With a little puck, you won’t miss 3.5mm jack on iPhone


If you need a place to plug in . . .
If you need a place to plug in . . .
Photo: Sean Nelson

Your next iPhone probably won’t have a headphone jack, and Sean Nelson is telling you to get over it. But he says so gently by offering iPhone fans a glimpse of what a jackless future might look like.

The industrial design student has drawn up one way Apple or any other third-party company might bridge the 3.5mm gap with a small Bluetooth headphone puck. Under Nelson’s concept, our soon-to-be-outdated headphones would plug into a small, clip-on disk.

Fans seldom ask Apple to stop being innovative, but the thought of not being able to plug headphones directly into their iPhones is too much from some. Speculation has generated a lot of headlines in the tech press and a petition with more than 200,000 signers asking Apple to keep the plug.

Apple isn’t about to ignore an iPhone user’s need for music or sniff at those old-school headphones you love so much. With such an iPhone, Apple would likely sell a Lightning port adapter for those who do not have wireless headphones.

It's a Bluetooth puck that extends the life of those soon-to-be old-school headphones.
It’s a Bluetooth puck that extends the life of those soon-to-be old-school headphones.
Photo: Sean Nelson

Nelson’s idea is simple and reassuring that we’ll all be OK without a headphone jack.

“Our end-goal shouldn’t be pushing music into a metal hole until the end of time, so focusing on a Lightning converter seemed silly,” Nelson wrote on his blog, which features his headphone puck concept. “What made sense to me was instead turning standard headphones into Bluetooth headphones, and thus, this little design exercise was born.”

You can check out Nelson’s other ideas on his website or his page on Behance.

  • JoeCool

    I don’t know why people are getting so up in arms about this. You could have a small little in-line adapter that you could pug your headphones into that then plugs into the lighting or USBC port or whatever… That in-line adapter could also be a DAC. And Jabra has the Clipper that already does this.

    • Frank Malloy

      And how much you think Apple will charge for this little adapter?

  • Elias Chao

    I’ve said it before, the removing-headphone-jack thing would make much more sense if Apple decide to use USB-C. They could start a trend, and other manufacturers would start to get rid of this old port. And we will be able to use our headphones with any product we’d like.

    If not, we won’t be able to use our Lightning headphones with any product but our iPhones. What about our computers.

    • Chris Jones

      I’m sure adaptors will be aplenty!

  • Clif Marsiglio

    I use something like this…it was intended as a dongle for a radio or otherwise to provide bluetooth, I just clip my Apple headphones into it and go. GENERALLY I only do this when I’m biking and need to keep the phone somewhere it isn’t going to get broken when I crash because I can’t hear whats going on around me, or when I’m rock climbing and I want to leave my phone 50 feet below (I gets good range). The ONLY thing it doesn’t do it use the mic from the headphones or the volume / media control…you can do this from the dongle, but its not elegant.

    If someone just made a dongle that did all of this, I’d never plug my headphones in again.

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    Shut up and take my money. If Apple must make this pathetic move they better make this.

  • Tony Reilly

    I’ve been using the Sony SBH20 for years. Pretty much the exact same idea of this, but already available.

  • Connie

    Or… Just get bluetooth earphones that aren’t even that expensive

  • Jeremy

    I hate wires in general. I’ve long wanted Apple to support the aptX codec (or anything similar), as it provides much better sound quality than the standard lossy SBT codec over Bluetooth. It’s easy to hear the poor SBT quality with some songs.

  • You know that, if they can’t use some 3.5 (or quarter-inch) headphones, some retrogrouch audiophile will gripe, regardless of any bluetooth or lightening adapter.

  • radrave

    There will not be a “next iphone.” Screw apple and their disappearing ports policies, because, hey, you need to buy overpriced third party junk gadgets from china to make our grotesquely overpriced iphones work.

    • P-Dog

      Troll somewhere else, fandroid!

      • radrave

        Right, folks who don’t agree with you are trolls. Keep paying through the nose for bad design. Apple’s lost its way — it’s now only about profits and precious little innovation.