Woz Laments No Headphone Jack on iPhone 7, Sees USB-C as Future of Audio

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has predicted a consumer backlash if Apple drops the headphone jack in the upcoming iPhone 7 in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and accessory connectivity.

"If it's missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that's going to tick off a lot of people," claimed Woz, speaking to The Australian Financial Review.

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"I would not use Bluetooth – I don't like wireless," he said. "I have cars where you can plug in the music, or go through Bluetooth, and Bluetooth just sounds so flat for the same music."

With Apple widely expected to drop the headphone jack in next month's iPhone 7, rumors indicate the company will include Lightning-equipped EarPods in the box, as well as a Lightning-to-jack adapter to allow users like Woz to connect their existing wired earphones to the device.

"Mine have custom ear implants, they fit in so comfortably, I can sleep on them and everything. And they only come out with one kind of jack, so I'll have to go through the adapter," he said.

Asked what would have to change for him to consider using wireless in the future, Woz added: "If there's a Bluetooth 2 that has higher bandwidth and better quality, that sounds like real music, I would use it. But we'll see."

Bluetooth 5, announced in June, is expected to be faster, with longer range and a higher transfer rate, but when the standard will be ready for adoption remains unclear.

While the consensus is that Apple will remove the headphone jack in favor of Lightning, Intel continues to position USB-C as the open standard of the future for digital audio. The port is seeing wider adoption in popular Android-based smartphones.

"I think USB-C is going to be the future," said Woz. "One of my favorite Android phones, the Nexus 5X, uses that connector. It gives it a higher level in my own thinking."

Related Roundup: iPhone 7


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39 months ago
If Apple swapped to USB C this would all be a lot easier because it is becoming a standard being on all phones and laptops. Woz is right
Rating: 31 Votes
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39 months ago

Ever heard of a wireless earphone/headphone before? Jesus.


Ever heard of using the same headphones you currently have on the new iPhone? Unless your solution is that everybody should just invest in a new pair of headphones. Jesus.

Charging the iPhone and listening to music at the same time is a very valid point. What will the quality of the DAC be? How sturdy would the converter be? Would Apple even release something that would allow charging & headphones at the same time?
Rating: 19 Votes
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39 months ago

Wired stuff is not the future.

It's so obvious it's almost painful, but resistance to change is so strong here.


I think it's partly because it's standardised across the industry and almost everything uses the jack. Plus there's absolutely no comparison if you're serious about high audio quality (as I know you are)! Regardless, I do agree with you that it is the future, and a lot of people aren't quite ready to embrace the change; myself included.

However I think the thing that ticks most people off about this move is that the iPhone 7 doesn't really look much different. There isn't an aesthetic reason that justifies taking out the jack. It's just so that they can rip off the bandaid and get the pain out of the way.

If the iPhone 7 was a revolutionary, beautifully crafted device, then I think that would soften the blow for a lot of people. Right now, consumers are just feeling how they did when Apple soldered the RAM in the Mac Mini. It's just done for the sake of it, so people will grumble but not expect an audio jack/user-upgradable RAM in future iterations.
Rating: 16 Votes
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39 months ago
No offence to Wozniak, but he was never the visionary type.
Rating: 12 Votes
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39 months ago
Wired stuff is not the future.

It's so obvious it's almost painful, but resistance to change is so strong here.
Rating: 11 Votes
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39 months ago

Ever heard of a wireless earphone/headphone before? Jesus.


Ha, a comedienne. Well done. I don't use wireless ear/headphones, hence the comment. Jesus.
Rating: 10 Votes
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39 months ago

Wireless audio isn't "flat". I have a pair and they are better than my wired ones. Good figure.


Are they different makes of headphones though? If so, it could just be the quality of headphones. No way audio quality is higher wireless than wired; wired being a decent DAC, or running straight from the audio jack.

I challenge anybody here to find a pair of wireless headphones that even touch the quality of MDR-7506s. And if you can find a pair, they'd be at least quadruple the price. At least.
Rating: 9 Votes
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39 months ago

No offence to Wozniak, but he was never the visionary type.

Unless apple switches to USB-C, people will be mad. Headphone makers wont all bend to apples will to create lightning headphones. Some will, and some do, but why make headphones only apple devices can use? What happens when another port transition occurs?
Rating: 8 Votes
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39 months ago

I stopped caring about any and all of Woz's thoughts or opinions on Apple years ago. He does an awful lot of criticizing for someone who hasn't done anything relevant in tech for decades.

He's be perfect as a Macrumors member then :p

Seriously the man has some serious chops and people still listen to him because of skills and insights. I may not always agree with his opinions but I do respect and admire the man
Rating: 8 Votes
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39 months ago
What if I'm at work, I'm charging my iPhone and I want to listen to music stored on the phone? One port for audio and charging. Doh! o_O
Rating: 8 Votes
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