Don’t panic about the death of the 3.5mm headphone jack
Lastly, expect Bluetooth audio to become a solution even beyond adapters and Lightning ports and the like. Bluetooth audio has a bad reputation in the pro audio world partly because a lot of people were exposed to early versions of it. That included low-spec audio streamrate; audio quality can now be indistinguishable from wired cables (if the headphones are any good). And it was accompanied by poor performance, lag, and pairing problems. Don’t get me wrong: I still prefer wires. But Bluetooth audio isn’t the pain it once was.
I’m still not a fan of going to Lightning-based headphones – it’s not the change of port that annoys me, since all the headphones I have are either the ones that came with my phone or a $10 pair off the ‘clearance’ rack, but the fact that they’re going to a proprietary standard. If Apple dropped Lightning for USB-C in the iPhones,1 then I would be okay with them dropping the 3.5mm port.
That said, I use BlueTooth headphones all the time, as well as BlueTooth to send music to speakers. The only problems I’ve ever had with BlueTooth Audio are glitchiness because a) my headphones are cheap and don’t switch modes well and b) my ‘BlueTooth speaker’ is actually a Windows 7 computer with a BlueTooth chip, and the drivers for that crash sometimes.
- Which, thanks to a lot of lawmakers pushing for a ‘universal charger’ in the EU, might actually be possible. ↩