Are We Saying Goodbye to Jack?
Not long ago we gave our opinion regarding the Bezel-less trend. This time, I’m going to talk about the current trend of removing the traditional 3.5 mm Headphone Jack from new Smartphones.
We’ve seen some of the major Smartphone brands removing the Headphone Jack, such as Apple, HTC (they give you an adapter when buying), Xiaomi, Motorola and Google, so we are left wondering, why should we remove this port? Is it really necessary?
Here’s the explanation given to TechCrunch by Google Product Chief Mario Queiroz:
“The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future,” Google product chief Mario Queiroz told TechCrunch after the event. “We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market.”
So, as we can see, for some, removing the jack is the way to go into the future. By taking it off you are able to arrange the hardware in a different manner which will allow for new stuff, such as getting the screen even closer to the edges.
What’s the Problem?
In my point of view, the problem is that the 3.5mm Headphone Jack is a standard in all devices capable of reproducing sound and we still don’t have a solid alternative to it. If we take a look into to the market, these are the three main options:
- Use an USB-C to 3.5mm adapter – so you have to have something holding from your smartphone when you want to listen to music;
- Use USB-C Headphones – there aren’t that many available and those which are can be really expensive;
- Use Bluetooth – although Bluetooth technology has been steadily improving it still fails to deliver the same sound quality that cables provide.
As you can see none of these options are really good, also, two of them fall short when you want to be charging your smartphone while listening to something…
Interesting Idea by Microsoft
When dealing with constraints, out of the box ideas usually appear. One of these ideas came from Microsoft and it consists of expanding the Headphone port, so it would be possible to thin the device while not removing the loved Headphone Jack.
Personally, I believe that most of Smartphones are already the thinnest possible, we are sacrificing things that are way more important than having your device being like a sheet of paper, battery capacity, for example. Check it out here.
My Take On This Topic
For many consumers, this surely seems like a completely unimportant fact, but for me it quickly turns a good option into something that I would never think about acquiring.
If I already own some nice sounding Headphones with 3.5mm jack, why would I try and buy something different that probably won’t sound as good? I know that it would be possible to buy an adapter and fix this issue, but we all know this isn’t practical at all.
I’d love to hear your ideas on this topic. What is your opinion on the trend of removing the Headphone Jack? Would you buy a Smartphone without it? Reach me at joao[at]exaud[dot]com
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