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Headphones

What are audiophiles to do if the iPhone removes the headphone jack?

If you prefer wired over wireless headphones this is a serious conundrum.

Wired headphones sounded better than wireless ones.

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Can Apple really do this? Can they force millions of iPhone buyers to use a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter to play their wired headphones, when the next iPhone comes out? It seems like a rather inelegant solution, very un-Apple. I really doubt the adapter will be free, so why would Apple want to give any potential iPhone buyer second thoughts?

David Carnoy's recent article on why you'll soon forget the iPhone ever had a headphone jack made some good points, but I'm far from convinced. If you have a nice pair of wired headphones, and Apple removes the 3.5mm headphone jack, would that stop you from buying an iPhone?

OK I'm weird, I like wires. The wires on my headphones are proof-positive I'm hearing 100 percent of my music's quality, losslessly. It's pure and easy, there's no transmission snafus, digital-to-analog, encode/decode crap. No dropouts, it's all good. I have a lot of company, tens of millions of folks who have invested in wired Beats, Bose, Grado, Sennheiser or Sony headphones, and like them perfectly well, what about us? I'm sorry, but the Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter concept isn't going to win me over.

Oh, and one other thing, wired headphones always sound, dollar for dollar, better than Bluetooth headphones. Sure, Bluetooth headphones can sound passably OK, but never in my experience are they as clear as a wired headphone. Then again, some headphone manufacturers might switch over to headphone cables with Lightning connectors; Audeze has already made that an option for their Sine and EL-8 headphones.

Of course, go wireless if you want, but why would Apple antagonize wired headphone users and remove the 3.5mm headphone jack?!? What's really going on?

I'm not accepting the excuse that omitting a 3.5mm headphone jack would make for a thinner iPhone -- many iPhone owners bulk up their phones with cases, so slimming an iPhone down a silly millimeter won't make a whit of difference to them.

Of course my objections won't persuade Apple's designers, they made their decision long ago. Still, in the final analysis, buyers will have the final say.

If you have a nice pair of wired headphones and Apple gets rid of the headphone jack, would that stop you from buying an iPhone?

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