Best argument against "headphone jacks are old tech!"

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by joeblow7777, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I know, I'm beating a dead horse, the headphone jack is gone and people will get over it.

    But I could never understand the argument of people saying that its removal is "progress" because it's old technology and should therefore be abandoned. I would always reply that the wheel is old tech too! Why does that matter if it still does what it was made for better than anything else? What I lacked, not being an audiophile at all, was a technical explanation.

    This video from "Pocketnow" explains in layman's terms why the old audio jack is still not obsolete. Say that Apple got rid of the jack to free up internal space, fine, but don't say that it had to go because it's old or outdated tech.

  2. shunting123 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2014
    It's not obsolete at all. This was Apple's way of forcing people to buy its new products, and they did so before releasing (or helping third-party manufacturers release) any good, affordable wireless headphones. A bit sleazy, if you ask me. To be fair, the only upside is that it probably helped them make the phone more waterproof.
  3. joeblow7777 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    And yet it still didn't receive as high a water resistance rating as other phones with the jack...
  4. KillaMac Suspended

    May 25, 2013
    It will be eventually.

    Android is planning it too.

    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    True, but it is surviving deeper depths of water than any other phone.
  5. shunting123 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2014
    People have likened this to Apple's removal of the CD-ROM on the MacBook Pro. These are two totally different things. At the time Apple made that decision, most consumers found little use for these drives -- removing them had almost zero downside, on top of allowing Apple to make thinner and lighter devices. This headphone-jack removal should have come next year at the earliest.
  6. kerrikins macrumors 65816

    Sep 22, 2012
    It is really old tech, though. Old =/= obsolete, but it's been around a hell of a long time. To me personally, it seems pretty damn weird that I'm carrying around a pocket computer and I get internet beamed to my devices but in order to listen to music the go-to for most people is a tangle of wires. I think this will push forward the adoption and acceleration of wireless tech and I'm all for it. I switched to bluetooth a few months ago because I saw the writing on the wall and now I don't know why I waited so long.
  7. eoblaed macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    The wireless headphones are not the intended replacement for the 3.5mm wired EarPods.
    The lightning wired EarPods are the intended replacement, and they come included in the box. If you purchase them new, they cost, to the penny, the exact same amount as the 3.5mm version.
    Oh, and the 3.5mm to Lightning adapter is also free in the box.

    The AirPods are completely unnecessary.
  8. ventmore macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    From the few videos I've seen, it would seem that Apple is (understandably) being conservative with the water resistance rating of the iPhone 7.
  9. br0adband macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    If by soon they mean 2-3 decades from now, sure, I completely agree. :)

    The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are IP67 rated, that means water-resistant up to 3 feet (that's 1 meter for the non-Americans) for up to roughly 30 minutes. Any phone rated IP67 will match that so, I don't know what the idea behind your saying the iPhone 7/7 Plus "do it deeper" since that's somewhat silly to state (I'm sure you'll offer up some video on YouTube as proof) because any other phone rated IP67 will offer the same level of water-resistance.

    In the past I owned a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the first consumer smartphone that had an IP67 rating. It had a removable back (with a water-seal on the inside) and a cover over the microUSB charging port (a flap of rubberized material) - the headphone jack had no such seal, it was always completely open meaning I didn't have to remove any kind of cover to plug in headphones.

    I point out the GS4A because one time I was at a pool with my Wife and the phone was laying on one of our towels. When my Wife grabbed her towel, the phone slid off into the deep end of the pool, the 12 foot end. I didn't notice because I was swimming at the time in the middle, goofing off and splashing her so the waves were distorting the water around me and I couldn't see the phone about 30 feet from where I was situated (given the depth of the water and distance).

    I got out of the pool maybe 15 minutes after she did and then noticed the phone wasn't where I thought it was, looked around, moved my clothes, her clothes, then realized it wasn't there and the only place left was... of course the pool. Sure enough I turned around, saw it on the bottom, dove in and grabbed it. Got back out of the pool, dried it off on the outside and hit the Home button (it has physical buttons) and voila, fired up just fine, no harm, no foul.

    Now because the phone was IP67 rated and that states immersion up to 3 feet/1 meter for up to 30 minutes I got lucky I suppose since mine was far deeper and for less time so I beat both of those limits in every respect. I also constantly made sure the back cover was properly situated - the GS4A had one particular little point just under the camera assembly that, if you didn't press in hard enough to ensure it snapped closed, would cause the water-resistance to not be complete. If I hadn't done that consistently that phone would have been dead 10 seconds after it went into the water.

    I'm not saying every phone can do that in terms of time or depth but, the IP67 rating does have specific requirements to get it and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are just that - IP67 rated - and there's no reason to think that "Oh, Apple is doing IP67 better than anyone else just because they're Apple..." or words to that effect.

    Besides, anyone that would purposely take an IP67 device deeper than 3 feet/1 meter pretty much deserves to have their phone die because of water damage. :D
  10. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Don't know how well this guy explains anything, he seems to have an agenda, and is presenting this video as unbiased when it appears to be anything but.

    Can anyone explain what he's trying to say at 2:45 about the four connections going through the Lightning port? Is he trying to say that the headphone signals are being sent as analogue out of the Lightning port, using the iPhone's DAC and amp? He's pretty fuzzy during this "technical" explanation.
  11. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2016
    BaseCamp Pro
    Yes, we need a tear-down of the new EarPods as well as the 3.5 adapter to see what electronics reside within.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    I'm really hesitant to call an electrical conductor "technology". People need to be more specific when they talk about the technology and alleged improvements. Otherwise, it just sounds like they're hopping on the bandwagon.
  12. br0adband macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    The iPhone 7/7 Plus introduction event pretty clearly showed what's inside the EarPods with a cut-away 3D graphic, it's not like we're going to find anything "magical" in there at this point.

    As for the headphone adapter that remains to be seen if anyone is willing to go that far and really disassemble one. I'd suspect it has some kind of DAC on it, incredibly small one obviously. I read someplace a few days ago where someone stated the audio output from an iPhone 6S using that adapter (that's included with the iPhone 7/7 Plus) had cleaner measured output than the headphone jack itself on the same iPhone 6S so, I suppose that's a good thing overall.
  13. joeblow7777 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    No one is saying that it's not old tech, but the point is that that is completely irrelevant to whether it needs to be eliminated at all.

    The video doesn't address wireless options at all, but it does explain why wired lightning earpods are not an advancement.

    I can't say whether he has an agenda or not, but is anything that he's saying wrong or misleading? My understanding of what he says is that the signal exits the via the lightning port as digital, and the adaptor/dongle converts it to analogue, which is previously what was done internally in the headphone jack. His explanation seemed pretty clear to me, unless I'm missing something.
  14. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2016
    BaseCamp Pro
    I mean the plugs but you're prob right. It would be good to eliminate any ambiguity such as presented in this video.
  15. winterny macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2010
    The "free up space" argument is also pretty silly. Personally, if I have a choice between "stereo speakers built into the phone" and a headphone jack ... I would pick the headphone jack -- and I suspect many others would too.

    Further, on the 7, *perhaps* the space argument holds some water ... but on the 7+? Clearly there is space.

    Obviously, apple has different reasons for eliminating the port.

    With all of that said, while I am disappointed ... Realistically, the iPhone never had an audiophile-grade DAC, and if you wanted that, you had to get an external DAC anyway. I almost never listen to music on my iPhone anymore, and when I do, it's on an airplane -- and so even with good in-ear headphones, there is still a noise level from airplane engine, and it is not 'audiophile grade', even if there was a better DAC.
  16. br0adband macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    If by "plugs" you mean the EarPods, I stated that in the first part of the post there. During the event when they introduced the EarPods they showed a pretty clear cutaway (3D rendered of course) showing all the major components including the wireless chip they created.
  17. UAV macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2015
    that maybe true but that's why we have experienced testing companies that give out the ratings. and to quote joeblow "And yet it still didn't receive as high a water resistance rating as other phones with the jack"
  18. as4life macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2015
    I personally do not see a big deal over the removal of the headphone jack.
  19. bufffilm, Sep 18, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

    bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    It is old tech, but like you say...there's a place for old tech, too.

    Now, if Apple is saying the reason why it's going away is because our vision of wireless will give you equivalent (or better) sound, that I could accept.

    I'm not fighting Apple tooth-n-nail on it going away...just be truthful with their reasons for it going away.

    1) You don't need it going away just to make the phone water-resistant.

    2) You don't need it going away just to add more battery life.

    3) The loss of the 3.5mm jack means to no easy way to charge the phone and listen with wired ear/headphones.

    I liked the 3.5mm jack for these key reasons:

    - You didn't need to charge another device beforehand to listen to music, podcasts, etc.

    - It used very little power.

    - It was a defacto standard. You could use your ear/headphones on Android, Windows, and Apple devices.

    - It was a robust connector yet easy to use. Removal/insertion was easy even if you were handicapped, etc and chances of damage/wear over time was pretty low.

    Those are pretty compelling reasons why the 3.5mm jack should stay.

    The Lightning port we have now on the 7/+ doesn't address the last 3 issues.
  20. TJ82 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    Not watching the vid, only thing I'm interested in is whether lightning provides as good as or better quality audio as the trad headphone jack. Any audiophiles know?
  21. ventmore macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    Indeed, and I'm not disputing that it's been tested by an experienced company who has deemed that it conforms to IP67, but is that because Apple asked for it to be tested to IP67, or because it didn't pass IP68?
  22. UAV macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2015
    no it does not provide the same quality of sound it's actually a bit less than the old jack/ kinda like replacing the round wheels of your car with square ones.
  23. Mac 128, Sep 18, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

    Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    You are confusing terms -- EarPods are the wired Lightning earbuds, AirPods are the wireless buds with the W1 chip. That's what's causing the confusion. We have not seen inside of the EarPods yet.

    Lightning has the potential to offer as good or better than the traditional jack, but it has nothing to do with the connector itself, and everything to do with how the digital signal is decoded and amplified. The difference between the two is that the iPhone headphone jack is limited to what's inside the phone, which cannot be upgraded, whereas Lightning allows for external upgrades. The Apple Lightning adapter provides comparable output to what is offered by the 6s headphone jack. The point is, you can do better if you want. Also, the headphone jack doesn't allow for more than 4 signals. Lightning allows for power and additional data signals as needed for external audio devices.

    Here's a good comparison chart:

  24. Spankey macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2007
    To begin, I will say this. The headphone jack is not "old tech". The phono jack is.

    Apple has moved from the phono to the more versatile lightning port. Allowing a digital audio pass through in the future will only improve sound quality with headphones of better DACs than the phone. In the meantime, Apple is providing the adapter free of charge which can be left on your headphones of choice and never be removed.

    The next argument comes with listening to music while charging the phone. The question needs to be asked. Who charges the phone while on the in being mobile..while walking. Probably no one. In the few times your phone is near dead and you have to charge and listened to wireless headphones, but the Apple dock. It's small and can easily be placed on a nightstand, desk, end table, or wherever you are charging.

    Wireless. Bluetooth audio quality, in my listening experience, is better than listening to lossy audio through a wired connection. Over the ear headphones are offering charge times of 20-40 hours with noise cancellation. Smaller ears can offer around 8 hours. Still plenty of listening time. Once freed from a wired headphone I don't see how many will go back unless doing critical listening. My critical listening is not done with lossy files on my phone.

    So the bottom line is no one is really losing anything except being able to listen while at the same time charging directly to the phone without a dock. So what.

    There is one issue Apple has not addressed. How to charge lightning headphones while charging. I'm sure a next gen dock will address this.
  25. bodonnell202 macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I'm not sure why everyone keeps up with this water-resistant versus water-proof argument. The 7 in the IP67 rating means that the iPhone 7 has been officially tested and rated to survive depths of 1m (3 feet) for up to 30 mins. That is what Apple has chosen to test and rate the iPhone 7 at, however it does not mean that it will automatically fail at 4 feet or 31 minutes, it just means that it has not been officially tested at that depth. Reviewers are finding that the phone will survive much longer than 30 mins (one test lasted 7.5 hours without signs of water damage) and much deeper (have seen tests up to 30 feet/10 m without signs of water damage, which I think it what the previous poster was getting at). People like to push things to the limit after all... In any case this gives sufficient confidence that if you drop your iPhone 7 in a pool/toilet/sink, it will be ok and I think that is good enough for more that 99% of the population.

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