Preparing for the Disappearance of the iPhone Headphone Jack

Nothing will be confirmed until Apple trots out the iPhone 7 in September, but the consensus is that the old-school 3.5 mm headphone jack–a technology that dates back to the original telephone switchboards of the 1890s (NOT a typo)–will disappear. Just like they did with disc drives, Apple believes the time is to move on. If the predictions are right, iPhone 7 users will be the first to (a) use wireless Bluetooth headphones; and/or (b) use new headphones designed to connect to the Lightning jack–with an adapter, if necessary.

Digital Music News has this look ahead at what might happen with the new iPhone.

Intensifying rumors have infuriated social media users, and if true, will push iPhone 7 users against the wall to find a solution to listen to their music through their headphones.  Exactly how this plays out for Apple is unclear, especially if strengthening iPhone competitors remain steadfast in their commitment to the traditional, 3.5mm jack.  Get ready for a possible war of the headphone jacks, with manufacturers like Phillips, Shure, Monster, Sennheiser, Plantronics, and even Beats caught in the crossfire.

Hey, at least Apple owns Beats, so they stand to make some cash on the Forced Upgrade Death March. And could this be the reason Apple moved the location of the 3.5 mm jack from its original position to the bottom of the unit? To get us used to it?

I thought I’d better get used the idea of going wireless at duty-free on my way home from Dubai this week. I picked up a pair of Sonys which I plan to charge up and test out this weekend. (Dammit. ANOTHER thing to remember to charge…)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Preparing for the Disappearance of the iPhone Headphone Jack

  • July 29, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I’ve just been waiting to hear about the new NFC or Bluetooth Beats headphones that will accompany this new device.

  • July 29, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I’ve been using Sony bluetooth headphones for years (bought a new pair last year as an upgrade to my ancient pair with a dying battery). Love them. What I do is keep a charger plugged in my my front door. When I get home, I plug them in, and switch over to my home sound system (also bluetooth!) if I want to keep listening. This way the headphones are charged up and ready to go in the morning, and also right by the front door so that I don’t forget them (most of the time).

    These are the ones I have (, which I got during a black friday sale last year for under $100. Probably not the *highest* quality you can find out there, but decent – I can’t say I’m an audiophile, and I listen to podcasts 90% of the time. I prefer fully over-the-ear headphones, because on-the-ear ones hurt my ears.


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