Former software engineer resurrects the iPhone headphone jack

When Apple's iPhone 7 was debuted, many people noticed the very glaring lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Sure, official adaptors that allow you to plug your regular headphones into the Lightning charging port came soon after, but that created another issue - you couldn't charge your phone and listen to your music or podcast of choice at the same time.

Enter Scotty Allen, a former software engineer living in Shenzhen, China. He, too, felt our pain, and craved a functioning headphone jack that didn't require an adaptor to use. So he bought an iPhone 7 and modified it. And when I say modified, I mean really modified. The entire process took four months, three completely disassembled iPhones, a whole arsenal of new and expensive tools and seven custom circuit board designs. (Also presumably blood, sweat and tears.)

After he finally emerged victorious, he posted the entire process to the Strange Parts YouTube channel. The result is a 33-minute ode to near-inhuman patience and dedication that stressed me out just to watch. However, the payoff is huge. The look on Allen's face as he triumphantly holds up the fully functional modded iPhone with headphones plugged into the hand-drilled jack is one of pure joy. And boy, he deserves it.

Because the mod is so extensive, it's unlikely any of us regular folk will attempt it any time soon. However, you can experience the months-long emotional rollercoaster secondhand here:

Thoughts? Questions?

How far would you go to add a working headphone jack to your iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us on Twitter!

Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.

7 Comments
  • All I can say is wow! Building his own iPhone was the first video of his I watched, Considering what he went through to do that, I'm not surprised at all.
  • Too much time on his hands...
  • Congratulations! You eliminated a dongle. Next, he will add some more ports to the MacBook Pro.
  • The take-away for me is that Apple could have kept the jack.
  • That's what I got from it too. What even is the barometric equalization thing that he had to remove to add back the jack?
  • I watched this video and all I can say is, "Waste of time". Sure, now he has a headphone jack in his phone. Thats cool and all but he still can not charge his phone and use the headphone jack at the same time. So he basically spent a lot of money to incorporate the dongle into the phone. He would have been better off using a third party dongle with the power as well the headphone jack to get both to work at the same time. Very interesting but would have been better off buying a bunch of dongles and putting them on every device that still uses the 3.5mm jack.
  • How far would I go? I would not go at all. I have two pairs of Bluetooth headphones and several Bluetooth speakers. Why do I need a headphone jack? Isn't it 2017 now? I still have an iPhone 6, and since I have owned it I have not plugged anything into the headphone jack. Certainly I will not require it in any future smartphones I purchase.