Poll: would the presence of an audio jack sway your smartphone buying decision?

Poll: would the presence of an audio jack sway your smartphone buying decision?
So, the HTC Bolt is now official and so is its lack of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Yup, HTC went the way of Apple and got rid of this “archaic technology”, supposedly to make more room inside the handset for other components and for easier water-proofing of the device. Whatever the reason, we could easily be witnessing the start of a trend here. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force also do not have a dedicated stereo jack, and some less-known Android phone manufacturers have also done this on a model or two. We wouldn't be surprised if about 40% of next year's flagships lack the headphone port. Or, if not next year, the year after that.

So, how do you feel about this supposed future? Do you reckon you'd abandon your manufacturer of choice if they omit the headphone jack from their next flagship, or is it not enough of a feature to make you jump ship and buy a different phone? Let us know!

Would the presence / absence of an audio jack sway your buying decision in the future?

I will definitely look for phones with a 3.5 mm jack
64.36%
I still haven't decided if it's a big deal to me, so let's cross that bridge when we reach it
14.91%
Nah, I'll just use the adapters / I don't care much about it anyway
20.73%

Related phones

Bolt
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(23h talk time)

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60 Comments

1. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

40 votes and no comments? Well, listening to music is 50% of my usage of the phone and I find myself listening while charging almost every day so I would definitely not buy jack-less device Though I am considering moving all my music to some high quality DAP and use phone for other things so then It wouldn't be such a big deal. Or would it, how many times you go to some party and want to play your music, I guess without jack you're screwed.

24. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I don't listen to songs alot but I do talk on phone alot. Usually I use Bluetooth headphones but wired headphones are vital when needed.

43. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

I dont care about the headphone jack, but I want a universal port available. Only an idiot would subscribe to the dangle hell that is Apple's vision. Something like Moto Z with USB C is okay since at least I can use the headphones with other future and current tech.

48. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Wired headphones are obsolete. I've been buying dust plugs to cover up that 3.5mm jack for years. I'm glad to see it go.

55. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Your usage doesn't translate general usage.

50. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

I don't want to overuse my charging port, so jack is a must.

2. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Yes, yes and yes! Like I've always said before, until wireless audio quality is on par with, or better than wired devices, with longer lasting battery within the same price barrier, I'll stick to phones with jacks.

10. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Not having a 3.5 mm headphone jack does not automatically mean manufacturers are pushing wireless headphones. USB-C (and I'm sure the Lightning port although I don't know much about it in terms of audio quality) has been found to have better sound quality than the 3.5 mm headphone jack. If you think about it, it's been decades since we've taken a look at replacing the standard headphone jack with something to improve it. It'll take time and there will be a lot of people that will hate it and there will be the adoption rate to take into consideration (I mean who can remember when CD players became a thing and all of our car radios still had cassette players). From what I've read, by going with the USB-C standard it would get rid of the interference when you have your corded earphones rub against clothing and what not. And if you think about it, headsets for the PC world have already gone to the USB standard over just the 3.5 mm headphone jack. All of the higher end headsets use USB (and gold-plated ones for the premium ones). So, I say we should embrace a new standard that will end up giving us better audio quality than the old 3.5 mm jack. Yes, in the short term it's going to suck to have dongles and buying new headphones, but just remember whenever we've gone to a new format or standard everyone has had to do that. We have to remember the long term.

13. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

As much as i agree with you there is one single issue. on my pc i have 8 USB port. on my phone only one. so when they will add two port thats we can use for anything we want ( charging , headphone , keyboard , mouse , gamepad ect ect ect ) I will fully agree until then sorry but no thanks i wont buy a phone with only 1 port for all.

18. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well wireless charging is becoming more and more popular, so you could still charge your device and use your headphones that way. Also, Belkin I believe developed a dongle that could allow charging and headphones out at the same time, so it's only a matter of time that this becomes a standard included with your device's charger (not as a dongle but actually a part of the standard charger).

25. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Now you're talking about wireless charging. :/ And those things are still pretty slow. Oh god you fanboys would really just think of anything just to protect your iCraps. Just admit it that there's nothing that can replace the 3.5mm jack yet when it comes to convenience and practicality.

29. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Why would I just be talking about the iPhone? You are aware Motorola lost the 3.5 mm jack on their phones before the iPhone, right? And so did the latest HTC Bolt. Way to assume something. I don't even own the latest iPhone. And I'm currently using an Android device. And I never said that it wasn't convenient to keep the 3.5 mm jack. If you read my comment, I said that it will be very hard for people to move to a new platform. However, I believe the long term reward will end up being beneficial for audio quality than teh short term loss of having to deal with purchasing a new set of headphones. That is also dependent on headphone companies investing in wired USB sets. Again, my comment was DEPENDENT on some factors. I never made a blanket statement to suggest it's all good. There are many ways it can go wrong, but we've been down this path before with other formats changing.

27. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Wireless charging was more popular a few years ago when it peaked, and then it dropped off. How many recently released phones have it outside of Samsung's offerings. As for USB-C sounding better than a 3.5mm jack, that is all dependent on the driver's in the headphones and the DAC used. If USB-C headphones have a better DAC than what's housed in the phone, then it will sound better, but I wouldn't bet on the cheap USB-C headphones having that.

35. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think everyone is hopping on the wireless charging comment, but that was just a mere suggestion as a go around for being able to charge and listen at the same time. I think the better method will be the charging cable having a separate line out for audio (similar to the Belkin option). And you are correct that the headphones will sound different depending on whether you go cheap or expensive, but that's what has already been going on in the PC market.

62. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

My comment has nothing to do with it being a solution, it has to do with your assertion that it's becoming more popular. It's popularity peaked a few years back. Almost every phone that launched had it, now very few. So if anything it's becoming less popular. The quality of the headphone drivers is only part of it. The real cause of better quality sound is the DAC. You can have decent quality headphones sound good with an excellent DAC, but even with the best headphones available, if the source is crap, the sound will be as well. By removing the DAC from phones, they put the responsibility of good quality sound squarely on the headphones manufacturer's shoulders. So where before you could get a great quality pair of headphones for around $100, now they're going to have to include the cost of a similar quality DAC. In the phone's that dropped the 3.5mm jack (iPhone 7 and Moto Z) the cost has not gone down appreciatively, so it just means you have to spend even more to get good quality sound. If they dropped the price a bit to make up for the lack of the headphone jack and DAC, that's he one thing. The price drop would offset the cost of getting headphones with a better DAC. But since it didn't, now you're shelling out more to get what you previously had included in the cost of the phone.

58. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The reason wireless charging didn't take off, is because it required a ceamratin type of solution to make it work. 2 standards no single solution. Metal phones need a special back cover which was pricy. All Android phones with The SnapDragon 8xx chipset support wireless charging. However they require support from the OEM. Samsung is the only one supporting both standards in one solution. Other forms just haven't followed. But once Apple does it, they all will. As Samsung says, if you get their first, others will follow. If they are planning on dropping headphone jacks and don't want to give stupid dongles, wireless charging is the o my option. Don't will get popular because it will be a must. And phones with 4000+ sized batys, no one is going to want a phone to take 4-6 hours to charge. Just think the present iPhone with a 1Amp charger takes 3+ hours to charge a 2700mah battery. So if it had the s7's battery it would take double the time. 6 hours? You really want that?

33. irossdrummer

Posts: 366; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

Even if it's "getting more popular" it's still not a good alternative. Wireless charging is slow and you can't touch your phone while it's on a wireless charging pad. Oh and that popular iPhone 7 that believes in a "wireless world" with the headphone jack? There's no wireless charging.... it just wasn't time yet, and even though it's better sounds quality, at least add another port and not just have one port

28. Beastmode1

Posts: 85; Member since: Feb 08, 2016

The thing is that some companies are removing the interface and not giving a better option also making current headphones slightly worse with the use of adapters like apple , now i dont mind moving to a new type of connection that is future ready as you mention it but if i must use and adapter i want sound from internal DAC not a cheaper one hidden in the adapter then ill be ok with it but also they need to include a second port for charging and listening to things at the same time like 2 lighiting or 2 usb c thats fine by me as long as the above is also included altough im not even sure if thats possible someone smarter than me can tell you that

38. thunder18

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

"From what I've read, by going with the USB-C standard it would get rid of the interference when you have your corded earphones rub against clothing and what not." The phenomenon you're referring to is called microphonics and changing the signal source will not change it. Properly insulating the cord from the earbuds/headphones/earphones is the only way to reduce it. I'll believe the standard has taken hold once standalone receivers and other non-portable audio devices start carrying one or both of these jacks for this purpose.

46. mixedfish

Posts: 1547; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Why is there such a fetish to replace things if there is no new application? The 3.5mm jack is relevant because audio will always be analogue once it leaves the amplifier stage. Logic says that the more you pass through an analogue signal through more parts and adapters, you simply lose quality. Your example of PC headsets taking up USB is not the same thing. They are audio bypasses that starts from a USB built in amp. Unlike Smartphones which is passing an analogue audio signal through the USB port.

51. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Intel is behind it. The people who create USB standards just recently (last month) approved a new method for audio over USB-C ports. Whether you like it or not, it seems to be happening. Apple released the iPhone 7 without one. Motorola made a device without one. HTC made one without one. And now it looks like Samsung is looking to replace it too: http://www.sammobile.com/2016/09/14/rumor-samsung-looking-to-replace-the-3-5-mm-headphone-jack-with-a-proprietary-port/ I could always be wrong, but I think you will start to see the industry shift towards a new audio standard. Samsung buying Harman could be seen as another leg for these rumors to stand on.

57. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Please explain how the SUN C and lightning port have better sound, when it's still using a corded connection?

3. libra89

Posts: 2265; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I chose the middle option because it seems like the best option for me since I'm not sure. I'm not a fan of the removal BUT at the same time, I rarely use that.

4. Ticklemyfancy

Posts: 214; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

Yes it does . You don't get my money if there is no headphone jack.

5. Rocket

Posts: 636; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

yes bcs when i travel/work i charge my phone and listen music at the same time.

6. isproab

Posts: 20; Member since: May 27, 2010

3.5 mm jack is a must. I find it strange that the cell phone manufacturers want to dictate what is necessary, but they are not really thinking about usage and availability. I can get on a flight, forget my ear buds and be given a pair by the airline. A pair that has a 3.5 mm jack. I can lose my earbuds today and go to the local CVS and buy a cheap pair that will serve their purpose. An adapter is just another piece I have to keep up with. USB-C ear buds are not commonly found. Show me a pair of wireless buds that work for $10.

7. athos07m

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

Even though the global anti-FM-radio-mafia tries to kill it, I still listen to FM radio a lot. This needs the earphones' cord for reception, so yes, until this works like this, 3,5jack is a must for me.

12. libra89

Posts: 2265; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

On my iPhone, I get reception just fine via an app without headphones. I was shocked because I thought that the earphone cord thing was the only way. Do you mean like a native FM radio app?

14. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

your app is using your data. Real FM radio dont use data. I can also listen to all FM on a app on my android but its will use data.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17196; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not only does an app use data in an increasingly data limited world, but sometimes things aren't streamed. NFL games, for instance. My local team broadcasts on a local FM station, but the license doesn't cover streaming so they're blacked out online.

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