Ditching 3.5mm, once and for all

Yes, that's right: the beginning of the end for the already familiar audio jack has already been laid.


And it's not just about iPhone. Apple didn't come first. In the US, the pioneer of this revolution was the Moto Droid Z line, in which they decided to abandon the 3.5 mm. In China, companies such as LeEco and others also produce devices without such a connector. Other manufacturers around the world will follow the pioneers. One can understand the possible backlash. 'Remove the headphone jack? This is madness! We need him! How are we going to listen to music, watch videos on YouTube and Facebook vVK? And what do you want to do with the expensive headphones you bought, throw them away ?! ' Don't worry, you can continue using your headphones. Manufacturers are ditching the plug, not the ability to listen to music, leaving you with three options for listening to music, whether it's wireless headphones, Type C / Lightning headphones, or your usual headphones with the appropriate adapter. Nobody likes adapters, except when their use is justified. In this case, there are two reasons.

'Age' and thickness

Of all the technological solutions in your phone, the 3.5 mm jack is the oldest. The connector first appeared in transistor radio receivers in the early sixties of the last century and was present, for example, in the Sony EFM-177j, which went on sale in 1964. This same connector was used in the 1967 eight-track tape recorders and the 1979 Sony Walkman.


Not at all an example of the latest technology

In short, the much-lamented connector is already 52 years old. Its use increases the thickness of the device, which is tantamount to death for a smartphone. Last fall, Brad Saunders shared with me the following opinion: “Device makers will gladly give up this connector. It makes the phone thicker than it can be .. '. Brad is an employee Intel, he was responsible for the development of USB-C, which is rapidly replacing the standard USB and Micro USB connectors in new phones, tablets and laptops manufactured Microsoft, Google, Apple, Samsung and many others. More specifically, Saunders has the technological background of 600 companies in the mobile electronics industry before his eyes, and he knows what the future holds.

Brad notes that by today's standards, the internal layout of a 3.5mm jack is considered very large. One of the most bulky components of the device is the jack socket. It is this connector that prevents phones from getting thinner, acting as a limiting factor.


A lot of people actually like slim phones. But if you don't care about thin devices, then you can look at it from a different angle: the headphone jack does not allow increasing the battery capacity of the device. You won't mind, will you?

Connectors come and go. And with each new transition, we lament and resent. But if you look back, we will see how goofy all these attacks were. Remember our protests when Apple ditched the floppy drive or replaced the SCSI and ADB connectors with USB. We have to take it for granted: we won't be good device designers. To support my point, I suggest taking a look at the 1985 Mac Plus.


See the only connector that hasn't been replaced by a smaller, faster and more efficient analog? Do we want our smartphones to look like this?

Sound quality

Your music is digital. All the music you buy and listen to online. Unfortunately, the 3.5 mm jack is analog. Your smartphone has a cheap consumer digital-to-analog converter built into your smartphone, whose job is to transfer the signal from digital music to your antediluvian connector. Regardless of what quality the original compositions were, they lose quality already upon reaching your headphones. In a new era without a 3.5mm jack, the music you listen to will remain digital until it is sent to headphones, which may contain a nicer transducer. As a result, you will get the best sound without going through the analogue converter story.

Goodbye forever 3.5 mm

There may be other reasons for rejecting the headphone jack. Maybe this will help make the devices waterproof, or maybe it will reduce their cost and increase reliability. But for many people, better battery life, thinner devices, and better audio quality will already be enough to make the transition.

The biggest worry on the eve of the transition to the era without 3.5 mm will be the fear of loss of compatibility. For example, you cannot connect the headphones that you use with your Android to mine iPhone and so on. You will need one adapter for Lightning devices and one for USB-C devices. But you still need to understand that Bluetooth has already become a universal standard, and if you're lucky, Apple will be smart and switch to USB-C, which is already widely used in many devices based on Android. I propose to honor the memory of the 3.5 mm jack with a minute of silence and say goodbye to it after 52 years of a long and productive life.

Original material by David Pogue

Quite a progressive opinion, with the exception of some, in my opinion, impossible predictions (in particular, about the transition Apple to USB-C in iPhone), in which the author makes it clear that the industry is not will be able to move on and innovate in device design as long as they have a bulky and technologically outdated rudimentary connector. In one of the issues of the Gazebo, I already said that the transition will not be easy for everyone, there will be disgruntled users who will use their already familiar headphones to the stop, change their music listening scenarios, and so on.

Again, the idea of ​​the wireless future of music is close to me, but with one caveat: for long-term listening, for example, on a train or plane, the wire will in any case remain an indispensable way to keep the headphone charge longer, which, however, is easy to maintain with the help of an external battery. So, if you wish and correctly rebuild your existing habits, you can make the transition completely painless and calmly choose devices without the notorious connector. It seems to me that the advantages of the transition are enough to convince the average user that audiophiles will still fight. So, we saw announcements and reviews of the first flagship devices without a 3.5 mm jack. What do you say, dear readers, are you ready for the transition? Or are all these adapters and wireless wizardry not for you?


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