Apple has removed the headphone socket from the iPhone 7. Will you want to buy into this new listening experience?
Yesterday Apple announced its newest release, the iPhone 7. It highlighted some impressive tech specs, along with the removal of a feature that could cause some controversy. The iPhone 7 has no headphone socket, instead relying on its Lightning connector and new AirPods.
No more socket
The missing headphone socket means customers won’t be able to plug their old headphones directly into the phone. If they don’t wish to use the AirPods, there are other options. They can either use other Lightning-based headphones, wireless Bluetooth headphones, or the headphone socket adaptor that’s included with the iPhone 7 to connect their old headphones.
So customers won’t be required to exclusively use Apple technology if they buy an iPhone. But many will still feel inconvenienced by the change, or most likely have to end up spending more money on compatible headphones.
Apple’s wireless headphones
The AirPods seem to be almost as big an announcement as the iPhone. Apple details how customers will be able to simultaneously connect them to other Apple devices, like a Mac, and how the AirPods can accept voice commands so you can operate your phone hands-free.
Apple says the lack of a headphone socket gives ‘a new sense of freedom’, and even goes as far as saying the AirPods are ‘magical’. The hype is definitely there. But for some the change might not feel liberating.
Using headphones with the adapter means another item to keep track of, and possibly more headphone tangles. The AirPods themselves, yes, are small and wireless. But there have been times I’ve been thankful my headphones have wires. For instance, during busy commutes when one earbud pops out of my ear and is saved from falling under a train due to its connection with my phone.
Here’s what Rory from our Tech team said about the missing headphone socket:
‘Apple says it took ‘courage’ to remove the headphone socket from the iPhone 7. I agree. It takes courage to eradicate the best audio standard in the world because you’re keen to cash in on your own proprietary system.
‘Sure, you can plug your own headphones in through the lightning adaptor that Apple will ship with the iPhone 7, but you won’t want to. Leave the adaptor connected and it will stick out and make it uncomfortable to have the phone in your pocket, or unplug it and lose it down the back of the sofa.
‘No, Apple wants you to splash out on its £159 AirPods. These require battery charging every few hours and have no cord, making them easy to lose. It’s not hard to see the point of Apple killing the headphone socket. In my opinion, the point is to make more money.’
Will more mobiles make this change?
Though there’s a lot of discussion about Apple’s decision, it’s not the first a mobile phone company to get rid of the headphone socket. The Moto Z, released earlier this year, is also missing this feature. So perhaps we’re starting to see a change in the mobile market, much like the phasing out of disc drives in laptops. Regardless, it marks a significant change for the iPhone market and the consumers who eagerly awaited this new release.
Do you think this marks a shift in phone audio? Does this change excite you, or will it discourage you from purchasing an iPhone 7? Tell us what you think in the comments and vote in our poll.