Removing the 3.5mm headphone socket


I don’t think Apple plans to steer customers towards Beats at all. The Beats acquisition was about the streaming service. I don’t think they’re interested in the headphones side of Beats at all (other than letting it exist).


If they’re smart, I don’t see any good reason why they can’t adopt CarPlay. Plenty of car manufacturers are adopting CarPlay and Android Auto in the same models now.


It’s possible but there are specific issues around operating the system whilst wearing gloves that require icon sizes larger than you’d find in a car based system and gestures aren’t generally used (rather handle bar mounted rocker switches - similar in concept to steering wheel controls).

Either way even if that does happen it’s not going to happen until around 2020 which means not only existing bikes but 4 more years of production will have only a 3.5mm cable interface.


Can’t really fault Apple on that. It’s not up to them to keep tabs on HD’s production schedule.


I’m not saying it is, I’m only saying that it’s going to drive HD owners away from Apple and towards Android (at least for the next few years).

And that I’m annoyed I’ll have to go there too once my 6S+ is unusable.

I don’t ‘want’ to be an Android phone user but Apple aren’t leaving me many workable options here.


Thanks for the heads up about the petition… I just signed :slight_smile:


Actually maybe I need to draw you a picture. The nature of the lightning jack leads to more stress in the cable, then a 3.5mm jack which by design is free to swivel in the circular jack socket meaning less stress on the cable, with is especially important for a cable such as a headphone cable which is used in the way that people use their headphones.

Because it would be far more logical to not drop the 3.5mm headphone port which is an INDUSTRY STANDARD than to move to a proprietary connector which you can’t use with non Apple products.

[quote=“bennyling, post:129, topic:1523”]
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.

The space is not enough for wireless charging and there are no rumours whatsoever regarding wireless charging. Wireless charging (while listening to music) is also fairly inconvenient as you’ll need to have a the phone on a mat and that sort of thing is expensive. It is far easier, less expensive and more convenient just to have two ports. [/quote]

And not using bluetooth means all the inconvenience of a proprietary connector, or having annoying adaptors, for no other reason besides Apple’s combined arrogance and greed.

Removing the 3.5mm connector leaves solutions that are inconvenient and annoying, so its laughable that you’d need a ‘solution’ just to deal with that.

[quote=“bennyling, post:129, topic:1523”]
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? [/quote]

This is crazy - Again why would Harley Davidson move using a propriety Apple system, when the entire rest of the industry uses 3.5mm ports, making it the most ubiquitous connection and a great way to ensure a device from pretty much any manufacturer is usable with their system. In the smartphone market, Apple are minor players, Android phones have the majority of the market share. After what Apple did to manufactures that used the 30pin connector to make their devices iPhone compatible, I doubt any of them want to go anywhere near anything Apple proprietary again.

There is no advantage. The space saved is minimal, getting more battery in there is nearly impossible, another speaker is a fairly pointless waste of space as the improvements would be minimal due to the close proximity and I could guarantee more people use headphones than the built in speaks. Waterproofing the phone is already doable with the existing port given most competitors have done it also.

All it serves as is a money making exercise - Adaptors mean more money, proprietary connectors and licensing fees mean more money also. And it again exposes another area of Apple’s fundamental lack of care for the environment beyond the ‘Greenwashing’ they carry out. Kudos for them for their recycling, but that doesn’t forgive them in other areas.


Oh that Gameboy SP adapter was the worst thing ever. I loved my SP but that adaptor was crap. As was the ones you mentioned for NOkia phones. I loved the days phones finally just had the socket built in.


Look losing the 3.5mm socket will be a pain. If it means that the DAC moves to the headphone then possibly if headphone manufacturers use a variety of DACs at a variety of price points.

Though thinking about the point Gruber made re pairing via lightning with he Apple Pencil and new Magic Mouse2 etc, perhaps if the lost the port there will be a bluetooth dongle that pairs and has a 3.5mm socket. Though dongles = awkward. Still there is always a chance that it will be some unique option that has some of the right trade offs


I actually disagree with this. Most headphones with 3.5mm I’ve owned don’t swivel, they just twist. By far the most common reason for me repairing and replacing headphones is it’s kinked around the 3.5mm jack and one channel has died as a result (I’ve tried all sorts, coiled, uncoiled, right angle and straight).

Actually now that I think about, it’s not the cable I dislike (after owning Bluetooth headphones I actually prefer having a cable, there’s something about having it tucked into my shirt that makes it feel secure), it’s the 3.5mm flimsiness on at the other end of it. If Apple do a lightning-3.5mm adapter properly in a way so the weakest link hangs outside of my pocket (and they have a very good opportunity to build a sturdy adapter being that they control the adapter AND the device it’s being plugged into) then there’s a good opportunity for them to improve my situation with cabled headphones.

I for one welcome our new 3.5mm-less overlords.


3.5mm jacks at-least have the capacity to swivel, where as lightning cables constantly kink and break as a result of no swivel ability. Out of every single 3.5mm cable in the house, not one of them seem to have any sort of kink in them, compared to practically every single lighting cable that has a bulge in it where the cable has kinked.

Why don’t you simply request Apple to make a lightning to 3.5mm adaptor or buy a 3.5mm extension cable, instead of asking Apple to inconvenience heaps of users? Literally every request can already be dealt with without the pathetic move to remove an industry standard port.


[quote=“Oldmacs, post:152, topic:1523”]
Why don’t you simply request Apple to make a lightning to 3.5mm adaptor or buy a 3.5mm extension cable, instead of asking Apple to inconvenience heaps of users?[/quote]

Don’t really care enough to be honest. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Fair enough.


I was listening to the latest episode of Reckoner this week and they were talking about an option I hadn’t considered, detachable cords. My Sennheiser Momentum comes with two cords in the box, one with a standard 3 pole stereo 3.5mm jack and the other with a 4 pole jack which includes an inline mic and three button remote. It’s not hard to conceive a world where that plug is replaced with (or included along side) a lightning equipped cable which would let a user choose whatever option best suits their needs without the need of an extra adaptor plugged into the end. Sure these are higher end headphones, but I don’t mind the idea at all if we are forced down that path since it keeps the head sets usable across multiple devices.

Mind you I’m still left with the issue for portable headphones.



I think everyone hopes Apple blows it out of the water with their wireless headphones. I’m envisaging a custom protocol, perhaps based on AirPlay, that will provide better reliability than a physical connection, and a charger that plugs into iPhone’s Lightning port for on-the-go charging?

Sounds like an elegant solution, and takes cues from Apple Pencil. I agree with Gruber’s, though, and think that the removal of 3.5mm should be an opportunity to iPhone users to wireless, rather than directly to another wired protocol (Lightning).


That seems super unlikely. Not only because if Apple did have something like that in the pipeline, you’d expect it to be supported by iOS and macOS, and we’d have seen leaks of that from the developer and public betas.

Also, why would they come up with an entirely new, custom protocol when you yourself say that they’re unlikely to go to Lightning — an existing tech used by many Apple peripherals?


While there is nothing wrong with the modern Bluetooth protocol, if I have to upgrade my headphones just to use a new iPhone I’ll take my 5S and walk off into the sunset. This isn’t the floppy disc we’re talking about.


There’s still a lot wrong with Bluetooth. I don’t see Apple using straight Bluetooth as the default or Everyman way of listening to audio in the next iPhone.

Bluetooth always seems like the kind of tech where the next generation will be the one.


The flip side of the coin is that lightning port can never be the ‘everyman’ of headphone ports because it’s a proprietary port.

It’s looking increasingly like my 6S+ will be my last iPhone (at least until the rest of the world adopts lightning headphone ports).


There is enough bandwidth in the current Bluetooth protocol to support uncompressed 48khz audio. The issue is not there, the issue is that I have invested money in wired headphones that cost as much as what some people pay for media players because I enjoy my music.

It just so happens I have an iPhone 5S because iPhones have one of the best DACs out of any devices on the market and can support uncompressed audio. But if I can’t use my existing headphones with the next iPhone I wont be upgrading.