New Rumors Suggest Apple Could Ditch 3.5mm Headphone Port for iPhone 7

| Rumor

iphone no headphone portApple fans know that the company is obsessed with thin, possibly to a fault, and there's one pesky little thing (aside from that darn camera) that is keeping Apple from further reducing the thickness of the iPhone: the 3.5mm headphone jack. The introduction of the Lightning port and its ability to send digital audio directly to compatible headphones, along with the ever increasing practicality of Bluetooth audio devices, have led many to speculate that the analog 3.5mm headphone port is not long for this world, and new supply chain rumors out of China this week suggest that the end could come as early as this fall with the introduction of the iPhone 7.

Chinese tech sites and Wei Feng released reports this week supporting earlier rumors out of Japanese site Mac Otakara that the iPhone 7 will lack a 3.5mm headphone port entirely, with Apple asking users to instead rely on a combination of wireless headphones, Lightning-compatible headphones, and Lightning-to-3.5mm adapters. Although Apple-owned Beats already offers a number of Bluetooth wireless headphones, Anzhuo and Wei Feng also report that Apple will release its own Apple-branded Bluetooth headphones as well as offer a Lightning-compatible wired version of the company's EarPods.

While Lightning-equipped headphones are already a reality, the rumored removal of the iPhone's 3.5mm headphone port does present a few technical and practical challenges. First, in order to support traditional headphones via an adapter, Apple would need to integrate a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) at some point in the chain; either in a revamped Lightning port itself or as part of the rumored adapter cable, the latter of which may make the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter a relatively pricey accessory.

Using the Lightning port for headphones would also present a problem similar to that faced by owners of the 12-inch Retina MacBook: how does a user accommodate both data and charging via a single port? Some have suggested that the iPhone 7 could see Apple adopt wireless charging, which would solve the power issue, but a solution like a Lightning Y-cable could also suffice, even if it adds a bit of complexity to wired headphone options.

For now, there's no confirmation from Apple or more reliable sources, although we expect that history will repeat itself with part leaks giving us a good idea ahead of time about the fate of the 3.5mm headphone port as Apple ramps up production of the iPhone 7 later this year.

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Lee Dronick

Don’t you dare!

One can be too thin and we are approaching it now.


Yuck. I really hope this is false. It wouldn’t remove functionality, just complicate it since you’d need more expensive adapters and splitters.

E.g. plugging into a car FM radio adapter (the one I have has a 30-pin adapter and an audio jack, obviously I use the audio jack now since my phone has a lightning connector).

E.g. plugging in a Thermodo, which uses the audio jack for communicating temperature data.

E.g. how convenient it is to have ear pods in my coat pocket that use a standard audio jack so I can plug them into whatever computer I’m sitting in front of. I wouldn’t carry those around if they didn’t work with my iPhone.


I think in pretty much every device I’ve owned in which I use earphones or connect to an aux plug—Walkman, iPod, cell phone, and now iPhone—the initial point of failure was the damned earphone plug.  Constant every day use loosens the spring-loaded contacts and the signal starts cutting in and out until eventually it fails for good.  Good riddance on a plug whose design ensures it will not last through daily all-day use.  All springs loose their springiness and the tighter a spring is loaded, the faster it deteriorates.


Been hearing rumours to this effect for a few weeks now. Quite ambivalent as to it actually. On one hand I can understand the push, both for reliability as well as waterproofing. Plus there are, I understand, Lightning headphones as well as the adaptor you mentioned available or soon to be. On the other hand my experience with BlueTooth devices has been one of dropped connections and batteries that died at exactly the least convenient moment. I’ve not had great luck with them, though I do have to admit my experience has been limited. The few devices I’ve worked with have not enticed me to keep buying BlueTooth products. Also I have a great pear of wired headphones that cost me $130 a couple of years ago. I’d hate to have to retire them prematurely.


Yep aardman, buddy of mine with a 5-month-old iPhone 6. Guess what his one and only issue is? Intermittent issues with his earphone plug. He could go with a refurbished iPhone 6 replacement (but who knows the age, wear, and battery life), or stick with current iPhone and switch to Bluetooth earbuds. He made the switch to Bluetooth earbuds and couldn’t be happier. I only plug in my wired earbuds if my Bluetooth earbuds are out of reach. AND, if Apple provides Apple Lightning earbuds with every new iPhone 7 (as I believe they would do), the majority of those upgrading are covered. If they can do that without raising the price of the iPhone, then more power to them, and may the earphone plug go the way of Adobe Flash!!

Lee Dronick

I haven’t had any problems the ports on my iPhones or iPods, but earphone cables wearing is a differnt story. Add the new connector if they must, but keep the mini port.


There was the same rumor about the 6 and the 6S.

Lee Dronick

Remember the recessed mini port that required an adaptor to use non Apple earbuds?

Paul Goodwin

This rumor has come up every year for years. I hope it’s not going to go this way. The world is full of headphones with the current audio jack. Who wants to buy adapters? The phones are thin enough.

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