Motorola's New 'Moto Z' and 'Z Force' Smartphones Have No Headphone Jack
Amid rumors suggesting Apple will remove the headphone jack in upcoming the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Lenovo-owned Motorola today announced the Moto Z and the Z Force, two new smartphones that eschew headphone jacks in favor of an ultra-thin design.
Sans headphone jack, Motorola has managed to shrink the Moto Z down to 5.19mm thick, while the Z Force, Motorola's more powerful smartphone, measures in at 6.9mm thick. Instead of a headphone jack, both devices feature a single USB-C port which will require a USB-C to 3.5mm jack adapter to use with existing headphones with a 3.5mm headphone plug.
Smaller smartphone companies like LeEco have previously eliminated headphone jacks in their devices, but Motorola is the first major manufacturer to do so, signaling the first significant industry shift away from the headphone jack. We're also seeing headphone companies like Audeze and Bose fully embracing both wireless headphones and Lightning-connected headphones as technology abandons the 3.5mm jack.
Apple plans to remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, positioning the Lightning port, rather than a USB-C connector, as an all-in-one solution for both charging and listening to music with wired headphones.
With the iPhone 7 and beyond, users will need wireless headphones, headphones with a Lightning connector, or a Lightning-to-3.5mm jack adapter, which have already begun surfacing. The switch to Lightning looks like nothing more than an inconvenience on the surface, but as we outlined in a recent video, there are benefits in the form of a potential boost to audio quality.
To make the transition easier for customers, Apple is rumored to be working on Lightning-connected EarPods that could perhaps ship with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, as well as Bluetooth-enabled wire-free earbuds similar to the Bragi Dash.
Curiously, while Lenovo removed the headphone jack from the Moto Z and the Z Force to cut down on thickness, rumors have suggested Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be similar in thickness to the iPhone 6s, so it is not clear what Apple will do with the extra space freed up by the removal of the jack.
Conflicting information points towards the possibility of a second speaker for stereo sound, but rumors are torn on whether or not an additional speaker will be included. A larger battery could also fill the extra space, or new as-of-yet unknown hardware.