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We asked, you told us: Most people still dearly miss the headphone jack
We accept that new tech developments will eventually overcome and outsell legacy technology, but that doesn’t always mean the newer tech is better.
When Apple first stripped the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 back in 2016, it sounded a death knell for the ubiquitous connector. Android OEMs joined Apple’s anti-analog fight soon after its move, but more recently, companies like Sony have seemingly realized how “indispensable” the jack is.
But we were wondering, do Android Authority readers feel the same way? Have you adapted to Bluetooth audio the point where the audio jack’s absence is no longer an issue? Are you now all-in on the wireless audio ecosystem?
Late last month, we asked you to vote in a poll on the website and on Twitter, and here’s what you told us.
Could you go back to a headphone jack after you’ve committed to Bluetooth?
It seems readers’ opinions about the audio jack’s importance haven’t changed much. Of the more than 6,000 votes we received on the website, nearly 72% of readers say they would “absolutely use a headphone jack” if their device had one. Our Twitter audience largely agrees, too with a little more than 69% of respondents answering in favor of this option.
While this doesn’t suggest smartphone users are still angry about the venerable jack’s removal, it is clear that if given the option, the physical port would be used. USB-C dongles don’t seem to be a valid replacement for readers, either.
In a poll we ran earlier this year, a surprising number of you said you’d be willing to spend up to $50 more on a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 with a headphone jack. Giving users a choice to use different hardware in different situations just makes design sense, and likely a key reason why Sony, LG, and Google still use or have reintroduced the port to some devices. Redundancy and freedom of choice are seemingly key motivators for users here.
That said, a number of readers are entirely embracing wireless audio and are more than happy break free from wires. Just under a third (30.8%) of respondents say they’re “all-in on Bluetooth” and won’t likely return to wired audio even if given the option. Our Twitter voters tell a similar story, with just under 31% of voters fully committing to Bluetooth audio tech.
This option sought to find users who see no issue with the lack of a headphone jack, and who wouldn’t consider using the legacy port on their devices even if presented with a choice. In that sense, it’s a surprisingly large share of voters who wouldn’t go back to wired audio. Many respondents echo the convenience and usability of tether-less audio accessories.
We’ve singled out some notable comments from both sides of the fence in the section below.
Here’s what you had to say
- AnySmarterIdRunLinux: It would be tough sacrificing the sub-par audio quality and dead battery for something that sounded better and always worked, but I think I could adjust given enough time.
- bigdav1178: I don’t need to come back, I never left.
- Brian Fowler: Thank you LG for making me not need to worry. I use cheap Bluetooth headphones at work for podcasts and audiobooks, and decent wired ones for music.
- Zero: Many might like the wireless headphones but I can count how many times my phone has been saved with a wired headphone.
- Germaine Liew: I’m using my wireless set for on the go, and maybe some household chores. Otherwise, it’s just easy for me to plug in my wired pair. Basically I just interchange both regularly.
- mrochester: Definitely couldn’t go back to wired headphones. Wireless is just so convenient and wired wouldn’t work with a smartwatch anyway.
- arcwindz: Strictly speaking on the use of earphones, yeah, I prefer the mobility of Bluetooth audio. BUT, a phone that can’t tune to FM radio is quite a deal-breaker for me, so it’s the same as needing the headphone jack. In fact, the perfect Bluetooth earphone is one that can go wireless and wired at the same time.
- Brad Fortin: I was pining for wireless headphones ever since I got my first iPod back in 2005. I can’t believe it’s taken this long to catch on when they’re such an obvious idea. If companies had put serious effort into the category we could’ve practically perfected the technology by now.
That’s it for this poll. As always, thanks for all your votes and comments. If you have any thoughts on the results, or on Bluetooth audio and the headphone jack in general, be sure to drop them down below.