Apple famously killed the floppy disk drive on its computers, setting off a chain reaction that led to the death of this plastic-y predecessor of the SD cards. It’s currently trying to do the same to optical discs too.
But it’s the disappearance of another stalwart that has us and consumers worried – the 3.5mm audio jack. As BBC writes, this is a connector that has essentially been used since the 19th century and while it has undergone revisions like changes in size and the number of wires it carries, it’s still the same old analog port.
With the analog jack out, one option is to use the EarPods you get with the iPhone 7/7 Plus, those end with a Lightning plug. Or you can use the Lightning to 3.5mm converter cable (also supplied in the box). Or you can opt for the AirPods – the new, wireless incarnation of EarPods. Non-Apple options include any Bluetooth headset out there but only Apple-made Bluetooth headsets have a built-in proprietary W1 chip, which reportedly makes pairing much faster and the user-experience overall better.
Since we’re going digital, we might as well drop the wires too, right? But some worry about the audio quality, but that’s only a concern for the basic standard. Things like aptX offer big improvements in quality. There’s also Bluetooth’s Optional codecs feature, which just sends the raw MP3/AAC/etc. data to the receiver and lets it do the decoding, which avoids any quality loss. Naturally, Apple has a custom solution and doesn’t offer many details (the official page mentions AAC, suggesting this is an Optional codecs solution).
Another worry about the wireless route (be it AirPods or Bluetooth headsets) is battery life. The tiny AirPods promise up to 5 hours on their own, 24 hours if you bring their charging case. That case can add 3 hours of playback in just 15 minutes of charging.
Can we imagine a future where headphones support Quick Charge? Or do you prefer to use the Lightning port, whether native or through an adapter?
What headphones will you use with the iPhone 7?