Apple has taken a lot of grief for disposing of the headphone jack from their iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and probably for good reason. While Motorola had already removed the headphone jack from their Moto Z phones months before, they haven’t gotten as much press as Apple. Those who like to argue for the sake of arguing will point to other past devices who have omitted the headphone jack, but those weren’t made with the intention to do away with an industry standard.
Apple has explicitly stated that their intention is to kill that 3.5mm headphone connection and if a new USB Type-C audio standard carries any weight, future Android phones may also be missing that little connection. The new USB Type-C audio standard was announced on September 27th, and points to the fact that manufacturers will need less ports on their devices with this new standard.
Device manufacturers can eliminate the need for multiple ports and efficiently deliver data, power and video over a single connector with USB Type-C™ and USB Power Delivery. To further support a single-cable solution, USB Audio over USB Type-C™ provides a standardized approach to deliver compelling user benefits, device interoperability and ease-of-use across all digital audio applications.
“USB is the simplest and most pervasive connector available today, making USB Type-C the logical choice for the future of digital audio,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO. “We encourage companies interested in adopting USB specifications to take advantage of USB-IF resources to reduce time-to-market and deliver reliable USB products.”
The new standard could also make for slimmer phones and added battery or other components that could make the smartphone experience better. It will be interesting to see if OEM’s embrace the standard and do away with the headphone jack for good, or continue to provide the 3.5mm connection as normal. OEM’s could conceivably use the new standard USB Type-C and still put the jack alongside it.
What do you think of this new standard for USB Type-C audio? Do you think the headphone jack is doomed? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.