A few months back reports began circulating about Apple ditching the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack aboard its upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets.
According to said reports, Apple wants to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack entirely and use the iPhone 7’s existing Lighting Port for connecting headphones instead. Whether the iPhone 5se will get the same treatment remains to be seen.
News of the switcharoo, however, caused something of an uproar. How DARE Apple change something as fundamental as the iPhone 7’s headphone jack.
How bloody DARE they, indeed!
The apparent reason behind the switcharoo is that Apple wants to make the iPhone 7 SUPER slim and in order to do this it had to get rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack.
“At the moment,” says The Telegraph, “iPhones feature just one speaker panel on the right hand side. Wider audio has been an interest of Apple in recent devices, such as on the iPad Pro — which uses speakers on all of its sides to produce a bigger, stereo sound.”
Sound familiar? It should. A lot of Android phones have been doing this for a long time, most notably HTC ones with their BoomSound speakers. The inclusion of a new speaker system aboard the iPhone, while useful, is not something we’d have predicted as a “high priority” for Apple.
On a more positive note, though, the iPhone 7 will likely have dual-stereo speakers now, meaning chavs on buses can REALLY ruin your commute home later on this year.
The move would also mean headphone manufacturers would have to produce Apple-specific headphones that feature lightening port connectors and not the standard 3.5mm jack. From Apple’s perspective this might be advantageous but that is literally the only positive — for almost everybody else it will SUCK. Lightening port headphones will likely cost more, your old headphones will become redundant and it’ll take A LONG time for headphone makers to adopt the new standard, meaning choice will be limited to begin with should Apple go this route.
Or, the other alternative: “Apple will likely bundle new iPhones with EarPods that pack Lightning connectors or include 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapters in the iPhone’s box,” notes BGR. “That latter option seems like the more reasonable option, meaning the new headphones will likely work with older smartphones and other devices that have 3.5mm headphone jacks. Of course, this also means that old headphones will need the adapter to work with the iPhone 7, and Apple will likely have one for sale, generating a new, even if tiny, profit stream for the company.”
Additional reports, citing Barclays analysts, claimed the iPhone 7’s new Lighting Port headphone setup would mean better sound quality — something Apple would likely market as HD Music with a solid Apple Music tie in for good measure — as well as, potentially, noise cancellation inside the EarPods that come with the iPhone 7.
“The move will prepare Apple for the possibility of including Cirrus Logic's (an Apple audio supplier) more advanced noise-cancellation smart codec in 2017,” says 9to5Mac, “which requires a digital codec to be installed in the first place.”
Sounds great, doesn't it? NOISE CANCELLATION. But unfortunately this new feature might not be available inside the iPhone 7. Nope. According to some market watchers, Apple COULD do its old trick and keep this one back for 2017’s iPhone 7s .
“We still believe there is potential for AAPL to add ANC in the iPhone 7s but believe AAPL is including just the digital headphone in the iPhone 7 this year. Recent speculation surrounding the elimination of the headphone jack in the IP7 is consistent with this move as AAPL will need to provide a digital headset inbox but likely was not willing to spend the extra cost for the ANC functionality.”
To be honest, I’d be happy if they’d just make the damn thing more comfortable. The current generation EarPods really make my ears ache after hardly any time at all.