As you may already know about the reveal of Apple’s iPhone 7, many are talking about one ambitious move Apple did for their new flagship smartphone:
They removed the standard 3.5mm audio jack.
Even after Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak publically told them that it was a bad idea to take out the audio port, Apple still went ahead and removed it.
Yes, a feature that has been an absolute essential to cellphones is now gone the way of the dodo as far as Apple is concerned.
Now you can’t just plug your headphones in your phone, now you have to use an extra accessory just to listen to music. Or, you will need to buy Bluetooth headphones.
Either way you will need to spend more money right after you have spent $649 on the new iPhone 7.
“But what about playing the phone’s speakers?” Well there are many situations where you either cannot play aloud, or it would be insanely rude to do so (such as studying in a library, or riding to work on the bus or train). And honestly, when was the last time you thought your phone’s onboard speakers were good?
Things you must know before buying the iPhone 7:
Now, if you are an iPhone power user and would want to get the latest model, there are some things to consider before buying.
Many of you reading this are also music lovers and enthusiasts, and have already spent quite some money on your headphones, to achieve sound nirvana.
1: All your wired headphones, audio cables, and anything you connect to speakers are now rendered useless!
You know those sweet HIFiMans HE1000 V2 or the Beyer-Dynamic T1 2nd Gen headphones you have been eyeing and saving up for? Well, now you can’t just hook them up to the iPhone 7, you need an adapter for that!
Or if you have your favorite earpods for travel and exercise, now you have to remember to bring that extra adapter just to listen!
Granted, if you are in the market to buy a pair of headphones of the quality like the HiFiMans, then you probably would get a portable DAC/AMP unit that would be able to deliver your superior sound (like the sleek Oppo HA-2). You are already used to sending your music through an external DAC, and have already bought a lighting-to-USB cable. Not a big deal, since you didn’t use the audio out on your old iPhone anyways.
But in the scenario you forgot your DAC, or have an activity where you would just want only your smartphone and headphones (say jogging or collecting Pokemon). You would still need to bring a third piece of equipment, even the adapter included with the iPhone 7. You will need to bother to remember to bring another item along.
2: You will spend more money for compatibility.
If you don’t want to bother carrying a dongle for your wired headphones, you will need to buy headphones that already have Lightning connectivity, like the Philips Fidelio M2L headphones.
Or if you also want to cut the cord, be ready to sink some money on a new pair of Bluetooth Headphones. Even for bluetooth-capable headphones, buying older models can result in just awful sound.
You will need to pair your bluetooth headphones, but what if you have more than one device you want to listen from? Instead of simple taking out and re-inserting the audio jack from one to another, now you must go through the hassle of pairing from one to another.
I have found it to be always a hassle to pair my Bluetooth headset from my phone to my laptop when I want to use Skype or Teamspeak chat. Sometimes it will pair, and sometimes I will have to restart my laptop. Such a pain!
3: Sharing is Limited.
Want to share your carefully curated playlist over the car stereo or someone’s speaker system? They either must have bluetooth-compatible stuff or have an adapter to playback your phone. Normally you would just have your phone ready for a 3.5mm cable and set!
With the iPhone 7, now you must remember to bring your Lighting-to-3.5mm dongle, or ask if they have a Bluetooth-ready system in place. Chances are, they will not.
4: More Battery Life Concerns.
If you are used to wired headphones, you did not need to concern about battery life for your phones, the power was drawn from the audio cable itself. Only the smartphone battery life was your concern.
But with wireless headphones, you will now need to worry about its own battery life.
Also, with only one Lightning port on your phone, you will have to choose to either charge your phone or listen with your wired headphones. Before, you could just charge while listening without worrying about battery life.
Now you would need to choose from the previous options, or spend extra money to get a Lighting splitter with two, one for charging and one for listening.
5: You WILL lose the new Apple Airpods.
Small, no grip, and costly (MSRP $159.00), the average person is definitely going to lose these headphones. Having a cord connected to earpods had at least the insurance your headphones were still attached. Or with wireless set of cans on your head it would be harder to lose or neglect.
Although I do see other manufacturers get a jump in the market with there own improvements over the AirPods with better sound and comfort.
(Gaia can’t figure out how to hook up her headphones)
Quality of Wireless Sound?
Many will argue that wireless sound is just bad at compression and transmission of sound. While there are advancements in bluetooth sound (and even Hi-Res capable wireless headphones) it still cannot replace the quality and ease of wired audio.
As I said earlier, even if you have bluetooth capable headphones, you will need to make sure they are newer and sound well.
Also if you are already sold to wireless headphones, and are questioning about the Apple AirPods, please reconsider getting different earpods. They way the AirPods look, without a rubber or silicon pad to keep the phones in place I imagine them getting lost quite easily.
There are some alternative wireless earpods on the market right now, but it is still rather early for manufacturers to adapt, so keep an eye out (and save your money!).
Worthy of a Buy?
Now if you are still un-fazed from this warning and still intent on buying the iPhone 7, by all means go ahead and buy one! I do prefer Android phones for their customization and IMHO easier to use interface.
A plus for the new iPhone 7 is that it promises better battery life from their previous model.
If you are comfortable either getting some new wireless headphones or already thought of your workaround, more power to you.
Still planning to get the iPhone 7, or has this announcement shut down all plans for it? Comment below!