Diehard iPhone fans are not too happy about the iPhone 7 headphone jack removal in store for the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and many believe that Apple is doing this to cause consumers to upgrade to Bluetooth, wireless headphones. Some consumers, having used wireless, Bluetooth headphones, have witnessed the proximity issues with Bluetooth headphones (that reception isn’t that great at times) and would rather reliable on a guaranteed quality audio experience instead of betting on the future that brings with it a difficult measure of risk.
And yet, some companies seem to agree with the direction that Apple is heading in (and Motorola has headed in with its headphone-jackless Moto Z). One such company is Intel, who supports iPhone 7 headphone jack removal for at least 3 reasons. First, Intel says that the iPhone 7 headphone jack that most consumers want 1) doesn’t provide the type of noise cancellation and quality audio that USB-C would provide. Next, the iPhone 7 headphone jack consumers demand isn’t as power-efficient or battery-efficient as USB-C. In other words, headphone jacks detract from battery life and should be replaced by a more power-efficient audio tech. Last but not least, the iPhone 7 headphone jack consumers demand doesn’t have any device authentication — which means that using traditional headphone jacks such as those found on older-generation iPhones is a method susceptible to hackers. USB-C would fix such issues.
While these are verifiable benefits of USB-C and argue against the iPhone 7 headphone jack, it could also be said that Intel is in Apple’s back pocket — considering that the company will be manufacturing LTE modems for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus this year. With that said, it is in Intel’s interest to agree with Apple. And yet, despite this, the USB-C claims are indeed true. One thing that jack headphones never did for me was provide great noise cancellation. Even with the old Sony headphones from the 1990s, I could always hear background noise seeping into the music and found it hard to listen to music if I was in a noisy environment at times. USB-C would help further the demand for noise cancellation, increased security, and better battery life. All these things spell progress for smartphone audio.
Some consumers don’t want to change, but giving up the traditional jack headphones for the progress of technology and improved security is a tradeoff that tech enthusiasts should be willing to make. And, since Apple is leading the way (as is Motorola), it’s up to tech companies to show the benefits and to educate consumers.