Removing the 3.5mm headphone socket


Yeah, because those companies have been using a hack, the cheapest possible workaround. You want to know what the official way to transfer data between your iOS device and an accessory is? The Lightning port.


So… tell me… what’s the official way to transfer music between a Harley Davidson Boom! audio system and an iOS device then?


Maybe I should have clarified. For non-audio data transfer, you should be using Lightning.


Yes, as annoying as they were, I’m of the opinion that they caused the wider computer market to sit up and take notice and realise that they weren’t really needed any more.

Perhaps, we’d still be using 3.5" floppy drive etc if Apple hadn’t have ‘prematurely’ bit the bullet and decided to stop supporting an outgoing standard.


I had a floppy drive in my PC’s for a long time (usually just swapped from machine to machine) but it’s not something I really used, it was more there “just in case” or so I could support people that needed stuff on floppies (since I did a lot of tech support in those days).

Even when I got rid of it (and even today, although I don’t know exactly where) I had a USB floppy drive in a drawer. Probably used twice.

I did buy the Apple USB DVD drive and I think I’ve used it to burn DVD’s for other people. Occasionally I used it to rip a CD… It is actually handy to have this around every now and again, although I’d probably swap it for a tray loading version since I do hit one of those mini CD’s occasionally, although I’ve usually had a PC floating around with a tray loading drive to copy or image the disc if needed.


In all these cases the adaptor was STANDARD! USB could work with anything and was useful, a lightning headphone adaptor does what?? No one else uses lightning, total dick move for headphones…

But if they go USB C and that somehow lets you use headphones in a standard way… well then maybe thats leading the charge to a new standard (that no one really wants or needs).


I still use the Apple USB DVD drive every month because the paper 4 wheel drive magazine I’m subscribed to includes a DVD with each issue, to be honest it’s the best part :slight_smile:


Same - I occasionally have the need to rip DVDs and CDs into iTunes.


It’s easy to forget though that USB only became a standard after Apple pushed it into people’s faces. It had been around for a couple of years before they released the iMac but hardly any PC makers were offering it and nobody was building peripherals with it either. When Apple made it successful, everybody whinged about having to leave their ADB and Serial Port devices behind. I was as hurt by it as anyone, having just spent $1500 (around $3k in today’s money) on an HP 6MP printer that we had hoped would last us for years. The tough old thing still works now but there are no machines to plug it into and it’s useful life was significantly shortened by Apple adopting USB. It really bugged me that we had to buy a new printer and especially that we could never get another one as solid and reliable as the 6MP.

Someone has to herald the future and I’d rather it be Apple than Microsoft or Samsung. Apple creates demand for forward looking technologies by adopting them early and it’s a painful process. But if it were up to the “legacy support trumps everything” brigade, we would still be turning off our computers just to plug a mouse in and backing up to floppies. Lots and lots and lots of floppies.


USB unlike Lightning was always meant to be an open standard, and it had so many advantages over SCSI/ADB - Lightning over 3.5mm has so few its not funny. Its an inconvenience more than its a connivence in terms of poorer durability, having to be inserted one way or another etc.


I’ve had computers since before the Commodore 64 was first released in Australia and I’ve never had to back up on floppy disks since hard disks became semi-affordable.

Back in the day we backed up to tape drive, then cartridges and later CDs, these days it’s across the net to off-site storage or to the cloud for home use.

But I don’t have a problem with Apple ‘heralding the future’ as long as the legacy product they replace is replaced by hardware with improved functionality.

That was the case with USB replacing serial and you could argue that USB sticks replacing CDs was also but wireless replacing ethernet reduced performance and more seriously the 3.5mm headphone socket being replaced with Lightning is more about locking people into the Apple eco system and forcing manufacturers to buy licenses from Apple than it is about improving function.

Only a few high end audiophiles with expensive lightning headphones will benefit, everyone else will be worse off or at best no worse off.



So why aren’t you using Bluetooth? It’s an “open standard” (not really, but OK), is vastly more convenient (no cables has to be a convenience, plus it can also connect to multiple devices simultaneously), and can even support the data transfer function that people seem to think they’ll be losing with the removal of the 3.5mm jack.


Because 3.5mm headphones are the most convenient option. I hate bluetooth audio, connectivity issues, more battery drain, more batteries to charge, having to turn bluetooth on and off again. The only advantage is not having a cable, but in every other way it is easier just to plug in a jack and be done with it.


And soon enough, Lightning or Bluetooth will be the most convenient option.

Modern Bluetooth devices shouldn’t have connectivity or audio quality issues. Some might, but there’s probably other factors at play.

Do we not think that Apple will offer some kind of adapter for you to plug your 3.5mm headphones in? You’re all acting as if you’ll be expected to switch to Lightning or Bluetooth at gunpoint — anything but the dreaded 3.5mm headphone jack — when in reality, the likelihood is that you’ll be able to plug in an adapter and go about your merry business.


Until every device in the world has lightning then it won’t be the most convenient option. It will be an expensive and easily breakable option. Till bluetooth magically does’t require a second set of batteries or cause any battery drain than it won’t be the convenient option.

Why on earth would I want an adaptor? Adaptors are inconvenient and easy to loose, easy to break, probably expensive and a waste of resources that doesn’t need to occur. I swap between devices all the time during the day and taking adaptors on and off and so on would be a freaking annoyance. Oh and want to charge your phone while listening to music, Oh thats right another adaptor.

Another wasteful scheme from the so called ‘environmentally friendly Apple’.

Loosing the 3.5mm headphone port does no good whatsoever - introduces a whole level of inconvenience. The solution now is fairly perfect - Want lightning headphones? You can use them now. Want bluetooth headphones? again you can use them now and the rest can use 3.5mm headphones.


I think they’ll not have a water proof adaptor and I have water proof 3.5mm headphones now.

Current model Harley Davidson motorcycle audio systems (the Boom! series) were designed (yes it was a design choice) not to use blue tooth for audio because the quality was inferior to a cable link.

That cable link is 3.5mm and plugging in a non waterproof adaptor will allow water ingress into an audio system that’s worth around $3000.

Harley Davidson are the top selling road bike motorcycle in Australia, in the USA and in many other countries and this issue will effect millions of motorbike riders.


I wonder how all the sound dock manufacturing companies felt when Apple switched from a 30-pin jack to a Lightning one. But, you know, there’s probably a million iPhone users out there that will also be affected by this change. No biggie.


The adaptor goes into the phone, the phone clicks into the holder (oops now it wont’ because it relied on the special 3.5mm holder to hold the phone in place) and the water proof compartment wont shut anymore because the adaptor makes the phone not fit.

Yah, I was effected by that, it cost me a few hundred dollars to buy a new sound dock.

Annoying but not the end of the world.

The cheapest HD model with Boom! audio costs $35,000.

A Harley Ultra Limited costs without any options $40,000.

A CVO Ultra Limited is $50,000 plus options.

I’ll say that again… $50,000.

That’s why I can’t just throw out the motorbike like I did the audio dock, oh hang on there’s another alternative… I know… I’ll buy an Android phone (and so will every other Boom! using HD rider).

So yes this time around I’m pissed off (to the tune of $40,000 because mine is only a midrange one).


Can I point out that none of that will change when Apple releases an adapter?


The designers of that audio system could have chosen Lightning instead of going with the 3.5mm headphone jack, if they wanted quality audio over a wired connection. Instead, they chose to not license Apple’s MFI program and went with the cheaper option. Now their customers will pay, and people are angry at Apple for taking away the 3.5mm headphone jack?

Not to mention the ridiculousness of having to throw out your entire motorbike because it has a non-modular audio system that apparently can’t be upgraded after the fact. (Yes, I’m also against soldered RAM on machines.)

I’m done, back tomorrow.


But… but… I still have popcorn left…