Free wireless EarPods will make up for iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack

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A concept for how the iPhone 7 may look.
Photo: Erin Huismann

The iPhone 7 may be the best part of nine months away, but supply chain sources are starting to shed some light on what we can expect from Apple’s next generation handset.

One thing which seems more and more certain is that Apple plans to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in an effort to push users toward wireless headphones instead.

Twin reports from Chinese websites Anzhuo.cn and Feng suggest that the iPhone 7 will come with a single Lightning port for handling both connectivity and audio (for those wanting to plug in their headphones), but that Apple plans to bundle the iPhone 7 with wireless EarPods.

The idea that Apple may ditch the century-old headphone jack was rumored late last year, and has caused mixed reactions among fans — with some claiming that it is a bad move for Apple to turn its back on such a widespread standard, but others saying it’s part of Apple’s DNA to drive innovation forward.

While Apple has (obviously) yet to confirm one way or the other, there’s been some evidence to support it. Recently the company started selling $800 Audeze EL-8 Titanium Lightning headphones at both its online Apple Store and select brick-and-mortar retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada.

Although I can definitely see some audiophiles being upset if Apple *ahem* jacks in the headphone jack, the idea of wireless EarPods coming packaged with the iPhone 7 is definitely appealing.

Would you like to see these rumors become a reality? Leave your comments below.

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  • Grahame Dawes

    Why not go for a shrink to 2.5mm first. I have products in the past with a 2,55mm stereo/mic connector.

    A connected cable is sure handy if you drop your phone, a few times I have managed to catch the cable and break the fall.

  • RobertPerez1

    I don’t own a single pair of wired headphones so it wouldn’t bother me in the least. I have some Jaybird Jabra X2s, PowerBeats 2s, and Motorola S11s that I use in various occasions. I even have a winter hat with built in blue tooth headphones.

    However, I still wouldn’t like to lose the 3.5mm jack unless Apple gave us something in return. A shorter iPhone with a smaller bezel would be nice. Maybe they will delete the 3.5mm jack in 2016 and the home button in 2017.

  • imtough

    I already only use Bluetooth PowerBeats so I could care less. And cue the Millennial Soft Pusses who will complain “what if I want to plug in a lightning headphone while charging waaaah.” If you’re sitting next to a wall listening to whatever LGBT content you’re listening to you have bigger issues.

    • M S i N Lund

      Low
      Grade
      Blue
      Tooth
      ?

    • Maria de Jesus Gutierrez

      Did you just use “LGBT” as a slur? Is that the new way to call someone a “fag” as in insult?

      • Malk

        He’s just trying to seem ‘tough’

  • WP

    More devices to keep charged? Great. (I have a pair of wireless headphones now that always seem to be dead when I want to use them.) I also like being able to use the headphone jack to plug directly into a keyboard amp for a lot of synth apps, so guess I need to start researching ways around that… I can understand if they need to remove the 3.5mm jack to help produce a virtually waterproof iOS device, but not just so they can make a thinner one.

    • syncc

      They can make the .5mm jack waterproof without removing it, look at the moto g 3rd gen or the sony z5, both waterproof, both without any flap on the 3.5mm jack or micro usb…

  • bdkennedy11

    Apple’s Recipe for Success: Remove features + Keep the same price + Make consumer pay for accessories for removed features = $$$$$

  • DrivenByDemons

    No it wouldn’t. Crappy ear pods and even worse bluetooth… thank you no.

  • iamjared

    Yea how would listening to music through shitty Apple earbuds make up for anything? I have several pairs of very expensive headphones, because, you know, every device on earth uses one of two headphone jack sizes.

  • emcampbe

    Wireless EarPods won’t “make up” for the loss of the headphone jack. It will offer an alternative, I suppose. If I’m listening while walking on the street, I’m using my Apple-supplied earbuds. When not, I’m using my Bose QC 2s (considering an updated pair of QC25s). Not sure how this will help, unless Bose (as an example, or other companies) change to offer a lightning plug option (I suppose a possibility in the future, but how likely is this to work with older models like my QC2s, which I love and don’t need replacing, and would almost certainly require an upgraded cost), or if Apple provides some sort of adapter (which is probable, but likely an extra buy, I would have less of a problem of this was included, but I don’t see that happening).

  • http://proedgebiker.com/ PROEDGEBIKER.COM

    i’ve been looking for a pair of wireless headphones anyhow, i hope this rumor is true like every single rumor has been since the iPhone 4

  • Stefan

    This will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me.

    Apple are trying hard to annoy me with every new product. I don’t use headphones much but do occasionally hook up my phone to a stereo system via the 3.5mm jack. I don’t want to buy new adapters, or loose this function at all costs.

    And what about the millions of millions of perfectly fine headphones already in circulation? How many of these will these end in landfill adding to e-waste prematurely? This is irresponsible.

    I love smart innovation, but this is purely a marketing move. Screw you Apple.

    • Malk

      Likewise Stefan. For me, this comes back to back with ios 9 screwing up my iphone 5. Can’t downgrade back to ios 8 which worked perfectly. Phone is now slower and crashes at least once a day, often during calls or important operations. NEVER crashed before the update to ios 9. 9.2 has not fixed this.
      So yeah, the camel’s back was already strained – this will make the choice a no-brainer.

  • Graeme Peterson

    Not that I expect Apple to actually listen to what I want as the end user — they seem to prefer to do what they like and then announce “This is what you want!” — but I use the headphone jack for all manner of non-apple connectivity – my kid’s car has an old tape player with a cassette-headphone-jack adapter; I connect it to the PA system sound board to help with band practices; Home stereo has a headphone cable hanging out of the back end so we can play our phones’ music there. There are a myriad of things that connector is used for, and losing it would be a show-stopper for me. Give me a removable battery, sd-card slot, and a headphone jack.

  • Malk

    “Free wireless EarPods will make up for iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack” – completely disagree. I’m sure that’s how Apple wants people to feel about it… A lot of people don’t like ear buds. I can’t think why a phone needs to get so thin that it can’t have a head phone jack. Whatever happened to the wisdom of not fixing something that isn’t broken? My current iphone will be my last if this goes forwards. Like a lot of folks, I have expensive headphones that are not bluetooth, and I’m not about to change them because some novelty-crazed Apple ‘visionary’ decided the iphone just had to get slimmer.

  • Alex_nma

    The guys behind this idea must not want to hear quality music. BT compresses the shit out of music and makes it sound worse than using a wire. If you are using MP3 which are already compresssed, you could be making music that is ok sounding to crap.

  • TheEnragedAtheist

    Another reason not to get the upcoming iPhone.