Apple ditches the headphone jack, launches mediocre wireless earbuds, and calls it ‘courage’

Apple rumors are not always accurate, but in the case of the iPhone 7‘s headphone jack, they were dead-on. As expected, Apple announced the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack. Instead, it will do audio over the Lightning port, via Bluetooth, and apparently via a Bluetooth-like low-power protocol for the optional AirPods. Whether or not you think this is a good idea, Apple has kicked off the post-headphone jack era — Android OEMs are going to start following suit. I’ve spent some time trying to live without the headphone jack courtesy of the Motorola Moto Z, and it’s pretty much as annoying as you’d expect it to be… at least for now.

Apple has a history of removing older standards from its devices before anyone else. For example, it famously ditched the floppy drive in the iMac G3. The venerable 3.5mm headphone jack is a little more troublesome as there’s an entire ecosystem of accessories that rely upon it, including some very expensive headphones that Apple itself sells under its Beats brand.

Apple’s new wireless AirPods raise far more questions than they answer. At $159, they’re extremely expensive relative to both wired earbuds and conventional wireless designs in which the earbuds or headphones are connected to each other via a cable. They’re less expensive compared to other truly wireless solutions, but also seem to lack features that other sets support. The lack of buttons, for example, means you’ll be interfacing with Siri to perform all your tasks.
Apple also claims they’ve implemented a new proprietary wireless connection standard courtesy of their new W1 processor — but the AirPods will supposedly offer just 5 hours of listening time. That’s roughly in-line with what cheap Bluetooth earbuds currently offer at $25-$30. More expensive earbuds promise much better, with headsets in the $150 to $200 range offering 6-12 hours. Granted, Bluetooth audio also has had some problems with latency and quality, but Apple didn’t offer any concrete information on how its new audio standard would avoid these issues. Putting a chip inside an AirPod is interesting — but interesting and meaningfully better aren’t the same thing.
Apple promises a number of advances with these new earphones, including a rechargeable case that can hold 24 hours worth of listening time, the ability to recognize whether you have the devices in your ears, and the ability to detect new audio feeds and switch to devices in close proximity. Apple did not confirm whether or not the AirPods can function via Bluetooth and pair with other devices. It’s been implied that the AirPods are only compatible with devices that can run iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. That includes iPhones from the iPhone 5, the iPad mini 2, the iPad 4th generation, the iPad Air, and the sixth-generation iPod Touch.

The only courage in this announcement was the price tag. $159 for a pair of earbuds with mediocre talk time and potentially limited compatibility is not a breakthrough. Ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack may allow for marginally better audio, but the minuscule amount of room that jack took up inside the chassis won’t lead to meaningful improvements in battery life — nor did it seem to lead to a further decrease in device thickness, however unnecessary that would have been at this point.
Other companies, meanwhile, have found ways to build water-resistant phones without ditching the headphone jack. The Verge thinks Apple’s W1 is a fancy way to obfuscate its use of Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth Smart), but it’s not clear if this is accurate. Whatever Apple has implemented, it appears to be an additional protocol wrapped around Bluetooth — we’ll have to wait and see if it can “fix” wireless audio as Schiller promised. Apple’s EarPod audio quality hasn’t historically been good enough to justify a $160 price point and I’ve personally found the fit rather poor. They may work for basic activities, but not for anything athletic.
The iPhone 7’s other hardware promises some genuine change and improvement, but I’m not impressed with the company’s decision to remove useful functionality in favor of an expensive peripheral that almost certainly won’t justify its price. Given the logic board problems with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the only iPhone I’d personally want to buy at this point is the iPhone SE, with its combination of long battery life, proven design, and broader support for common industry standards.

 Source To Original News , ExtremeTech


Anonymous said...

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best wireless earbuds said...

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