The Galaxy Note 10 has no headphone jack, confirmed

Samsung was one of the last holdouts to include the 3.5mm jack on its flagship phones. Now the Note 10 doesn't even come with an adapter.

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Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 lacks a headphone jack and instead will ship with USB-C earbuds

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's official: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 has become the company's first flagship phone to ship without a headphone jack, following other  phones  designed to work primarily with wireless Bluetooth headphones, such as the Apple iPhone and forthcoming Galaxy Fold . Samsung announced two main versions of the Note 10 at an event in New York today: the 6.3-inch Note 10 and the 6.8-inch Note 10 Plus. All phones include a nearly bezel-less Cinematic Infinity Display and at least three separate cameras on the rear.   

While the Note 10s won't include Bluetooth headphones in the package, they will ship with a pair of wired AKG earbuds that plug into the phone's USB-C port. Meanwhile the official 3.5mm-to-USB adapter dongle is a $10 option -- not included in the box.

Watch this: Galaxy Note and Note 10 Plus are here to wow you

Samsung told CNET that its own surveys of Galaxy S and Note buyers said a majority -- around 70% -- used Bluetooth instead of the headphone jack. 

"One thing we looked at is what people are actually doing on their device. Far and away for Note, people are using Bluetooth audio. The headphone jack just isn't getting the usage we used to see," said Caleb Slavin, Samsung America's senior manager of product management.

Samsung said another beneficial side effect of losing the jack is that it enables designers to reduce the amount of bezel around the screen.

"With the Note, what you're seeing is the culmination of slimming down the bezel to maximize the screen size," said Suzanne de Silva, Samsung America's head of product management.

The Motorola Moto Z and the Apple's iPhone 7 were the first "modern" phones to ditch a 3.5mm output in 2016 (the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, lacked one back in 2008). Since then, most high-end phones have removed built-in headphone jacks, although most will work with adapters. Earlier iPhones included adapters in the box, but in 2018 Apple stopped including them as well.

The China-only Galaxy A8S was Samsung's first phone to dispense with the headphone jack, while the now-delayed Galaxy Fold and reversible-camera Galaxy A80 also follow suit.

Meanwhile, Samsung declined to comment on whether next year's Galaxy S11 would also lack a 3.5mm output. But with the Note 10 pulling the trigger, it's hard to imagine its successor bringing the jack back from the dead.

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