Bluetooth headphone adapters will soon become commonplace

By Shawn Knight ยท 16 replies
Aug 31, 2016
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  1. In exactly one week, Apple will take the stage at a media gathering in San Francisco to unveil its next-generation iPhone.

    The rumored decision to eliminate the 3.5mm headphone jack has been discussed ad nauseam and if true (it’s almost a guarantee at this point), hordes of people that buy a new iPhone in a few weeks will find themselves stuck with wired headphones that are no longer directly compatible with their smartphone.

    Rumors suggest Apple may bundle a pair of wireless “AirPods” with each new iPhone. Conversely, Apple could include a set of wired headphones that terminate at a Lightning connector or even include a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter although the latter option seems the least likely in my opinion.

    Those with quality aftermarket headphones of the wired variety will either be forced to buy an adapter like the one mentioned above, switch to a wireless solution or entertain a third option that’ll let you use your wired headphones wirelessly.

    Mobile accessory maker Griffin Technology will soon be launching its iTrip Clip Bluetooth headphone adapter. The concept is simple – just plug your wired headphones into the iClip dongle then wirelessly connect the dongle to your 3.5mm-less iPhone (or any mobile device with Bluetooth, for that matter).

    This gives you the freedom to continue to use your wired headset with the new iPhone while not having to be physically tethered to the handset. What’s more, the dongle even has built-in playback controls so you’ll be able to control the music without having to reach for your phone. Griffin even envisions using it in conjunction with your car’s stereo to bring wireless Bluetooth playback capabilities to older head units (assuming your stereo has an auxiliary 3.5mm jack).

    True to its name, the dongle even features a clip that’ll make it easy to attach to your shirt, backpack, visor or any other stationary object.

    As The Verge notes, this isn’t the first Bluetooth headset adapter on the block and it won’t be the last. It's also worth noting that Apple isn't even the first to ditch the jack (Chinese smartphone maker LeEco did so earlier this year with its latest round of smartphones). And if Intel has its way, the entire industry will eventually move away from the 3.5mm jack and instead use USB Type-C for audio. Much of this debate could be negated if Apple used USB Type-C instead of its own proprietary connection but I digress.

    That said, I’d expect to see a surge in similar wireless Bluetooth devices as consumers adjust to life without a 3.5mm jack.

    Look for the Griffin iClip Bluetooth headphone adapter to arrive next month priced at $19.99.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    No doubt it will be a new iteration of the same product, yet hailed as revolutionary.
  3. ...still won't matter. I'm not going to cave in just because "everyone is doing it" or "it's normal" or "that's just how it is" nonsense; I'm not going to give up the ability to listen to music and charge the phone at the same time - and I'll leave the adapters to those that want them.
    If they wanted the ability to make sure phones could be thinner going forward, perhaps do a one-time switch a 2.5mm connection?

    Anyway, that's all I'll say on this subject. I'll be voting with my wallet.
  4. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 390   +668

    ^ This. No 3.5mm socket = no sale for me. There is no serious "upgrade" here, just an excuse to sell adaptor cables (at least one slim one for 'on the go' plus maybe a second bulkier "Y cable" for listening whilst charging, etc). Either that or buy two sets of headphones (a standard set for the plethora of other devices with 3.5mm sockets and one Bluetooth set (yet another thing to remember to charge) for your "too posh for a headphone socket" 'premium' phone). Hardly "simplifies" anything.
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,667   +1,097

    Welcome to the world of mediocre headphones and stupid "dongles"
  6. Musician

    Musician TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +20

    We are going back in time. Sony and some other brands already had this for ages.

    Not buying a phone without 3.5mm jack.
    alabama man, Puiu and BSim500 like this.
  7. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,072   +428

    Switching to USB type-C would be fine. Proprietary connectors are really pointless and are shameless money collection tools.
    alabama man likes this.
  8. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    I need to grab my popcorn for when the Canadian Squid guy finds this thread. That last article about WOZ commenting on no more 3.5mm was quite entertaining.
  9. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 146   +75

    This is akin to having a Swiss Army Knife that is missing the knife feature. WTF Apple?
    Musician, p51d007 and Puiu like this.
  10. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Maniac Posts: 466   +241

    I had to go to the product page to get the battery life: 6 hours.

    I would think that's on par with most lightweight BT headphones so it looks like a neat product. I think that most people would just buy the BT headphones and not worry about losing the dongle.
  11. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    Oh, the fanboys will dolt on about how "stylish" and on and on...while spending extra money to buy wireless headphones, or purchase adapters. Using lightning connectors on the phone twice as much, once for headphones, another for charging will double the stress on the lightning connector, causing it to wear out more often.
    alabama man likes this.
  12. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I remember seeing one of Apple's reasons was "So we can make the phone thinner". Unless its for bendable OLED devices I have yet to hear Apple fans (or others) screaming "Only if the phone could be a few millimeters thinner!!!!". Most people just want a battery that lasts longer. I've never been a big Apple fan but they really seem to be making some questionable design decisions in recent years.
    alabama man and Puiu like this.
  13. Mikitukka

    Mikitukka TS Rookie

    OMG. You people are so ridiculous!! I switched to Bluetooth headphones years ago and I would never go back. This jack is decades old. You're probably the same people that winge about new pcs not having vga and ps2 ports anymore. It's called progress people.
  14. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Bluetooth required compression to send the data to the headphones, it lowers the fidelity of the audio, and I've got enough things to charge already without having to charge headphones too. It really depends on what your requirements are. If its low quality mp3 ripped to a small compressed size to fit as many songs as possible on a device it probably makes little difference. I use wireless headphones for gaming but for music, until they improve the quality I'll stick with wired.
    Phr3d, Puiu and Musician like this.
  15. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,667   +1,097

    absolutely all bluetooth headphones I've had (even very expensive ones) were crap. the audio quality was below average and the connectivity issues plagued all of them. and I'm sick and tired of having to recharge them after a few hours of listening to music.
    Arris likes this.
  16. Don't take this as an insult. People out there have, simply put, good hearing for music. When you start reducing the quality it LITERALLY causes people to cringe. I can certainly understand you position if you're far from having perfect pitch, but many are close to that, and if quality is removed - the entire experience with the phone is tainted.
    But that is just one thing, the other is what my first post was about - not being about to charge and listen at the same time.
    Arris likes this.
  17. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +84

    Nice to know that the First time your toddler bumps the USB-C or TBolt plug/wire (given the amazing quality of All USB/TBolt female ports in the wild today) you'll instantly have your newest $700 doorstop.. progress is indeed a beautiful thing, just not for average consumers.
    gotta' pass, me..

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