In the smartphone industry, we have seen a running debate over the old fashioned headphone jack for a couple of years now. Many flagship devices have decided to ditch the standard 3.5 mm jack, while others had kept it in. Today, OnePlus confirmed that its next smartphone, the OnePlus 5T, will keep the headphone jack, and also gave reasons why it’s sticking with it, even though some of its competitors are getting rid of it.
In a forum post, OnePlus said one of the two major reasons for its decision is to preserve audio quality in the phone. It says that a recent survey of its customers revealed that 70 percent of them felt that audio quality was a priority for them. OnePlus believes that the quality of sound that is offered by wireless earbuds is not up to the level reached by standard wired headphones, at least at the moment. The company feels that is especially true for products that are priced under $200.
The second reason OnePlus gave for keeping the headphone jack is to give its customers more freedom to choose the kind of headphones they want. Going back to its survey results, OnePlus stated that 80 percent of its customers use in-jack headphones. It added that at one time, the company considered including a second USB Type-C port to the OnePlus 5T as a direct replacement for the 3.5 mm headphone jack. In the end, however, it decided against that move, stating that it while it could have made its phone slimmer, it would have still taken away a lot of freedom from its customers to use standard headphones.
80 percent of OnePlus customers use the 3.5 mm headphone jack
OnePlus also made a reference to Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller’s controversial statement in 2016 when it launched the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack. At that time, he said that it took “courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.” Over a year later, OnePlus says it makes more sense to put its priorities toward its customers, and to make the technology in its phone more accessible. It stated today, “This is one of those times when we respectfully disagree on what it means to be courageous.”
While the company has yet to confirm a launch date for the OnePlus 5T, the fact that it is confirming at least one feature in the phone means we are getting very close to an official reveal. Its decision to keep the headphone jack, and its reasoning behind it, will also likely continue this rather heated debate on this matter for some time to come.
How do you feel about the OnePlus 5T sticking with the traditional headphone jack? Does it make you more likely to purchase the phone?