Would You Use A Phone Without A 3.5mm Headphone Jack?

Would You Use A Phone Without A 3.5mm Headphone Jack?

Rumours have been flying that some upcoming smartphones won’t include the now-standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Intel even thinks consumers will eventually prefer USB-C to the normal jack. Would you?

At the Intel Developers Forum, hardware architects from the company stated that they hop consumers will jump on the benefits of using USB-C to connect to their headphones. The latest USB-C spec supports things like noise cancelling, extra bass, or concert-like reverb.

However, in order to use a headphones on a device that ditches the 3.5mm jack you’ll either need a USB-C-to-3.5mm adaptor, headphones that connect with USB-C directly (if you can find them), or wireless headphones. Are you willing to make that kind of switch? Have you already switched to wireless headphones entirely? Or would you rather have a phone that sticks with the tried and true method?

Intel says new USB Type-C spec will ease headphone jack loss [Engadget]


  • If someone makes a USB-C or Lightning to mic / three button remote to 3.5mm headphone jack (Male, for over ears, not a short female adapter) then sure, I can continue using any headphones I want. Also as long as the standard supports use AND charging at the same time, even if it requires an adapter.

      • It’s just that all the hi-end headphones/earphones have a standard 3,5mm plug, and this won’t change because these devices are not really made to be used with a smartphone. I hope that a lot of USB-C -> jack accessories will be released after the release of the iPhone 7.

  • Stopped using wired earphones five years ago. I only use Bluetooth headphones these days. Why there isn’t an uptake of the latter is anyone’s guess. The stupid masses seem to love to tangle with wires.

    • I have been using Bluetooth headphones for a while too (use a Bluetooth adapter over noise cancelling earphones on the train), but I always like the fallback position of the old 3.5mm jack for when I forget to charge my headphones or when I forget them and just use a cheap pair to tide me over for a time. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

  • If it became completely ubiquitous in more than just phones then sure. As it stands though everything else that matters uses (and most likely will keep using) 3.5mm or 6.25mm jacks, so no, there’s no way I’d use it because I quite like my current headphones and current setup.

  • I personally think losing the 3.5mm jack is a great idea.
    Yes its great and highly compatible but its very old and is kinda holding back technological progression.
    Most people I see on the train each morning listening to music have after market headphones. Losing the 3.5mm jack and using the powered lightning jack has the potential to have better music quality as they can now have the phone / headphones amp the audio.
    The transition period will suck till 3rd party vendors catch up but after that we will see some cool new toys

    • Sorry was meant to be a new post.

      I still don’t know how the 3.5mm jack is holding us back? It does analogue audio. That’s it’s job and it does it well. There’s the argument that the phones will be smaller. But what benif is that. Youll take up more than the room you save from your 2mm thinner phone with a pocket full of adaptors.
      Plus being able to use the audio plug and charge your phone at the same time is a bad thing?

      • In these devices, internal volume is everything.
        By removing the 3.5mm jack you get to remove the analogue hardware that goes with it clearing up space on the logic board giving you more space for activities.
        Thats just 1x benefit, google has dozens more benefits.

        • Physical size of the phone is in no way holding us back technology wise. It does nothing to improve the technology. You’re removing components there for saving cost. But then having to buy headphone with in built dacs you’re passing that saved cost to the consumer as an added cost.

          • Try taking a look from a different point of view.
            Apple are well known for innovation, By removing a form factor thats well over 50 years old and replacing it with a modern equivalent provides new options.
            As I stated earlier its just 1x of the many benefits (and yes it has cons to go with it) but I will leave that up to you to research, internal volume can be more than just physical space. look at the engineering, architectural and consumer aspects to why this can / can not benefit.

  • I’m all for advancement of technology and functionality, but I simply don’t trust the sturdiness of these new Type-C ports/plugs when put under physical stress.

    It wouldn’t take a great lot of force applied to the long side of the Type-C to break/snap the headphones/whatever out of the port. At least with cylindrical 3.5mm (or 6.5mm as found on a lot of DJ mixers if that’s your thing) – the plug was inserted deeply into the device and had the option of spinning around to compensate for any force applied rather than just rigidly taking it until Snap!

    I have the same feeling for normal Type-C devices when compared to USB-A.


  • Yeah, it’s time to let go.

    The 3.5mm port takes up a fair amount of space, so losing it could allow devices to get even slimmer. As well as free up room inside the casing for other components. The digital output would also remove the need for an embedded DAC chip, also reducing space constraints.

    For those worried about charging while listening, I’m sure it would only be a matter of time before combo adaptors/leads appeared on the market.

  • probably not.
    look im all for new technology, new connectors, etc.
    but when they are only ever used by a single manufacturer .. agh
    lets come up with a universal audio bus or something

  • Call me stupid (won’t be the first time) but why is it holding us back? I think the only thing it’s holding back is from companies selling their wares locking us in to proprietary hardware. Although it seems like their marketing teams are doing a great job of convincing the masses we’re missing out on something…
    Sorry, can’t type any more, the future is calling and it’s now or never!!! I’m off to get a dog ear transplant so I can actually hear the difference from these new cans…

  • For every set of “active noise cancelling” headphones (that need their own battery) – yeah I can see the benefit of using the USB / Lightning connector instead, saving on the number of batteries needed.
    For those who use Bluetooth wireless headsets, the connector on the phone is already irrelevant.

    For those who already own a prized set of speakers, who have weighed up the pros & cons of “In ear” vs “over ear”, weight, padding, etc. there is zero benefit from changing the connector. It just means adding another adaptor to your travel setup.
    Reminds me of the dual 3.5mm adaptor needed to listen to airline entertainment systems: annoying, easily misplaced, renders your fancy new headset useless if you lose it.

  • Never! The 3.5mm jack is an universally accepted standard, and I will not throw away perfectly good headphones just because some industry fat cats think you should buy new ones.

  • I’ve had a phone without a 3.5mm port and it was awful. It came with an adaptor, but I lost it so quickly and then I just had a phone that I couldn’t connect my headphones to 🙁

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