Sony reveals its strange reason for abandoning the headphone jack

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back at Mobile World Congress, Sony unveiled its new Xperia XZ2 series smartphones. While the handsets’ reduced bezels and curvy designs are a welcome departure from their boxy predecessors, they do following an annoying trend: no headphone jacks. Now, the company has explained its reasoning behind their removal, and it’s about as convincing as Apple’s ‘courageous’ decision to get rid of the "dinosaur" port in the iPhone 7.

In the Sony Mobile MWC 2018 FAQ, the company is asked why it removed the jack in the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. The answer? To create a beautiful seamless design, of course.

“This is part of the shift to our new Ambient Flow design language,” wrote Sony. “In order to create the beautiful seamless design, our designers needed to remove the headphone jack. Plus, we’re aware of the major market trend toward wireless headphones over wired headphones.”

The design excuse does seem a little strange, especially as Samsung’s latest phones, including the Galaxy S9/S9+, all come with headphone jacks, and their designs appear pretty seamless. But, as Sony points out, its devices do ship with an included adaptor, so you can still use your wired headphones with them. And the adaptor supports Sony's Hi-Res Audio technology, too, as long as you use a compatible headset.

Samsung is, admittedly, one of the few firms refusing to let go of the 3.5mm jack in its phones, as Sony joins Google, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, and others in abandoning the long-used port.

While it’s true that the market seems to be moving toward wireless headphones rather than wired, most consumers want to be able to choose between the two, instead of being forced to opt for wireless. Still, the new Xperia XZ2s do look like an impressive pair of devices, even without the jack.

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RaXoR

TS Maniac
The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are the ugly children of the whole xperia lineup. They should've stuck to the old design while reducing bezels sizes and harnessing that 4k hdr screen. They were on the right track and now they have deviated too far.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I can see the author’s bias in the title... but at least he included the “admission” that Samsung is pretty much the only ones to keep the 3.5 port...

The writing was on the wall as soon as Apple ditched it. Much like the CD-ROM in laptops which everyone criticized Apple for ditching years ago, the 3.5mm port is toast in mobile devices.

The real reason Sony followed suit has little to do with the “seamless design” - although it probably IS easier to make one without the port - but simply because “everyone else is doing it too”.

Which the author kind of included as an afterthought...
 

Comanche

TS Booster
4K screen is pointless on a mobile phone...[/QUOTE]

To make these people understand that, is futile, and in a few year you will hear they want 8k on their phones
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
"seamless design" eh? They missed the mark IMO. I dont care how pretty a phone is, because it is immediately going into a protective case, preferably an otter box.And frankly, these new phones look nowhere near as nice as the OG xperia compact. The new designs are too shiny, too fragile and glass filled.

What I care about is functionality, and sony seems to have missed that people buy phones to use them, not as fashion accessories. Only apple can get away with that.

I can see the author’s bias in the title... but at least he included the “admission” that Samsung is pretty much the only ones to keep the 3.5 port...

The writing was on the wall as soon as Apple ditched it. Much like the CD-ROM in laptops which everyone criticized Apple for ditching years ago, the 3.5mm port is toast in mobile devices.

The real reason Sony followed suit has little to do with the “seamless design” - although it probably IS easier to make one without the port - but simply because “everyone else is doing it too”.

Which the author kind of included as an afterthought...
Apple also, very shortsightedly, abandoned type A USB ports. I still dont see all the type C keyboards, and mice, and flash drives, ece. Apple also abandoned their server hardware at the same time they were announcing their mobile devices, forcing anybody who wants centrally managed iOS devices to go through clunky third party software rather then using in house apple hardware, quite a missed opportunity there.

The floppy drive was abandoned because CDs were objectively superior, same with abandoning dvd rom for USB. Bluetooth is objectively inferior to 3.5mm, not having good audio encoding, issues with loss, limited range, requiring yet ANOTHER device to be recharged, shorter run times VS wired headphones, pairing issues, ece.

Sony and LG are ditching the ports and trying to copy apple's cop out excuses, but both companies are tiny players hemorrhaging money on phones. The only profitable android OEM, samsung, is keeping them. Interesting isnt it?
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Sony and LG are ditching the ports and trying to copy apple's cop out excuses, but both companies are tiny players hemorrhaging money on phones. The only profitable android OEM, samsung, is keeping them. Interesting isnt it?
Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei, Google and more have also eliminated the port...Here's a site that can keep you posted :)

https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/news/always-updated-list-phones-with-no-headphone-jack-built-0181441/

And Samsung simply kept it because this isn't a major redesign year for their flagship - they focused on the camera this year so changing the port wouldn't have gained them anything... I'd be far more surprised if they maintain the port in the years to come.
 

Ultraman1966

TS Booster
Sony and LG are ditching the ports and trying to copy apple's cop out excuses, but both companies are tiny players hemorrhaging money on phones. The only profitable android OEM, samsung, is keeping them. Interesting isnt it?
Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei, Google and more have also eliminated the port...Here's a site that can keep you posted :)

https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/news/always-updated-list-phones-with-no-headphone-jack-built-0181441/

And Samsung simply kept it because this isn't a major redesign year for their flagship - they focused on the camera this year so changing the port wouldn't have gained them anything... I'd be far more surprised if they maintain the port in the years to come.
I took my LG G5 apart the other day and the space taken up by the audio jack is tiny. You really don't gain much by removing that port...
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
Sony and LG are ditching the ports and trying to copy apple's cop out excuses, but both companies are tiny players hemorrhaging money on phones. The only profitable android OEM, samsung, is keeping them. Interesting isnt it?
Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei, Google and more have also eliminated the port...Here's a site that can keep you posted :)

https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/news/always-updated-list-phones-with-no-headphone-jack-built-0181441/

And Samsung simply kept it because this isn't a major redesign year for their flagship - they focused on the camera this year so changing the port wouldn't have gained them anything... I'd be far more surprised if they maintain the port in the years to come.
And motorola has been sold, what, twice now? HTC is a slow, failing manufacturer that hasnt turned a profit in years, google is backed up by the might of google, and xiaomi and huawei can conveniently avoid those pesky patents when the need arises, not to mention get around the whole "pay people decent wages" thing. And huawei only makes one phone without said jack, the rest still have it.

Case and point, this: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2017/11/20/no-surprise-that-apples-iphone-dominates-smartphone-profits/#22c8b971bf8c

Only samsung and huawei made any profit, and samsung made the lionshare of android profit. Both still embrace the headphone jack (with the huawei outlier being the only exception). LG, sony, motorola, google, HTC, xiaomi, ece all LOST money.

So I maintain my point. The OEMs that still make money have kept the jack (we'll see about huawei) and the companies that have attempted to copy apple's heavy handed anti consumer move (lg, sony, HTC) continue to loose money trying to be hip. Only apple can get away with that. .
 
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RaXoR

TS Maniac
I do :) he has a valid point, Phone VR at this moment in time is a temporary gimmick, hence the countless used Samsung VR Headsets for sale etc.
Lol no. You think the US is the only market in the world? Have you seen China's obsession with VR? They are going insane over it, specifically mobile VR. Technological advancements are a good thing but since you people want to continue playing with a 1080p screen on a phone just to save a couple hundred bucks, the rest of us that want nice new features get stuck with old subpar tech.
 

GreyFoxx

TS Addict
Lol no. You think the US is the only market in the world? Have you seen China's obsession with VR? They are going insane over it, specifically mobile VR. Technological advancements are a good thing but since you people want to continue playing with a 1080p screen on a phone just to save a couple hundred bucks, the rest of us that want nice new features get stuck with old subpar tech.
At no point did I mention the US market... I'm not even from the US...
 

Ranger6

TS Rookie
Sony and LG are ditching the ports and trying to copy apple's cop out excuses, but both companies are tiny players hemorrhaging money on phones. The only profitable android OEM, samsung, is keeping them. Interesting isnt it?
Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei, Google and more have also eliminated the port...Here's a site that can keep you posted :)

https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/news/always-updated-list-phones-with-no-headphone-jack-built-0181441/

And Samsung simply kept it because this isn't a major redesign year for their flagship - they focused on the camera this year so changing the port wouldn't have gained them anything... I'd be far more surprised if they maintain the port in the years to come.
Motorola still offers a number of phones that have a 3.5mm port.