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The profitable iPhone headphone jack

Shure to release a headphone adapter-cum-headset mic for the iPhone so users can use it with the company's SE line earphones.

Far be it from Shure to stand idly by while others profit from the iPhone's recessed headphone jack. Early last week, the successful earphone manufacturer announced a new product called the Music Phone Adapter (MPA). As the name suggests, this headphone add-on is designed to work with music-playing cell phones. It offers a built-in microphone (and shirt clip) for calls while allowing a connection with stereo earphones for tunes. Of course, the MPA's slender headphone plug casing belies its true companion--the iPhone.

I got my hands on a prototype of the MPA and can attest that it fits perfectly into the iPhone's recessed jack. Also, although Shure's documentation states that the MPA is made specifically for the company's own SE line (SE210, SE310, SE420, and SE530), the unit works just fine with other earbuds--just be prepared to deal with the additional 32 inches of cable. The MPA, which comes out in August, isn't exactly cheap for a headphone accessory--it'll set you back about 40 bucks. Yes, it does add a mic, but the call quality through it isn't all that impressive. It's just about standard for a wired headset--fine, but a little echoey. There's a chance Shure will improve this in the final run, though.