We’re just people running this company. We’re trying to make great products for people, and so what we have, at least, is the courage of our convictions to say, “We don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we’re gonna leave it out.” Some people aren’t going to like that. They’re gonna call us names. It’s not going to be in certain companies’ interests that we do that but we’re gonna take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers. We’re gonna instead focus our energy on these technologies which we think are in their ascendancy and we think are gonna be the right technologies for customers and, you know what, they’re paying us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do, is to try to make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they’ll buy them. And if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out.” - Steve Jobs
  • This would be a reason for me to NOT upgrade as I have EVERY year. I listen with ear/headphones all day long while charging most of the time. I don't need/want an adapter to do this. Same reason I won't buy the new MacBook. I love the device but I don't need the hassle of dongles because of the single USB-C port if I need to use USB drives at some point. Sent from the iMore App
  • Don't think is a reason not to upgrade
  • Hi Jay, It would seem to be a one step forward two steps back scenario. I'm sure that they will say that this dated technology should be replaced because it's just taking up too much room inside the iPhone case. However, I would argue that the Haptic engine is taking up more room and I personally haven't found it to be at all useful. I turned it off and didn't miss it a bit (try it). On the other hand, I use the headphone port ALL day long. I realize that they want us all to live in a wireless world, but with my iPad Air 2, Apple Watch, iPhone 6s and MacBook Pro, do I need yet another thing to keep charged up with lithium ion batteries where the primary source of supply is in war torn Afghanistan? The current crop of wireless ear/headphones don't have the endurance that I need. I admit that I'm a news junkie and music lover and fortunately have an active lifestyle that supports my ability and actually necessitates my need to listen to news/podcasts all day (privately). I've never heard anyone say that complain that their iPhone (or iPad for that matter) was too thick. However, I have heard people express a desire for longer battery life. They could keep the current form factor and make use of any additional room created by advances in miniaturization to increase battery capacity. In fact, Apple acknowledged this by creating that ungodly "Smart" Battery case. In addition to its unsightliness, the 3.5mm connector is recessed so one must pull on the cord, rather than the plug to disconnect a listening device (or any other accessories that make use of that extremely versatile port. i.e. Square payment reader or guitar adapters etc.) which is not a good idea as you'll stress the wires. Indeed, making the devices thinner has created problems with many women (and some men) in skinny jeans wearing their cell phones as a fashion accessory in their back pockets, forgetting that they are there and sitting on, and bending them. As far as improving sound quality, that's a joke. It's been proven in blind studies that people cannot tell the difference between 128, 256 or 320bps encoded audio. Though some audio snobs "think" that they can. Certainly not in a mobile device/playback scenario. For those that can, Apple can explore that resurgent market by selling a portable Apple iTurntable to satisfy the vinyl lovers. The lightning connecter is not without its problems either. Look at the center terminals of yours. If you've had your device for a while, you'll notice the center terminals are discolored. That is caused by arcing. Not good. The name itself is misleading as it is painfully slow in transferring data. Although I LOVE the fact that I don't have to pay attention to plug orientation anymore, it hasn't caught on with any manufacturer other than Apple. Much like the Thunderbolt connectors. USB-C would be preferable as it seems to be the best of all worlds at the moment but that isn't going to happen because Apple has decided that the Lightning port will be used to charge the new keyboard, trackpad, mouse and TV remotes. Maybe they will include Bluetooth LE EarPods with the iPhone 7 that are rechargeable with the Lightning connection with at least a 12 hour battery. Sorry Jay, but in my use case scenario with an investment in an assortment of devices that make use of that little hole for hours on end, keeping my 6s might be my only option rather than being forced to use some hokey adapter.
  • If there's wireless charging it will be quite possible to charge your phone while having headphones plugged in. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hi Matt,
    I haven't tested this myself, but I've heard that the wireless charging is a great convenience but it takes much longer to get a full charge. Sometimes while traveling, afraid that my battery might crap out, I'll opt for a quick "top-off" when I can. Sometimes it can be just 10 minutes, but if I use my iPad charger, 10 minutes goes a long way toward a complete charge. Doing so "wirelessly" may not give the same boost. I don't know. Thoughts?
  • Fully digital connection? Uhm, you can't listen to digital. There has to be a DAC somewhere in the chain.
  • Apple could somehow announce they are removing screens from their phones and going to braille and this site would find a way to justify it. Amazing RDF Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Yup, and Renee is the biggest apologist of all.
  • "We have been trained for years to look at our phone screens, when in reality we've been using the wrong set of eyes for years. Our fingers provide a much more tactile and immersive experience. Apple has known for years that Super AMOLED screens cause eye damage when used for long periods of time, and are jumping ahead of technology by removing our eyes from the equation. Providing for longer use, and ultimately the ability to create a paper thin phone that has been their goal ever since Steve Jobs invented the cell phone." - Rene or other editor in 10 years
  • Truth Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • "...ever since Steve Jobs invented the telephone back in the 1800's when he was three years old." Fixed
  • Was never about making it better or the iPhone thinner. It's about saving coast and make more money. That's all it is and nothing else.
  • Apple went with USB-C on my new MacBook. That didn't make things better. Just slap a retina screen on the smaller MacBook Air. Replace the power port with a USB-C while retaining the USB 3 ports. THAT would be better. If Apple rids the earphone jack on an iPhone, it will probably coincide with a release of a new set of bluetooth Beats headphones, which are overpriced and inferior products to begin with (look at the stock iPhone earbuds if you think Apple can improve Beats). This isn't innovation, it's greed. Sent from the iMore App
  • Just another Apple money grab and their cheerleaders eat it up.
  • If they want to make the sound better then improve the equalizers that ship with their apps. I've tried different apps on my iPhone (Vox) and my Mac (Boom 2) that provide different equalizers and the sound is greatly better than what iTunes puts out. Apple needs to stop making their iPhones thinner and thinner. Many people would rather the extra thickness and have greater battery life. This is shown by the growing popularity by battery packs.
  • None of my friends have a battery pack on their iPhone, it's bulky enough with a case
  • Jeez, the bullshit is strong in this one. For the last frickin time, it's the digital-to-analog conversion that determines the quality of the audio. You want to get rid of the 3.5mm jack? Fine. It's your company. But don't go blaming the 3.5mm jack for the apparent low quality audio your current gen iPhones are pumping out. You could have improved the DAC within the iPhone 6s and the higher quality results would have been piped through the 3.5mm jack just fine.
  • That's actually true. The 3.5mm headphone jack has been around for a long time and is still here because it just works. Improving sound quality would mean improving the DAC, adding a headphone amp and improving the quality of the actual sound file itself. Don't forget improving the speakers themselves. Changing the headphone jack wouldn't net any improvement in sound quality apart from some tiny stuff that are so tiny, they are almost insignificant.
  • Apple made iphone with a battery that sucks and then charge $100 for a case to keep the phone working.
    now Apple are doing away with the 3.5 jack and will charge $100 for an Apple version. MONEY GRABBING company who are just ripping off their loyal customers.
  • Yeah of course, how dare Apple not release a phone the size of a brick initially. The battery pack adds a lot of bulk to the iPhone. The built-in battery is the best it can be for the size of the phone
  • I don't think anyone is suggesting a brick. Where did that come from? Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • The battery is the best it can be for the size and thickness of the phone, so to say Apple put a battery in that sucks, is saying he wants it to be a lot thicker
  • Sorry iPhone fans. A new headphone jack will not make music sound better. Better speakers make music sound better. Better music encoding algorithms make music sound better. Better DACs make music sound better. A new headphone jack may bring a number of features and conveniences but better sound is not one of them.
  • maybe...depends on what quality DAC's the headphone companies implement and if apple upgrades the sound chip in the iPhone...?
  • If Apple upgrades to sound chip in the iPhone will make the audio from the 3.5mm sound better, but it won't do anything in a lightning connector
  • Remove lighting port and add USB Type C with audio improvements so that we will have a headphone jack which can be used with several different devices. But I don't think that will be possible sooner. hough Apple worked in developing USB Type C and contributed more engineers than many.
  • I miss the 3GS shape and feel. That picture makes me miss it.
  • I had a 3GS. It was an awesome phone.
  • HEY Ritchie !! I like the way you see things BUT!!! I have headphones which work with 3.5 mm jack and lot of amplifiers deliver high quality audio via 3.5 mm Jack. I hate the lighting port on my iPhone it might reversible etc but its not Universal and now this ... ITS TIME ALL MOBILE MANUFACTURERS STICK TO ONE STANDARD FOR CHARGING CABLE AND AUDIO OUTPUT.
  • I HATED the idea of losing the the headphone jack initially, but, now I'm looking forward to a potential sound upgrade, and a sleeker device (I loath the upper and lower screen bezel's, the iPhone should have always been edge to edge screen).
  • Better sound quality, sound upgrade. They'd sure know how to sell it. What would be the real benefit? So I can somehow hook an iPhone to my system and my Klipsch speakers, or so I can enjoy the full magics of some 256kbps file in busy London? Not to mention the inconvenience of an adapter when it comes to durability and eaphones/wire weight distribution (ever had smth dangling at the base of a pair of wire earphones, or something sticking out that far?) Sleeker phone, maybe thinner device or better battery life depending on how that tiny space gets filled. Fine with me, if that's what they foresee customer want. But better sound, please. In labs, sure. But it all sounds like the elephant hanging off a cliff his tail tied to a daisy.
  • Better sound quality, sound upgrade. They'd sure know how to sell it. What would be the real benefit? So I can somehow hook an iPhone to my system and my Klipsch speakers, or so I can enjoy the full magics from some 256kbps file in noisy London? Not to mention the inconvenience of an adapter when it comes to durability and eaphones/wire weight distribution (ever had smth dangling at the base of a pair of wire earphones, or something sticking out that far?) And to those who mention the statics off a 3.5mm jack. Do you twist your stuff so much that it becomes an inconvenience, or are just arguing for the sake of it based on theory? cause I got news for you, a bullet proof vest isnt really bullet proof in real life, provided you apply yourself. Sleeker phone, maybe thinner device or better battery life depending on how that tiny space gets filled. Fine with me, if that's what they foresee customer want. But better sound, please. In labs, sure. But it all sounds like the elephant hanging off a cliff his tail tied to a daisy, cause it's gonna take more than that across the sound chain to make the sound noticeably better.
  • The only downside I see to this is having the ability to charge my phone and listen to music at the same time. When I'm at work or on long trips of any sort I use my over ear audiotechnia mx50 headphones. At the gym I use Bluetooth LG earbuds. The white ear buds that come with iPhone are garbage I feel. I only use them in emergency or last resort. I remember carrying around adapters for the iPhone 2g and well my Treo 650 ugggg those were horrible times.
  • What about people like me who bought expensive 3.5 headphones and sound fantastic? Another ugly adapter that might even make the sound worse or worse go Bluetooth.? Time will tell, I'm open for new technology, hope it's improving sound quality not just to eliminate real estate inside the phone to make it thinner. Easy fix is simple, make the phone a little thicker and fill space with battery!
  • "I would fully expect that if Apple did implement this idea, the audio would sound better through the Lightning connector than the older headphone jack. " This is not true
  • To remove this port to make a thinner phone is pointless to me. The iPhone 6S I have now is too thin and slippery as is. I would like to see them go backwards a bit and make it a tiny bit thicker, square it off so you can hold it, put power button back on top, and use the extra space to make the battery last longer. And if they are removing the port to improve the sound quality, I think that is a waste, too. Don't know too many people that complain about the sound quality of their iPhone headset experience. Sometimes 100 year old technology is 100 years old for a reason. They need to focus on removing the home button and bezel. Those two things are old and outdated.
  • How are you going to go back to the home screen without a home button? I hope you're not suggesting a software home button, it's such a waste of screen space and it's easier to hit accidentally, a physical button is much better
  • My stereo in my Jeep has the 3.5 mm port.
    Unfortunately I don't have the USB port where I could use my lightning charger like my last stereo, nor does it have Bluetooth.
    So I would lose the option to listen to my playlists on my iPhone, unless I upgrade the stereo.
    Which that is my plan eventually, maybe before I am due for an upgrade.
    With that said, I am no expert audiophile by any means.
    But I have noticed, when I put the stereo on minus plugging in my iPhone to the 3.5mm jack.
    There is a constant hum or buzz. So if Apples plan is to remove the 3.5mm jack.
    And it is to improve the sound quality, so be it. I am fine with it. Because it is what is. I am not going to kick and stomp my feet, and go back to Android.
    As I see it, I have been with IOS for close to 4 years.
    And they have served me well, with very minimal issues.
    I see no need to move away. The other thing is, I have all my music and movies from iTunes.
    So it makes more sense for me to stay put. I am happy with the Apple ecosystem, despite some people's thoughts that they're sticking it to us.
    Apple is in business to make money one way or the other. Sent from the iMore App
  • Truth.
  • Its one more excuse to sell overpriced adapters. If you want to listen to music threw the lightning port do it. No one is stopping you. However it is not just headphones the use the 3.5 port. Or maybe you can buy your Beats lightning headphones that now will not work with anything but Apple products which is also probably why they would push for this. Oh and lets not forget you now won't be able to use your headphones and charger at the same time.
  • So the £300+ I've spent on various Headphones (Sennheiser & Bose) will be next to useless on future iphones (with the exception of an adaptor which is just another part of the process to weaken quality) .. I have been happy with all my Apple products, but if this is true, I would seriously consider my next upgrade options. Bundelled earbuds with iphones are not good enough and my past experiences of listening to Beats headphones are not upto the standard I have, Not impressed !!
  • The market will determine whether this is a good decision for Apple or not. If the usual line up of people don't show up to the Apple Store because they have decided to hang on to their iPhone 6 (Plus) for a little longer because they don't want to have to replace all of their headphones, or maybe they like the idea of plug in anything and it will work then Apple will have made a terrible mistake. It isn't like they haven't screwed up before, Apple HiFi anyone (I think that was the name of it)? All of that being said, for myself personally, I wouldn't buy another set of wired headphones ever again.
  • We need Taylor Swift to save us again from Apple's greed lol. Possibly they are already thinking of going with usb-c which makes this easier to swallow but Sound quality has nothing to do with the port.
  • I don't care how much better the audio is. Apple getting rid of a ubiquitous standard and trapping the market is a complete **** you to users. If you want to use the connecter that literally every other popular headphone manufacture uses then having to walk around with an adapter on your phone (and you will audio is the area where apple is infamously bad) will complete ruin any aesthetic gains made by removing the headphone jack thus actually putting a significant dampener on the user experience that has caused the iPhone to to be such a cultural phenomenon
  • The only way I accept a move to a lightening adapter, is the addition of wireless charging... I live in NYC, and battery life is extremely important. I've certainly have had the my charger case consume my port but how would i listen to music without an additional adapter... another adapter to add with my iphone and apple watch smh
  • I don't care whether they get rid of it or not. I use bluetooth in-ears for my listen pleasure and use the same bluetooth in my truck. Matter fact I am currently liking the Motorola Buds in-ears I am using.
  • The headphone jack should have been gone already.
  • I know right. Should've gotten those cranial implants years ago.
  • rjholmes123 is right
  • Why?
  • Smoke and mirrors. In order to hear sound, it must be analogue. It doesn't make any difference at what stage it get's converted. In the end it's analogue. And, it ruins the flexibility of the device when it comes to making music or video. Is Apple suggesting that we ditch our gear and buy lighting microphones, pro headsets, mixers amor other capture devices. I would rather switch to a different platform that have one that dictates how I get analogue data into my system.
  • This is clearly a 2 headed monster, half of the people are afraid of change and the other embrace it. I don't remember this much controversy when Apple decided to ditch the FireWire connection for Thunderbolt on the MacBook Pro. Clearly thunderbolt was an improvement. My suggestion for the situation, if the goal is to improve the audio quality, is to release an iPod Pro model, with a highly upgraded DAC that supports Lightning connected headphones. Test the market, and decide how well the market speaks. Any educated person in the field Audiophile Quality Devices knows that the DAC in all the current iPhone, iPod, and iPad models cannot compare with Astell and Kern, Pono, or Sony devices. I'm sorry to bust everyone's bubble that has chosen to pay ridiculously absurd prices for their so-called " hi quality headphones" . Bose and their counterparts are the best marketing companies in their field, but sadly their products do not deliver the quality they claim to produce. Let's face it, your Beats, Bose, or other $200+ headphones you purchased at a brick-and-mortar store, thinking you have something special, plugged into your a iPhone or iPod, is highly limited to the quality of your music files, and the DAC in the device. The headphones are just the lipstick on the pig. Don't get me wrong, for the average person this level of quality is acceptable. I personally own a pair of $600 Shure ear monitors, and I will admit I will never hear the difference while using an iPhone or iPod. I have had a chance to listen to them through an Astell and Kern player ($4500 model) and obviously there is no comparison to my beloved iPod. I honestly believe that once the technology becomes more affordable, Apple will be in this Space. I would love to think that this technology could be packed into an iPhone or iPod form factor, and be ready for release by the end of the year, but I do not believe that is possible. As far as Lightning connectors versus 3.5 headphone jacks, I'm all for it. To all the people complaining, I'm sorry but get used to it, this is not the first time technology has moved forward, change is part of progress.
  • So if we don't embrace this, we are afraid of change? Are you Rene's cousin? Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Change comes because technology moves on. The only reason you wouldn't embrace this is that you're afraid of change
  • If you have to choose between headphones and charging - can't do both at once - then Bluetooth better get MUCH better. Of course, then you're losing the benefit of listening to music with the built in DAC...
  • Why cant you, given that the same rumor is that the new phone will support wireless charging
  • Apple should focus more on battery life and less on thinness. I mean they made the phones thinner and had endgate, then made it thicker to avoid it and now going thinner again? Come on apple, the race to paper thin is over, focus on battery life. Then again they will skimp on battery to try and get you to buy one of their hideous, over priced battery hump cases.
  • I agree....after a certain while the 'thinness" of a phone isn't appealing anymore but the ability to be able to use the phone to their full potential without having to worry about being close to a charger.
    Besides apple selling more battery hump cases they will also create and sell lightning adapter fm transmitters for non-aux type vehicles
  • The question that I want to make is, what is preventing Apple to make music better without ditching the headphone jack? To me, is just an excuse to make the phone thinner and to make more bucks on adapters. People that use their phones to run will not be happy with that gigantic connector (please, just don't comment on bluetooth headphones) as well.
  • maybe they won't get rid of it just yet. they could introduce lightning-headphones and still keep the 3.5mm-port for a while and see how people like it.
  • Doesn't that mean you have to charge wireless headphones... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • No. The Lightning cable for Audio will be *terrible* for audio. Because it isn't standard. They'll be splitting headests to Apple or non-Apple. If they do USB-C, then sure. Bluetooth is terrible for sound quality, so bluetooth won't save that either.
  • Odd, as I have been using BT ear buds and head sets for 3 years now exclusively and they sound fine to me. Can't remember the last time I had anything plugged into the jack on my phone.
  • I don't care about the sound quality debate... I'm listening to music on my phone through headphones. Just get rid of the darn thing. It's old. It's fine. Move on. 2 years from now it will be like an optical drive today and 5 years from now it'll be like a floppy disk drive--distant memories. Sent from the iMore App
  • So will the lightning cable. Get rid of that too.
  • Design to the detriment of functionality
  • There's no functionality lost here? You can still use 3.5mm earphones (albeit with an adaptor). Technology moves on, this will increase functionality in the long run
  • If it's also to make the device thinner, battery life takes a hit too.
  • It may not be, it might just be to free up space in the phone, for putting something more useful in or even, increasing the size of the battery further
  • Sorry Apple. No OEM escapes from my harsh criticism of the "going to make the thinnest phone ever" race, and Apple, you are no exception. There is NO NEED to make a phone THINNER than it already is. The iPhone 6S is already really darn thin as it already is. My iPad Pro is 6.9mm thin and I find that borderline comfortable if that's on a phone. Just make it 7.5mm and stuff in a bigger battery OR keep the same thickness but adapt that MacBook battery tech for use in the iPhone. The biggest pain point of 2015 is battery life, and I can point one of the main blame points to this pointless race. It impresses in the store, but absolutely sucks in the real-world. If it's NOT to make devices thinner, then I am somewhat fine with it (minus the potentially overpriced adapter), but seriously, just stop this race already.
  • Also,
    "It's been around forever and hasn't really improved how we listen to audio in a long time." Well, duh! A better headphone jack won't make things sound better. A better DAC, better headphone amp, better music sampling and other stuff all make sound better.
  • Most people will not like being forced to use wireless BT ear pods that: 1) will need batteries
    2) will be easy to lose If apple can charge the batteries wirelessly via BT while using them, so that you never need to plug them into a charger, then I might be ok with it, otherwise, it's not going to go over well If they come with magnetic holder, this might help prevent losing them. 3) if an adapter is required for wired headset use, it will only add bulk to the phone. This isn't just a change of a connector, this is dropping support for an industry standard wired connection for wireless that requires batteries. Again, if Apple can do this where the batteries are charged wirelessly while in use, ok, but not a good idea to do this with something that needs batteries changed or charged, with possibility of battery drained while on a call. At this point in time, if Apple were to do this with current tech, it would lower their customer service ranking, something I don't think they will go for. Sent from the iMore App
  • I find it stupid if this "Apple removing the headphone jack" rumor turns out to be true. And if it does turn out to be true, I think I'll just hang onto my iPhone 6s for as long as possible.