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Android beats Apple in ditching the headphone port on smartphones

While the upcoming iPhone 7 has been rumored to do away with the 3.5mm headphone port, the first phones to do so have just been announced on Android.

Published onApril 20, 2016

USB Type-C cable

There has been a lot of discussion about the rumor that Apple is doing away with the headphone port on the upcoming iPhone 7. While we in Android-land likely smirked and counted ourselves lucky, the first three smartphones with no headphone port have just been announced in China. And they run Android.

HTC and JBL announce USB Type-C noise-cancelling headphones

LeEco, formerly LeTV, today revealed the new Le 2 range, including the Le 2, Le 2Pro and Le Max2, none of which sport the familiar 3.5mm headphone port we’ve been using since we first started attaching headphones to smartphones. Instead, these phones all support USB Type-C digital headphones through the charging port.

LeEco USB Type-C headphones

This means that we will have better audio quality thanks to the lossless nature of digital headphones, but it also means you’ll lose the ability to listen to music when charging your phone, something many of us us do at work every single day. So while it might be nice to have fancy new USB Type-C headphones, you might also need to invest in a solid pair of Bluetooth headphones.

Until the launch of LeEco’s two new pairs of USB Type-C headphones – an in-ear variety and over-ear set – the JBL Reflect Aware C sports earbuds announced alongside the HTC 10 were the only USB Type-C headphones around (and they aren’t even available yet). So not only has Android become the first platform to release a device with no 3.5mm headphone port, it may be a trend that is catching on.

Do you use cabled or wireless headphones? Are you excited for USB Type-C headphones?