Bits And Bytes (week of 12/11)

petershihpetershih ZTE FanaticUnited StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
<body><p>Welcome to our weekly <a _jive_internal="true" href="">Bits And Bytes</a> poll and discussion! Give your honest opinion, debate ferociously, and respect each other at all times...</p><p></p><p><strong>Question</strong>: With the recent talk about certain OEMs ditching headphone jacks, what's your stance?</p><p></p><p><strong>Context</strong>: Whether it's about saving space or future proofing or something else, Apple ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack with the latest iPhone 7. Blindly following or not, some OEMs have already followed suit while others are weighing the options more carefully. What are your thoughts?</p><p></p><p><strong>Action</strong>: 1. Select one of the options below and 2. reply to justify your reasoning. Although there is no correct answer, please provide sound reasoning to support your selection. After a week or so, your Mod Squad will soon identify and reward those with the most thoughtful responses!</p></body>

Bits And Bytes (week of 12/11) 89 votes

Smart move
3% 3 votes
Bold but premature move
33% 30 votes
Dumb move
62% 56 votes


  • tabletalker7tabletalker7 Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My choices are buy a phone that makes me buy new headphones, or buy a phone that works with what I have and already like using.  This is a no brainer here.  Any phone without a headphone jack can sit on the shelf and rot -
    I won't buy it

  • coldheat06coldheat06 United StatesPosts: 1,795 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted "Bold but Premature Move"

    This is a good move to make but the corded headphone is not dead...... to me music still sounds better over corded headphones and also keep in mind that by having no headphone jack and using Bluetooth you are draining the battery quicker...

    Once Bluetooth sound/technology has reached the level as corded then that is when companies should switch.  (DOLBY Sound)

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I would go with bold but premature move.

    If the phone have the space for the headphone jack, I would say just keep it, as it seems like we're still 2 to 3 years away from moving away from the headphone jack on most phones at the moment. A company should just wait for more adoption to USB-C for audio before moving to it, as that will give the consumer more time to see it as an acceptable change. USB-C do have it's advantage for providing power and possibly having a built in amp on the headphone, so it provides better audio. Wireless BT headphone is another option and it seems more and more high-end headphones are going BT. So basically, I'm saying wait it out for more adoptions before moving forward with it.

  • gryphticongryphticon Quebec, CanadaPosts: 315 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't even dare removing the headphone jack ZTE... don't even dare.


  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,363 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    i have mixed feeling with this. One one hand, I understand that little space inside the phone is precious so if by removing that little jack would allow the phone to bring something great, then I am fine with it. On the other hand, if it is just meant to sell more acessories, then I think it is just dumb.

    I will be honest, I do use wireless phone via BT pretty much with my phone but I do find the need to use 3.5mm jack often when I am driving because I got an older car that lacks usb or other ports or BT connectivity, so I still have use for 3.5mm port. (wont' be doing any upgrade until I am getting my next car) I personally think it is inevitable that we may finally see such a staple in all electronic like the 3.5mm finally go away. though I think if a manufacturer is going to do so, it must think about consumer (which is hardly something that in today's capitalist world a company would do). I feel that phone maker need to include not just a decent USB headset (or even wireless) but also include an USB TO 3.5mm adapter.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I voted bold but premature.  I have to admit I have been on the fence with this one.  On one hand I see how the 3.5mm jack could be weeded out and replaced with USB c type headphones..... But the 3.5 mm headphones are so convenient,  I literally use them every day and would most likely dread not having one on my daily device.  That all being said I understand that for the sake of progress or design aspects things need to change and people will adapt to that change.  There will always be mixed feelings on the matter.   

  • jabird101jabird101 Cleveland, OH, USAPosts: 225 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I fly all over the world for work.  I need a headset that will lasts for a 14 hour flight.  Bluetooth will not do this.  I listen to podcasts and music on my phone.  I also plug into the in seat entertainment.  Bluetooth will not plug into anything. No headphone jack means that I have to carry 2 headsets, or a bunch of dongle adapters that will break or get lost.

    Also, for the love of god, do not put the headphone jack on the bottom of the phone.  I also carry an iPhone for work and this is just horrible.  It is always in the way when on calls. 

  • cavanaughtimcavanaughtim Wisconsin, USAPosts: 645 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I will never buy a phone without a 3.5 mm jack until the day that they are no longer available on the market at all. The 3.5mm headphone jack is still in very wide use across a wide range of devices, and it is capable of delivering literally the highest quality audio that the human ear is capable of distinguishing. It does not have a widely used or functionally equivalent replacement yet. I am more attached to and invested in my headphones than to any phone. So, given all that, I will always take a marginally thicker phone over a phone without a headphone jack--I never understood the fetish for razor thin phone to begin with.

  • Dumb move.  The headphone jack removal is a disgusting ploy to squeeze more cash out of their customers.  There is no need to remove the jack now.  Type C headphones can be used with  usb-c phones that have the 3.5mm jack.  If these headphones are truly greater than 3.5mm, then it should naturally create a desire for usb-c headphones.  There is not even a good campaign to convince the public that it is a great must have.

    What do we gain by losing the most reliable and convenient audio port that is currently available?  Bluetooth headphones are nice, but at some point it will need to be charged.  Bluetooth headphones do not always play well when multiple BT devices are connected to the same device.  Most of us don't  care that the newest phone is .0000099mm thinner.  Give me a thick phone with a big fat battery and a 3.5mm headphone jack any day.  Apple, Moto z, Le' eco, and Samsung ( according to the rumors of the 2017 devices) can take their no headphone jack devices strait to Hades.

    I own an Axon 7 because google refuses to put an sd slot on their devices. (Thank you ZTE)  I will not purchase a phone that does not have a 3.5mm jack.  If i choose to use BT or usb-c headset, then i can use my Axon 7.  Its nice to have a choice.

  • What is the compelling reason not to have both?

  • What wonderful innovation has filled the 3.5mm space in the iphone?

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There are just some things that are not yet ready for change.

  • firesilverblade1firesilverblade1 hanahhan, SCPosts: 70

    I see it as bold but premature cause I see bluetooth getting better but the charging of the ear pieces are just wasted time. I like to grab and go yes wires does get in the way sometimes (cough) all the time. Maybe when there is a better battery that can survive for longer period of time then yes but charge them every day would be a hassle.

  • bluestudy4bluestudy4 Clayton, LAPosts: 0

    Voted that it was a premature move, mostly because not everyone has Bluetooth headphones, and I'd assume, like me, most people use their phones as their primary listening device. I have a pair and they're about all I use to listen to music with, but it's pretty inconvenient to have to stop listening if they die, and there's no way to plug in a backup pair with a 3.5mm jack.

  • Manufacturers should give us their reasoning for removing the headphone jack.  Please... enlighten me.

  • clocksclocks ColoradoPosts: 39
    wms wrote:Manufacturers should give us their reasoning for removing the headphone jack. Please... enlighten me.


    "Sooo I know you have a bunch of stuff using 3.5mm minijacks to listen to audio, but we just decided even though there is no ecosystem yet for USB-C driven equivalent devices, let alone with any decent integrated DAC chipset, that we just want to be "edgy" and kill off one of the ports on the device.  Because we can."

    You already have some form factor limitations which have to be present for the battery and the case penetration for the USB-C jack.... the thickness of the miniplug penetration is a bit more substantial but with modern hydrophobic coatings, it doesnt present the same expense it once did to adding water resistance.  Samsung has also provided a very public and expensive object lesson in the engineering limitations of compressed battery layering and minimal device thickness tolerances for lithium expansion.

    Given those bounds which will drive device thickness far more than a 3.5mm jack will for the mid-term future until we get a next-gen battery tech.... why wouldn't you include something that is still so heavily relied upon by mainstream users?

  • austin45austin45 United StatesPosts: 209 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Honestly I see this as a dumb move. I couldn't say this as a premature move as I still see the 3.5mm jack as being relevant for at least the next five years. Currently the 3.5mm Jack is the best way to listen to music. Here are my reasons why...

    1. Most people already have some sort of 3.5mm headphones or audio device laying around

    2. Currently this is still the universal way to listen to music on devices

    3. Bluetooth and other wireless technologies still have ways to go in regards to battery life and premium sound quality.

    4. Dongles that connect via USB type C or any other port are annoying and can be lost easily

    5. If you use a donngle to connect a 3.5mm device there is no way to charge the device at the same time if there is one port.

    These are just some of my personal reasons why its dumb to remove the 3.5mm jack as of right now. Eventually I do believe we will move away from this standard (as all technology progresses) But the right tech for this advancement just isn't ready for a wide adoption. 

  • timmyjimotimmyjimo Seattle, WAPosts: 15 ✭✭✭✭

    I still don't believe that a good reason has been given as to WHY it needed to be removed. I'm sure usb-c or lightening connected headphones would provide better sound (if the copy of the recording supports it) but until mass adoption takes place, leave the primary means of interface in place!

  • cacarrcacarr Posts: 93 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you're going to get rid of the 3.5mm jack, give me a second type-c. ... hmm, that might actually he cool and useful.

    Anyhow, maybe a year or two from now, but I'm not sure it makes sense to do it sooner. Type-C headphones need to become more common.

  • mb2xmb2x Greenville, SCPosts: 122 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey guys! I'm back after a long semester! Anyway, I say go for it. I use wireless headphones most of the time so I rarely use the jack. I also think using the USB C port for headphones is a great use of the port since, most of the time, it's not being used when listening to music anyway. Moto already did it as well as Apple.

  • jasonejasone United StatesPosts: 2,118 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Honestly I had a discussion with my friend around two years ago. Saying I think the headphone jack is going to hold us back from thinner devices, and it's such old tech. Why hasn't anyone replaced this with something thinner and higher quality? Now that it's actually starting to happen I see it as unnecessary mostly. I always knew there would be push back from people who have invested hundreds in headphones. Just like with removing the floppy and CD drive I think these will eventually pass.

    Does that mean I think they should have removed it? Not at all. I think it should have been rolled out more like this. First bundle in USB-C/lightning headphones and allow people to use them and for some third party ones to be released. Then a year or two later when there is at least a market or more of a demand you can think about removing the headphone jack.

    Of course I'm not saying it's a necessity to even remove it and after using a phone recently with no headphone jack I found it to be a huge annoyance. The USB-C headphones killed the battery faster. I'd often run into issues where I had one adapter and one pair of USB-C headphones. Yet I have like a dozen pairs of 3.5mm headphones. Since I swap phones and headphones pretty often. I'd always run into problems of not having the adapter for the pair of headphones I had on me, or near me at the moment.

    I've also come to the conclusion we don't need thinner devices than a headphone jack. They become more difficult to hold and battery life comes into play. I prefer a thicker device with a larger battery, to an anorexic one which won't last the day.

    Of course the end game is to push BT headphones and wireless technologies. While that's not a bad thing. Having yet another thing to charge is annoying and you can get higher quality cheaper wired headphones. BT headphones have come a long way and audio quality is good, but they cannot compete with a wired connection at the same price point. Someday I'm sure they will, but it won't be for awhile.

  • maineferraromaineferraro MainePosts: 240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why try and fix something that is working great now  ?

  • Well hello Jasone, can you say ​? lol​  Thanks for posting sound judgement. I did vote bold but premature mainly because I feel the 3.5 jack has seen better days and another solution is needed. Blindly removing the headphone jack is not the solution. I'm a big fan of large batteries and agree that I don't need a thinner phone that compromises battery performance.

  • jasonejasone United StatesPosts: 2,118 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Can I interest you into a dongle

    Apple Engineer Talks About New 2016 Macbook Pro - YouTube

  • maineferraromaineferraro MainePosts: 240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    i was also thinking about it this way , why change the jack that fits every brand of headphones & earbuds out there , unless your gonna give free headphones or earbuds with every phone with the new cord , just seems to me that most ppl arent gonna want to buy new  products cause 1 phone maker changed jacks & it would be nice if the headphones i buy work with all my stuff , tablets , laptop or whatever device you have , i cant keep track of them now , and then i would need 2 sets , just seems like it would be an extra charge for buying a new phone

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted that it is a dumb move. It takes dumb to a whole new level, as the devices that do it, fail to replace it with anything that is better. With the removal of the headphone jack, we are left with an interface that does a worse job at delivering audio.

    Normally, the goal is to layout the PCB in a way where the signal path for analog signals are as short as possible within the device, thus making it less likely for them to couple noise from other parts of the device. If you route it through the USB c port, then you are placing that analog signal path next to the noisiest part of the device, which is why they typically perform worse.  (to avoid the internal noise, they use their own DAC+ amp in the headphones, but the quality ends up being worse than what is in the device)

    While you can avoid the internal noise by maintaining a digital signal path to a DAC within the headphones them self, you then increase the cost, and end up with worse audio quality overall, as shown with many headphones that have a DAC built in, they typically go with cheap/ generic ones with nothing close to the quality offered in many high end smartphones. While a super high end DAC + amp will not benefit a $20 pair of headphones too much, a high end amp + cheap headphone generally sounds better than a cheap headphone + a cheap amp.

    It is unlikely that you will get a DAC + amp combo that will ensure that the bottleneck of the quality, are the speakers in the headphones across the board, thus you get overall worst quality. You also end up with increased cost, as when headphones are built down to a price, if they have to spend extra on DAC + amp, then they will have to spend less on other parts of the headphone, thus you end up with 2 outcomes, where you either end up with a worse sounding headphone for the same price, or one that carries a large price premium for the same quality.

    Another common issue with USB-c headphones which use a digital signal path, if the USB c port gets even slightly lose, users start to experience random dropouts of the audio, since the slightest interruption, requires the device to go through the entire handshake process again, while on an analog interface, such an issue might not even be noticeable.

    From a technical standpoint, we have not encountered a situation where the headphone jack was the bottleneck in terms of audio quality. That analog interface is still present even on $2000+ headphones.

    It is overall better to just have proper audio hardware inside of the smartphone, and provide a dedicated isolated analog signal path for minimal losses and noise.

    Removing older interfaces is fine when there is a new one to take its place that is better in every way. For example, getting rid of things like parallel port in favor of USB.

    With USB-C for audio, the cons far outweigh the pros.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Ahhh while I don't necessarily agree with it, I chose bold but premature.  I think USB-C, or even some other form such as bluetooth is going to win out on this one, though it may take some time.  Yes everybody will complain at first, but people will get over it and move on.  Mini-USB to Micro-USB.  SD to Micro-SD. Drum brakes to disc brakes. Vinyl to cassette to CD to digital MP3.  You get the point.  Technology is going to evolve and change.  And while we may not be able to see why manufacturers want to do this now, we will know in the future why.

  • mb2xmb2x Greenville, SCPosts: 122 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree almost 100% except for the fact that I believe now is as good a time as any to do it. It's going to happen eventually anyway so why not now? Of course there are valid reasons for waiting (such as letting accessory manufactures catch up to the switch), but I still think they should go ahead and remove the jack .

  • trottertrotter United StatesPosts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Smart move. As long as people have the security blanket of the 3.5mm jack they will not move forward to newer and better solutions. I haven't used headphones or earbuds with a phone for years as I have moved forward to Bluetooth devices. Once people begin to move away from corded listening devices it will open up the possibility of the industry creating even better wireless solutions; currently this is very risky as people will not readily adopt to a newer standard while still tethered to an old one. Cutting the cord, whether voluntarily or not, is a good thing whose time has come. While it gripes me that Apple was one of the first to do it it gripes me even more to admit that they are right.

  • The USB change had a benefit for the consumer.  They offered smaller faster connections.  SD change also had a benefit for the consumer.  Brakes had a benefit for the consumer. Vinyl  to digital had a benefit for the consumer.  What does the consumer gain by losing the headphone jack?  What has apple done with the valuable real estate gained by ditching the headphone jack?  The tests on audio quality show that it has declined when using the external dac.  Many people want something affordable and easy to use.  Many phones already have USB-C.  The c headphones can be used now.  If it truly proves to be better, then it will organically take over the market.  The consumer should not be forced to adopt something that does not offer a benefit to him.  Sell it to us.  Make us want this "improved" technology.  Give us a reason to ask the manufacturers for it.

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