Welcome to our Consumer Lab page. While you will find many mobile research surveys kicked off by our teams, you will also find polls and discussions created by fellow members.

You're invited to complete any surveys that are still open and by all means create a poll if it relates to general mobile preferences. If your topic only pertains to one product, please create your poll within the respective product forum.

After a period of time Consumer Lab Polls, Surveys & Discussions will be locked. They will still be viewable for historical data.

Newest Consumer Research Invitation:
No Current Research. Check back soon.

Will you miss the standard audio jack?



  • Can you tell me what manufacturers actually include a headset with their smartphones?

    I only know of one, ZTE Axon.

    Maybe in the past Apple did, but I doubt any one else do.

  • mobilegeezermobilegeezer Chattanooga, Tennessee AreaPosts: 1,204 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I know that Nuu Mobile does, as I have two of their phones.

  • ironbaybeedollironbaybeedoll United StatesPosts: 4,630 mod

    ​ while I agree that I am one of those people that grabs a cheapy bluetooth set, and for the most part can't tell or dont care how bad they are. I actually enjoy ​'s explanations. While we are all waiting for the Axon 7 to be released, and the beta tests to pick up, it gets slow in here are times. Interesting stuff to read considering this is a mobile tech forum

  • DoppelgangerDDoppelgangerD Master Of Ceremonies United StatesPosts: 1,847 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    A lot of people do care that much about their music. You are just in the ordinary crowd who doesn't.
    Go take a look at a website called Head-Fi.org and see the millions of dollars people are spending on equipment to
    reproduce higher quality audio.
    It's also easy to tell the difference in sound from even the best Bluetooth audio and higher quality audio
    that is produced and cloned at the highest level from studio to end user.

    It's kind of like watching a VHS tape quality movie and then comparing it the best Blu-ray optical playback on a great display and sound system, or comparing a ready made dinner from the frozen section of the grocery store to that of a dinner prepared by a world renown chef,
    or any number of other analogies you can think of.
    There's always room for improvement in every aspect of life. Settling for less is what holds back the human race from success.

  • DoppelgangerDDoppelgangerD Master Of Ceremonies United StatesPosts: 1,847 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It all depends. Some include it right in the original box, and some will offer promotions where you buy a phone and for a limited time they throw in a free pair of earbuds. Watch for more Chinese OEMs coming to the US market and see what they do to change the game of what's offered with the purchase of their phone and what kind of features they include that only usually come on high end flagship devices.
    It should get really interesting over the next couple years.

  • Was I being too harsh, too negative, is that what you are saying?

    I was only being realistic, the majority of users of smartphones I really doubt cares about his so-called audio perfection.

    As you get older, your ability to distinguish highs and lows become really hard to hear.

    Also, the majority of listeners aren't exactly listening to the sort of music that actually is capable of hearing the difference.

    His explanation though, was not his, he did cut and paste someone else's thoughts.

  • I can visually see the difference of those video two formats.

    I cannot though, hear the difference of the high-end audio through a wired headset, or a Bluetooth headset.

    You may be able to measure through devices the sound quality difference, and therefore spend money on the equipment needed to get that quality, but in the end it comes down to personal preferences.

    When the transition from vinyl records to CD's came about, the purists always preferred the vinyl.

    But really, they couldn't hear the difference, they just could not admit they sounded the same.

    Sure there are some exceptional people that actually can hear the difference, just like there are connoisseurs of fine wine can tell the difference. But the many do not know or even care, as good enough, well, is good enough.

  • kennedy0201kennedy0201 MainePosts: 744 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hmmm, this was really something to think about. I enjoyed your explanation ​. I think the jack is for me

  • ironbaybeedollironbaybeedoll United StatesPosts: 4,630 mod

    I wasn't saying anything more than I agree,  that I personally can't tell the difference. Whether I thought you were being too harsh or negative is irrelevant. We all are allowed to speak our minds in here. I stated my opinion, not my feelings

  • DoppelgangerDDoppelgangerD Master Of Ceremonies United StatesPosts: 1,847 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Some people really can hear the difference, and it all just depends on your equipment and how much you care.
    It's easy not to hear the difference if you don't care, and like you said it's about personal preference.
    Sometimes having a nice feature like a higher quality DAC and better audio is what actually turns the attention to it
    and then people become infatuated with it.
    For the most part such things have been a niche market since as you say, the majority don't really care as much, but that doesn't make it irrelevant. More and more OEMs are now putting better audio reproduction through their phones.
    Very similar to the resolution of phones going to 1080p,  QHD, then 4k... so it is also with audio reproduction.
    Audio is a lot more subjective than video though because the differences are harder to distinguish.
    Once again some people can hear the difference while others can't. It's just the way it is.

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

    These are my thoughts that I posted earlier and not a cut and paste.

    While I am not an audiophile, I am strongly focused on the audio quality of my hardware. I am the type that will buy a new camera, and 30 different test pattern shots, then zoom in to 400+% and carefully examine the entire image for any defective pixels.

    For audio, I will carefully listen for any imperfections and limitations of the audio. This does not mean that I will go and buy a $1600 pair of Stax SRS-5100 headphones, but I am usually not satisfied unless I am sure that I am getting the best out of my current equipment. Whether it means taking a $150 5.1 speaker system for my PC and installing higher quality caps, and adding additional filtering on the power rails (to reduce that hiss when no audio is playing).

    With bluetooth, if you listen for audio artifacts and loss of detail, you will find areas where quality drops due to throughput limitations. Many people do not notice it, and it is almost completely unnoticeable when listening to low quality audio (e.g., streaming from pandora, but when you copy over your FLAC audio files to your phone, and listen closely, you notice the limitations.

    I pretty much rather know all of the limitations up front, and enjoy my music knowing them, than to be listening to some music and then suddenly notice a limitation, and thus I am suck thinking about that limitation rather than the music.

    I am all for replacing the TRS jack if something else comes around that is objectively better across the board, but until then, I do not want to compromise unnecessarily. I also do not want to be stuck connecting adapters to my phone to convert USB-C to TRS so that I can continue using my current headphones, as that defeats any perceived benefit from having a slightly thinner phone.

    I am sure everyone finds it frustrating to fell that you are not getting the most out of your current hardware. It is like building a desktop PC and running the CPU and GPU at the stock clock speed, the build will just feel incomplete and lacking, and that is because you know that you are not getting the best possible performance out of it. Same goes for other hardware. Could you be truly satisfied with your bluetooth headphones if you knew that the physical speakers were capable of slightly better quality than what the bluetooth connection was giving you?

    What the whole loss of having a high end smartphone produce the audio and send it to my analog pair of headphones, vs having my headphones contain its own DAC and amp, is that for my given budget, I will end up with a lesser audio experience. I do not want to spend the same money for less audio, or spend more to get the same quality that I got for less in the past.

  • delle17delle17 North Carolina, United StatesPosts: 730 ✭✭

    Like others have stated above "If its not broken don't fix it." I love the headphone jack as it is. 

  • musicdjmmusicdjm United StatesPosts: 3,126 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Id much rather an additional USB-C connection on the top of the device to replace the 3.5 mm jack. Everyone who's complaining about why they want a 3.5mm jack has yet to provide a real reason to keep it other than they dont wanna use an adapter or that they dont wanna buy new headphone (BTW both Axon phones have included very nice headphones included with the phone so there is no excuse) If ZTE was to remove the 3.5 mm jack they would include a USB-C set of headphones (most likely from JBL) who already sells a pair of USB-C headphones. However, lets explain one feature of USB-C is what are call Sideband Unit (SBU) pins, there are two of them, and they’re each capable of carrying a channel of analog audio. This means a simple adapter could make it so the analog signals from a USB Type-C port and delivers stereo audio. The audio you listen to is probably 16-bit 44 KHz stereo. High Definition audio can raise those numbers to 24-bit 96 KHz multi-channel digital audio. The work is done by Digital Analog Chips (DACs). The chips receive high-resolution digital audio data and convert it so the sound can be recreated by your headphone speakers. DAC chips and electronics would need to be built into the headphones, but wouldn’t add much to the overall cost as compared to quality speaker parts. The cost will also come down as production increases when USB Type-C headphones become more ubiquitous. $15 USB Type-C earbuds should be a thing you can buy before the end of the decade. If audio is the big off a concern for you then you should purchase a pay of quality headphones if you dont like what is provided for free from ZTE. Also While USB Type-C headphones only have one plug on either end, they can carry a lot more than just audio. Headphones can have a thermometer, a heart rate monitor, or advanced play controls built in and share that data with your device. Many analog headphones have minimal controls like volume, pause/play, or even next track. Digital headphones can do much, much more.Imagine your headphones detect that your heart rate is a bit low for a good workout, so your device starts playing a higher beats-per-minute song impressing on you to pick up the pace. If it detects that you’re overheating, an audio cue reminds you to pause for a drink. If you’re not the active type, motion detection can turn your head bobs into a boxing game. Move too slow, and you take a virtual punch to the jaw. There’s power in that cable too. If you can’t get stand your commute without some quality noise-canceling, you won’t have to worry about replacing dead batteries on over sized headphones.

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

    The issue is what if you spent $200+ on a pair of analog headphones which already sound great,  it would suck to have to replace them just for one phone,  and it will be difficult to get the quality of something like the beyerdynamic dt990 premium,  the the same price while including a DAC and amplification which will properly drive it. It would also be annoying to use an adapter since that defeats the purpose of making it slightly thinner.

    If you have headphones like the one above,  there is no reasonably priced upgrade, the next step up is in the $500 range,  and those often need an amp.

    Other that that,  I would like to see 2 USB C connectors on a smartphone. If the analog oath is kept,  I may even compromise and use an adapter,  as at least the charge port will not be occupied while using the headphones.

  • musicdjmmusicdjm United StatesPosts: 3,126 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    The purpose of removing the 3.5 mm isnt all about making the device thinner, while USB-c is a smaller connector the thickness is depending on battery size and other components just as much as the thickness of the 3.5 jack. The major reason to switch from a 3.5 mm jack to a USB-C is more like the difference between using a fan vs an a/c. While yes you can cool a room with a fan and maybe its an ok temp, using an a/c would cool the room ,faster, more efficient and more accurately. The 3.5 mm jack is an old outdated connection that serves very limited function and has since had other connections replace and improve on its function, the argument that if you have a nice set of headphones that you dont wanna replace is silly. Thats like saying we shouldn't advance from VHS tapes to DVDs simply because you have an expensive tape collections. Its an inconvenience yes theirs no denying that but if your unable to or uninterested in replacing your headphones and you dont like wants included for headphones with the phone or a adapter then I would say stay with your old tech or buy a phone that still includes the 3. mm jack. There is no denying that within the next 2-3 years max there will be few if any phones that have a 3.5 mm jack theirs just no point in delaying it. You either want to be on the bleeding edge of tech and have the best or you dont. You cant buy a new phone ever year or more and then expect them to include the same old tech year after year

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

    Except that it's not outdated or obsolete at all. A 3.5 mm jack is capable of delivering literally the highest quality stereo sound that the human ear is able to hear. The comparison to VHS vs DVD vs. Blu-ray just doesn't hold.

    Also, people on this thread are talking about USB-C as though we know it's going to be around in five years. What in the whole history of cell-phone ports has ever had that kind of longevity--other than, of course, the 3.5 mm jack!

    If people want to buy phones without a 3.5 mm jack, that's fine with me. I have no quarrel with them. But I won't do it, and I think there are enough people like me that there will continue to be a large market for phones with a 3.5 mm jack, at least for the foreseeable future.

  • I'm hopeful that all the plug ins on cell phones can be eliminated. With each push into that little orifice it becomes larger to the point that it won't hold. I see Samsung has started to sell chargers without having to plug into a port. Wifi might resolve the headphone issue. But again, like your statement by the time these issues are resolved our communication devices could have evolved into something that is currently unimaginable to most of us.

  • mtwaldmanmtwaldman Walled Lake Michigan. Posts: 25

    The Old HTC phones used to use a microusb adapter to hook up for audio... Seems like a return to what did not work well...  I had 3 Extra adapters I bought to make sure I did not lose it.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I remember those days lol

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I remember those days lol

  • If it all comes down to the fact the 3.5mm jack is too big(thick), then why not move to the 2.5mm jack?

    The 2.5mm jack has been around almost as long as the 3.5mm jack, and I'm sure that 1 mm difference can make a big difference to the slimness of a phone.

    Sure for a while you'll have to get an adapter for the smaller jack, until it becomes a standard.


    BTW, I still feel Bluetooth headphones are better overall. You can buy excellent Bluetooth headphones that give better hifi sound than a regular headset, and will not drain the battery of the smartphone.

  • tietjetietje Telluride, coPosts: 84

    I think this gradual approach of converting from one form factor to another would be ideal. 

  • After buying Sennheiser PXC 550 few days ago, I don't know what to say. Now only thing that is important is bluetooth.

This discussion has been closed.