A phone without the earphone jack : Is it worth the gamble?

From the early days of smartphones, we saw phone manufacturers having different accessories for their devices. It got so bad, each phone had it’s own unique earphone jack – same was the case for charging ports and chargers. Nokia then, had up to 3 different kinds of chargers. Samsung had something different too, and the likes of Motorola, Sendo and Sagem etc. also chipped in with theirs.

No-earphone-jack

The confusion was so bad until in recent years. Everyone started using the same USB v2.0 charger (except Apple), and the same 3.5 mm earphone jack. This was relief, till we started hearing another set of rumors. Late last year, we started hearing the next iPhone will have no earphone jack.

The next proposed alternative would be pair of ear buds carrying the lightening port or another option that would connect wirelessly. We’re still trying to digest this rumor when Chinese OEM, LeEco announced three Android smartphones ( the Le 2, Le 2 Pro and Le Max 2) without the earphone jack. Surprising right?
USB-Type-C-headphones

In place of this, the company also announced USB Type-C digital headphones (see above) to go along with it. We have heard that the omission of the 3.5 mm earphone port allows more space for other components. It helps in achieving flatter designs and waterproofing.

Conversely, I’m concerned with the audio quality these accessories will offer. There could also be issues of availability. Imagine having your unit damaged and there’s no replacement option nearby. Are we ready to embrace phones without the 3.5 mm earphone jack? Do you think this omission is worth the gamble? Your thoughts are welcomed.

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4 comments

  1. Elroy, why would those of us who aren’t audiophiles even notice the difference in sound? I still remember a conversation I had about headphones/earphones a few years ago, and almost everyone was in favour of bass-heavy headphones. Present them with something more balanced and they’ll think something was wrong with it! Most people are used to the bog standard earphones that came with their device or cheap ones – personally I’ve always bought dedicated earphones and only used packed earphones when the purchased ones died and I was waiting for a replacement.

    One of the complaints I’ve read in reviews of Bluetooth headphones is that they aren’t bassy (is that a word?) enough. I bought a cheap pair to try, and whilst they weren’t big on bass the sound was acceptable and definitely better than some wired earphones. I’m sure these Type C and Bluetooth headphones will evolve just as wired earphones and headphones have done.

  2. while it may be possible to provide a richer audio experience via USB/lightning port, it would take away the ability to enjoy the ubiquitous nature of 3.5mm audio accessories. even Marshall put 3.5mm audio jacks on their phones for this reason. DACs be dammed

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