Do you miss the headphone plug on your phone?

Not as much as I’d thought, honestly. About a year ago, Apple released its iPhone 7. It was the first mass-market phone in about a decade without a proper headphone jack. Before that, phones had proprietary headphones, but people didn’t use them for music anyway.

Apple was followed by Motorola, HTC, and a handful of others in ditching the headphone jack. Samsung, on the other hand, stubbornly kept the jack in its flagship 2017 phones, although they did switch to USB-C, making a generation of charging cables pretty useless. But that’s a story for another article. The real question is, was Apple right to ditch the headphone jack? Do you miss it?

Personally I don’t. But then again I’m the guy who keeps all those freebie earbuds and uses them willy-nilly when I’ve misplaced my regular ones AGAIN. Now, I have a couple of those headphone-jack-to-lightning adapters, they’re a little pricey (usually cost more than the freebie earbuds anyway) but I have enough of them that I always misplace one about the time I find another. I also have the Apple lightning earbuds which are usually in the mix somewhere and they don’t need adapters.

I know that if I listened to more music I would be a little cheesed that you can’t use a power bank AND the headphones at the same time, or for that matter any sort of charger and the headphones at the same time. There are some heinously expensive adapters you can use and I’d be pretty cheesed about that too, except that I don’t listen to a ton of music and if I needed to not listen to any for an hour or so, I’d survive. To those people who really get upset about this, I would say that Bluetooth headphones are cheap, they may not be the ultimate in quality at the low price level but they will last you long enough to help you get your phone charged.

I guess what’s helped me is realizing that this just isn’t the first go around with Apple and all this stuff. I was there when they ditched the AppleTalk connector, SCSI connections, Apple Cinema Display, floppy disks, the hard drive light, FireWire, and I’m sure there are at least five more things that Apple loved to tout, that they then removed. You go through the predictable stages, where you don’t know what you’re going to do, and then you get angry, and then you pay way too much for some sort of adapter to bring back the function that you had, and then you realize eventually a few months later that you never use the adapter. And then you get over it, except that by then there’s probably something else they’re getting rid of. (Which reminds me, the latest Mac laptops are ditching the MagSafe adapter while the Surface Pro has something very similar. Time to buy another adapter.)

I guess when it comes down to it, I don’t miss the headphone jack so it’s probably a good idea that they got rid of it. The adapters are more than I like paying for, as I said, and I kind of thought there would be cheaper ones by now, or that you could buy cheap Lightning headphones. Oh well, maybe next year. But as I said I’m not an audiophile. If I really had a real preference as to headphones, maybe I would have bought an expensive pair of them and I would be annoyed at having to use the adapter.

Or, maybe I’d buy an incredibly expensive pair of Lightning headphones, because they make those things, and then I’d be loving the quality, because it’s supposedly possible to get better quality because the signal stays digital longer… and then I’d be cheesed that I couldn’t use them with anything else (because there isn’t a lightning-to-headphone adapter, not at all.)

I just have more important things in my life. If a headphone jack is stopping them from adding more battery life, I say take it out. I just wish they could find a way to get rid of the stupid camera bump.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.