The rumors were true; Apple’s new iPhone 7 series does not feature a headphone jack. We’ve been relying on the 3.5mm connector for over 100 years, but Apple decided it’s finally time to let it go. It has good reasons for doing so, but are you disappointed?
Apple says it has removed the headphone jack because “it’s a dinosaur.” Its size was preventing Apple from putting newer, more advanced technologies into the iPhone; without freeing up some space, it couldn’t have given us better cameras.
In addition, Apple sees Lightning, which is digital unlike the headphone jack, as a greater standard. Digital connectors can provide superior sound, and give headphone makers the freedom to do more with their products.
You see, with the headphone jack, the circuitry that controls the headphones must sit inside the iPhone. However, headphones that connect via the Lightning port can use their own circuitry, so manufacturers can add features that weren’t possible before.
Users will have to rely on iPhone 7’s Lightning port to plug in wired headphones, or switch to wireless alternatives that connect over Bluetooth, such as Apple’s new $159 AirPods, which will be available in late October.
But that doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your existing headphones with 3.5mm jacks. In addition to free EarPods with a Lightning connector, Apple is bundling a free 3.5mm to Lightning adapter with every iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Nevertheless, not having a headphone jack still has its problems. If you lose that little adapter, you’ll have to buy a new one, and you can’t charge your iPhone while headphones are plugged into the Lightning port. Or can you?
There are a couple of solutions that will allow you to do this. Phil Schiller suggests buying Apple’s new Lightning Dock for iPhone 7, which includes both a Lightning port and headphone jack. Accessory makers are also building adapters that include both.
So, are you disappointed that Apple is killing off the headphone jack with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, or are you already over it? Are you already using Bluetooth headphones over wired headphones anyway? Take our poll below and let us know!