My pair of Grado SR80e headphones are one of my prized possessions. I love lying on my couch and listening to the album du jour (I'm ready for 4:44). But thanks to Apple's "courageous" decision to remove the headphone jack, I can't plug my SR80s into an iPhone 7 without a Lightning adaptor, and I've yet to upgrade from my iPhone 6 because of it.
Image credit: Jonathan Grado/Flickr
This year a new iPhone is expected to show up, and while I do think it's time for me to make the switch, I want to keep using my favourite headphones in this brave new world. So I bought some Bluetooth headphone adaptors, and I think you should, too. Not only does it let me use my headphones with a newer phone, it lets me connect to a variety of devices without messing with cables.
Use your old headphones on your new smartphone
A Bluetooth headphone adaptor is just a portable Bluetooth receiver, and outputs through a 3.5mm headphone jack. Like a traditional Bluetooth receiver — the Moto Stream for example — you can technically plug one in to any speaker with a 3.5mm line in jack, though you'll have to charge it occasionally. Griffin's $35 iTrip Clip is a great example of a cheap Bluetooth headphone adaptor, while the $169 Noble BTS is less obtrusive and pretty sleek-looking.
Your ideal Bluetooth headphone adaptor should have a clip-on mechanism so you can attach it to yourself while lounging, along with an easy way to charge it, usually with a micro USB cable.
Its belt clip lets me walk around my house with nothing in my pockets while I do chores, talk to my dog, and wear my favourite pocket-free shorts.
Keep your sound quality
The worst part of losing the 3.5mm jack isn't the inability to use great headphones, but the exorbitant price you'll probably pay for new, more modern headphones with inferior sound quality. People seem to like Apple's AirPods, but there's no way they sound as good as my over-ear headphones, and that $229 price point seems a little high. Buying a $35 Bluetooth adaptor is cheaper than buying a new pair of headphones, no matter how you slice it.
I am not an audiophile, but I do love convenience. And comfort. And it is quite inconvenient when you just want to use your headphones to drown out the subway and find yourself tangled in a cord like an invasive weed, or when the sound is dominated by the rustling stethoscopic vibrations of said cord. It is more convenient to have no wires at all. If you are also a fan of convenience, perhaps you should try some wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Keep your neighbours happy
I have a sound bar under my television, but I live in an apartment. I can't go blasting this thing while watching Speed Racer on Saturday night for the eleventh time or else my neighbours are gonna deal with me, Emile-Hirsch style.
I'm using a PS4 to stream movies, so I usually plug my Grado cans into my controller, but what if I decide to grab some popcorn during the film and forget to unplug? It wouldn't be the first time I forgot my headphones were connected to something stationary. An adaptor could free me from my controller-bound prison during my late-night living room cinema showings, and grace my neighbours with a good night's sleep.
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