I’ve had it with the kvetching and the complaining and the whining and the doom crying about Apple ditching the headphone jack on the next iPhone. Seriously, stop already.
A.) It hasn’t happened yet.
B.) If it does happen, you have no idea how Apple is going to handle the transition.
C.) When it does happen, you’ll get over it. Just like we did with floppy drives, ADB, FireWire, CD/DVD drives, 30-Pin Dock connectors.
Look at that list. Every time Apple cut one of those things, everybody and their brother was up in arms. I might have been one of them on the FireWire front. It’s hazy, and I’ve worked hard to let it go.
But is there one amongst us who can stand up now and say (with a straight face), “Jeesh, Apple was wrong to ditch [some legacy technology].”
I can’t make a case for wanting anything that Apple has dumped on the ash heap of progress. This is, after all, what Apple does. The company pushes relentlessly forward, whether or not we want it to. But in the end, we tend to be pleased as punch when we get there.
Steve Wozniak is the highest-profile complainant. In an interview this week with the Australia Finance Review, Mr. Wozniak said, “If it’s missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that’s going to tick off a lot of people.”
He’s right. It will. And then they’ll get over it.
[Edit: geoduck noted in the comments that the Woz also complained about Bluetooth. He’s right about that. Bluetooth isn’t the answer. Lightning connectors are. More on that below. – Bryan]
Out with the old
The headphone jack is old. It’s prone to being damaged from normal use. It’s a point of egress for liquid into your device. It’s surprisingly big for what it does (when viewed through a modern eye). Using a Lightning connector for our headphones solves all of those issues.
The only possibility for legit complaint (in my eyes) is if Apple fails to provide a method for passthrough charging or adapters for legacy headphone jacks. I doubt either will be the case. I will be the first to whine about either of those eventualities, but until we know, there’s just nothing to complain about.
For what it’s worth, part of what colors my thoughts here is that I have a pair of Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones for review. They’re amazeballs, but my point is they came with two cables. The first is a standard headphone jack, and the second comes with a Lightning connector and a built-in digital signal processor (DSP).
The Lightning cable works great. It sounds better, too, but without an A/B test, I couldn’t tell you how much can be attributed to the DSP and how much to the Lightning connection.
My point is not about how great the very expensive headphones sound, but rather about having practical experience with a Lightning connector. It works wonderfully well, and I haven’t experienced any charging issues despite the lack of a passthrough option.