Removing the 3.5mm headphone socket


It can be upgraded, there are a number of upgrades possible from HD. Extra speakers with mounting kits, larger amplifiers, larger screens, touch screens. They’re all part of the Boom! ecosystem and all use 3.5mm audio connections.

I upgraded my system from a non GPS, non touch Boom! 4.5 to a GPS enabled, touch screen Boom! 6.5 and added an amplifier and larger speakers (300 watts RMS instead of 75 watts RMS now) but I could have gone a lot more powerful.

HD have recently announced support for extra Android features so I’m guessing that’s the way they’ll head (and they way I’ll be forced to head when my 6S+ becomes unusable)


The fact that USB is an open standard is irrelevant. It was also never a replacement for SCSI. It replaced Serial Port and ADB. FireWire replaced SCSI for peripherals.

What is relevant is that it was new and largely unsupported when the iMac came out. As to the advantages of Lightning over the 3.5mm jack, I have no idea what they might be but I’m not inclined to loudly and doggedly insist that things have no value simply because I can’t see it myself.


I’ve seen the exact opposite. Lighting cables break easily, the nature of the swivelling 3.5mm jack makes it more durable in terms of stress and tension. [quote=“bennyling, post:119, topic:1523”]

No one wants an adapter, which is why people will buy Apple’s Lightning EarPods or go to Bluetooth headphones. You’re acting as if Apple hasn’t thought about charging your device and playing music over a Lightning connection at the same time.

Lightning EarPods = wasteful and arrogant. Its a proprietary connection and a terrible idea.

Tell me how people are going to charge + listen to music without another adapter?

And the downsides of increased battery drain (from the already fairly terrible iPhone battery life), plus further inconvenience (either dealing with battery drain from leaving bluetooth on all the time or turning bluetooth on and off every time you want to use your headphones, and I’m yet to use a bluetooth audio device that doesn’t require stuffing around to pair to multiple devices, or one that doesn’t drop out or glitch out.

Nope because thats incorrect - Adaptors are inconvenient, breakable, expensive, easily losable and wasteful, a ‘solution’ to a problem that does not exist.


USB replaced both ADB and SCSI for some applications, Firewire was the more high end replacement for SCSI.

It is not irrelevant, it was one of the reasons why moving to USB was actually a smart move. Despite it being fairly unsupported when the iMac came out, it had clear cut advantages in many areas, that lightning does not. A better port that was an open standard was a positive, where as moving from an open standard (3.5mm) to a closed standard (lightning) is not a positive. The sound difference is not gonna be noticeable unless you’re buying very expensive headphones and lets face it, the sound quality of tracks that most people listen to on iPhones is not really great.

If there are any major advantages of the lightning port over the 3.5mm port, then people can go ahead and enjoy them today, without taking the convenience of the 3.5mm port away. The reality is that advantages are very few, and again, if we were talking about going to an open standard (USB-C) and having both USB-C and lighting, I’d consider it.


Or more they didn’t want to go with a stupid proprietary connection that a minority of users will use, because devices with lightning are true in the minority.

The quality increase over lightning is truly not that great, and even then it assumes that the audio content the user is actually good enough to make a difference.

People have an absolute right to be angry, because its a truly stupid move that brings zero advantage for the user.


Is it for audio or calls? Maybe an iPod touch for the bike would fit the bill?


There have always been things that have a lock in effect as well as being an improvement in another direction, but I can’t think of any time Apple has pushed something out that had no value apart from lock in. For Apple to piss off millions of people just to make a few bucks on licensing fees seems a bit far fetched. I know they’re not the same since Jobs, but that would require a big shift in philosophy and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of evidence of that.


Cables != jacks. Do I have to MS paint a picture for you?

How are Lightning EarPods a terrible idea? If Apple didn’t include Lightning EarPods in the box, then that would be a terrible idea. If Apple didn’t sell an adapter for you to use your legacy headphones with, then that would be a terrible idea.

I don’t know how people are going to charge and listen to music without another adapter. But maybe that extra space, currently taken up by the headphone jack, could be used for wireless charging.

Those issues are inherent to wireless and Bluetooth. If you don’t want any wires, you need batteries for power. If you want Bluetooth, the latest and greatest Bluetooth standard only allows connecting to two devices simultaneously. If you don’t want to deal with these issues (which I’ll point out are the current limits of the technology), you go to Lightning, or use an adapter, which brings me to…

It’s not “incorrect” that you won’t be able to use Bluetooth, Lightning headphones, or 3.5mm headphones with an adapter. As it has always been for the last few decades, an adapter (along with all its inconveniences and pitfalls) is the price you pay for wanting to use a slightly different technology with one that isn’t available on the hardware that you choose to use, which is every bit of a “solution” if I’ve ever heard of one.

I read that as “my $3000 audio device doesn’t have proprietary connections built in to ensure compatibility regardless of if the entire industry moves”. You don’t think Harley owners would be asking for an iPhone-compatible version? Imagine you’re the developer of the HD audio system, and the next iPhone removes the headphone jack, rendering your audio system incompatible with the latest iPhone. Do you just shrug your shoulders, move to Android, and ignore all the people that just upgraded and want to use your audio system with the newest iPhone?

Zero advantage… that you, me, or anyone else knows of.

If you’re saying that Apple will pointlessly and needlessly remove the headphone jack because they want to sell more Beats headphones, or remove it just to spite their users without adding any features in return, then I would agree that yes, removing the headphone jack is stupid and a bad idea.

But I hope that’s not the case — no one knows what Apple will be doing with the extra space, or what they’ll be able to accomplish without the headphone jack burden in the current hardware. Apple has been trying to reduce the size of the headphone jack for years now, and if they could eliminate it altogether, then all the merrier.

For the record, I don’t actually care if they remove the headphone jack. Provided there’s an adapter so I can use my legacy devices until they can be upgraded to Bluetooth, I’ll be happy.


It is used for audio and calls, yes an iPod touch would restore music but then I’d lose phone functionality.

Besides, if Apple are going lightning on the phone I suspect the next gen iPod touch will also go to lightning.


Yah… I’m going to go ‘not very far out on a limb’ and say ‘this time’.


Wireless charging isn’t an option when driving and many people spent much of their life driving.

I honestly believe that Apple will lose market share after they remove the headphone jack and that removing it will only cause an increase in Android market share.

It’s a BAD idea.


Quoting myself from months back because the outrage is getting stronger and it’s just as glorious as I imagined.


Apple decides what is legacy inside their own ecosystem these days, but I think it’s dreadful that whatever Apple decides is considered gospel across the wider industry.

Ethernet ports and standardised audio connections are two still very useful technologies, and their respective pros make them far from legacy in the industries that depend on them. I’d never want to NetBoot every machine we have to service over WiFi - not even 802.11ac - the experience is dreadful. Being able to take audio off my machine and out to a standard connection that I know is universally accepted by my car audio system, home audio system, workshop audio system, even the connections from my TV, games consoles and other audio equipped peripherals. Even my never-used VCR and Apple II accept audio input/output connections from 3.5mm.

I’m not looking forward to adapter hell going forward. It was nice having everything seamlessly connected for a while there.

I just hate that term. “Legacy”. Especially when it’s decided by a company that has an agenda to push. “Wired headphones are so last year” from a company that owns a wireless headphone manufacturer and so on. Lightning won’t become an open standard. Bluetooth still depends on radio communications, subject to interference, additional hardware at the broadcast and receive end, and Lithium Batteries at the receiving side to drive it that require charging and are subject to degraded cell capacity over time. Added complexity, added opportunity for failure.

Not to mention the 3.5mm headphone connector wasn’t a point of issue in the industry or considered a legacy technology until the almighty Apple was supposedly going to drop it. Give me a break.

I can’t see it being a popular move. Where as in the past the position would be “Apple is an innovator and constantly strives to move towards newer, more advanced technologies”, I’m finding fewer and fewer consumers in my line of work are buying it. It’s perceived as marketing BS and a company interested in nothing but the bottom line.

I can’t wait to say “well no, your current headphones won’t work, and those particular headphones you wanted to buy won’t work either, but you can purchase this $29.00 ($35.00-$45.00 AU probably) adapter from Apple that will add that feature.” You know, the feature your older phone already has.

It’s going to take one hell of a corporate spin machine to turn that into some kind of positive selling point. I don’t think “thinner” will cut it this time either. Phil Schiller is going to have to shill extra hard for this one.


[quote=“bennyling, post:129, topic:1523”]
You don’t think Harley owners would be asking for an iPhone-compatible version?[/quote]

The ones I’ve talked to are asking Apple to leave the 3.5mm headphone socket in the phone.

Harley only change their audio systems with major model changes, the last major change was in 2012 (Rushmore), prior to that it was about 2004.

Maybe in 2020 (or there abouts) they might consider adding lightning functionality, until then I strongly suspect HD riders will increasingly be using Android.


As an Apple Developer I have early access to iOS 10 and interestingly enough my experience has pointed towards removing the 3.5mm headset port and using the lightning cable only. For the first few days if I had my phone plugged into the power via my lightning cable, sound would not emit from the phone. This seemed to fix itself after a reboot however, but still indicates they are more than likely removing the headphones port in exchange for Lighting Headphones Port.


Or Harley goes to Bluetooth
(he says while fanning the flames :P)

When it comes to headphones they are an analog device. At the moment the transition from digital to analog happens on the device with the headphones simply being little speakers. The standard 3.5mm plug means that headphones work with everything (that has a 3.5mm plug).
Over the years there have been devices that used a mini plug (2.5mm) which required a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor if you wanted to use anything but the headphones in the box.
The GameBoy Advanced SP had some stupid square plug proprietary socket that you could (and I did) buy an adaptor for so I could use normal headphones. I’m sure other devise did too… actually now that I think about it Nokia used the pins in the bottom of their phones back in the 5110 days and I’m sure other phones did too! But maybe this was more about the smarts of control via limited pins vs modern electronics.
The switch to a 4 pole 3.5mm standard happened as phones got smarter… was this simply a case of when phones got the ability to be your portable music player that a headphone socket became more important? I’d argue that hasn’t changed, if anything it’s been cemented as a use case. Even with the benefit of hindsight on the historical removal of “legacy” devices we are struggling to see a positive.

Playing devils advocate… maybe it allows “better” audio processing on the headphones side? Better noise cancellation? The ability to draw power from the iphone to do these things (including bass boost and those other enhancements that the beats cans do?) Built in mini screen on the headphones? Built in “google glass” like product? Additional something for next gen Siri support?

We will all see soon enough… and then have a whole thread on which lightning to 3.5mm adaptor is the best quality :wink:


I think you’re reading too much into that and that it doesn’t mean anything at all. Could just be a quirky iOS bug. Especially being a very early dev beta.


So far the majority of the discussion seems to have been focused on convenience, with only a few alluding to quality as an issue.

One thing that has amused and frustrated me in equal parts over the last few years is the way every new phone has the capability of its camera analysed to within an inch of its life, yet people are seemingly quite happy to listen to the same shitty compressed music from some shitty compressed streaming service on sound processing equipment that hasn’t changed in the last 10 years.

Perhaps this is a move towards changing that, and if so I’ll look forward to seeing what they are planning. But in the short term there doesn’t appear to be a compelling reason for it to happen.

Bluetooth headphones are a step backwards IMO. You’re introducing yet another section where the sound can degrade in quality. Yes they will eventually get there in terms of sound quality, but let’s get there first. Adapters, same thing. A lightning connected or USB-C connected speaker would be good for sound quality but only if they improve the DAC processing. Otherwise you’re just swapping one connection standard for another.

Of course I’ll wait to hear the reasons for the change first, but if they’re not compelling, like for others it could be a deal breaker for me.


Unless they offload all processing via the lightning connection so your attached device could do all the work.


So you can get massively over hyped sub par headphones? No thanks I’ll keep my Sennheiser thanks , they’re not high end models but absolutely trounce any Beats headphones I’ve heard for clarity of sound.