Maria Montero

Two years later, I still miss the headphone port.

Two years ago, Apple killed the headphone port. I still haven’t forgiven them for that.

When Apple announced that the iPhone 7 would not have a headphone port, I was immediately upset. I thought maybe I would get over it in a few months. I didn’t. I thought if the worst got worse, I’d switch platforms. Then all the other manufacturers began to follow suit.

This, of course, is not a new annoyance for me. I’ve been hating headphone adapters on phones right here on this very website since two thousand nine. For a little stretch there though, I got my way.

It was a world full of shitty dedicated dongles and audio ports. Sony Ericsson had the FastPort. Nokia had the Pop-Port. Samsung had like 10 different ports that nobody gave a shit about. No phone maker had claimed the throne yet, so no port had ever become ubiquitous … but every maker wanted its port to become the Port. Even phones that had a standardized audio jack mostly had the smallest 2.5mm port, requiring an adapter anyway.

Then came the original iPhone with its 3.5mm headphone port. It was a weird recessed 3.5mm port that didn’t work with most headphones, but it was a 3.5mm port! Apple capitalized on the success of the iPod, and people referred to this device that is rumored as the iPod Phone before it was even announced. How could something like that? no Do you have a headphone port?

IPhone sales started to climb. A few million in 2007. Almost 12 million in 2008. 20 million in 2009. The tide turned. When Apple’s little glass plate took over the smartphone world, other manufacturers tried to figure out what Apple was doing so well. The smartphone market, once filled with button-covered plastic beasts (this one slides! This one spins!), Homogenized. Launch by launch, everything started to look more like the iPhone. A slab of glass. Top quality materials. Minimal physical buttons. And, of course, a headphone port.

In a couple of years, a standard headphone port wasn’t just a good selling point, it was a must. We had entered the wonderful era of being able to use your wired headphones whenever you were very happy.

Then came September 7, 2016, when Apple had the “courage” to announce that it was ditching the 3.5mm jack (and check out these new $ 150 wireless headphones by the way!).

Apple wasn’t the first to ditch the headphone port, but, as with its decision to include one, its decision to remove it has turned the tide. A few months after the portless iPhone 7 was announced, Xiaomi rejected the port on the Mi 6. Then Google ditched it from its Android phone, the Pixel 3. Even Samsung, who mocked Apple for the decision, appears to be playing with the idea of ​​dropping it. Although the leaks suggest that the next Galaxy S10 will have a headphone port, the company pulled it out of the mid-range A8 lineup earlier this year. If 2016 was the year Apple tested the headphone jack, 2018 was the year it bled out.

And I’m still mad about it.

Technology comes and goes, and very often, by making Apple. Ditch the CD drive in laptops? That’s okay – CDs were doomed, and they were pretty horrible to begin with. Kill flash? Sucked flash. Change one type of USB port for another? Penalty fee, I suppose. The new USB is better in almost every way. At the very least, I won’t try to plug it in backwards only to flip it over and realize I had it right the first time.

But the headphone jack? Was penalty fee. It stood the test of time for a hundred cursed years, and for good reason: that. Alone. Job.

I’ve been trying to figure out why removing the headphone port bothers me more than other ports that have been unceremoniously canceled, and I think it’s because the headphone port almost always it just made me happy. Using the headphone port means listening to my favorite album, or using a free minute to catch the latest episode of a show, or handing a friend a headset to share a new tune. He allowed for happy moments and never got in the way.

Now whenever I want to use my headphones, I feel annoyed.

Bluetooth? Wow, he forgot to charge them. Or they are trying to pair with my laptop even though my laptop is off and in my backpack.