Apple shows continued interest in shrinking audio jacks to create thinner devices

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 45
    triggstriggs Posts: 28member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I think you miss the point of Apple's headphones. Not everyone listens to rap and not everyone listens to classical music. Sure, a lot of kids and a lot of audiophiles don't like them because they don't have a subwoofer or because you can't hear the conductor coughing on that recording from the 20's, but most people don't care.



    That's who they are made for, "most people."



    The whole point of the inventions described here is to find a way for Apple to make their devices smaller precisely so that they don't have to go with a non-standard jack which would leave all the marginal cases (audiophiles and rap lovers), out in the cold.



    Audio quality aside, Apples earbuds hurt my ears if I have them in more than 5 minutes. I always throw the s#!tty Apple earbuds away as soon as I open a new iPod/Phone. I went with Etymotic and love 'em.
  • Reply 22 of 45
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diorfl21 View Post


    Apple of all companies should know to make something smaller and better they need to get rid of it. For ex. The MacBook air doesn't uave a cd rom drive why ? Because you can download everything fro the app store now on ur laptop. While this move is brave it's also genius ! My suggestion would be to create Bluetooth headphones so you don't really have to worry about an audio port anymore !



    Interesting idea but the reliability is just not there. Also, how would you deal with FAA rules on a plane?
  • Reply 23 of 45
    Why don't Apple do away with the built in 3.5mm headphone port alltogether and just supply an adaptor to plug into the dock connector?



    That way they could also generate some much-needed extra revenue by charging everybody outside the US a 30% premium for replacement / additional units.
  • Reply 24 of 45
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post


    Right, and the last thing I want is to be locked to their headphones that keep falling out of my ears. This is a real pain in the gym or mountain biking. I want to choose my own headphones to application thanks, not what apple thinks are great.



    The sound quality is not awful but hardly competes with similarly priced products so no thanks to the custom connector!



    I agree. I do not want to get locked into Apple licensed products just because Apple doesn't like the standard mini jack. And does the iPhone and other such devices really need to be even thinner than they already are? I really don't need to keep my phone in my wallet.



    While this article states that Apple would continue to use a standard jack and it would fold away somehow (huh?), if Apple did want to change the jack, I suppose that would be okay if they made the new jack an open standard with free licensing, so that mini-jack to Apple jack adapters would be readily and inexpensively available, just as I have a bunch of mini to 1/4" phone jack adapters, so I can use my headphones with my stereo system as well.



    I don't only use my headphones on Apple devices and I don't want to be limited in that regard (although I couldn't care less about the the white earplugs Apple supplies, because I never use them - they don't even stay in my ears when I'm standing still).



    But there's another issue: the smaller you make the device and jack, the more fragile it is likely to be. If Apple were to reduce the size of the jack and/or make it fold in some way that made it more fragile, is it going to be able to support the mini phone jack + adapter + cable of decent headphones?



    Furthermore, the jacks and wires used are already too small. It used to be when a plug went bad, you could go to a store like Radio Shack, buy a new plug and solder it on yourself. But in my Sennheiser headphones, the wires are so fragile and small, I could not solder them to a new jack without shorting the jack. Unfortunately, these didn't have a swappable plug-in cable like older models used to have.



    I'm also getting a little tired of Apple's obsession with thinness. Thinness is nice and maybe this is unfair, but I picture Apple executives spending tons of meeting time talking about how to make the products thinner and discussing "how cool' the industrial design must be and spending a lot less time discussing how to make the products better, more functional and more productive.
  • Reply 25 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mytdave View Post


    I don't really see the point. If a device gets thinner than 4mm, then it becomes difficult for humans to handle it because it's too thin/small to grip and use comfortably. Instead of being obsessed with thin, maybe they should focus on other improvements like edge-to-edge displays, or say, including long requested features such as integrated FM tuners, better cameras, SD card slots, you know, useful stuff...



    Edge to edge displays . . . for the iPad? You do know the bezel is there so you can grip the iPad and not start an input. Any iPad user/owner knows that if you inadvertently touch the screen, you are inputting. FM Tuner? Get an App. Better camera? Get a camera. SD Card slot? Get an interface. In fact, get an also-ran table for all of that.



    Sheesh, one would think you could do better being a troll.
  • Reply 26 of 45
    I don't think Apple needs to go much thinner on their mobile iDevices; thick enough to accommodate a 3.5mm plug is thin enough already. If, on the other hand, Apple wanted to reclaim some internal real estate currently occupied by the 3.5mm plug, I'd prefer they cut the cord entirely and use a BT option rather than any of the patented designs featured in this article.
  • Reply 27 of 45
    I think apple is heading in the wrong direction with this. What apple should do is do what they did with the mini-display port and build off that like they did thunderbolt. I think they should ditch the 30 pin connection dock and make like the ipod shuffle that uses the mini headphone jack to usb cable. 3.5mm headphone's are so standard theres no reason to shrink them. I would like to see a mini headphone jack support digital 5.1 audio just like the headphone jacks on the MBP and also the fiber optics link would double as data transfer. think about how nice it would be if the next gen ipods used the high bandwidth thunderbolt jacks. keep 3.5mm just make it better.
  • Reply 28 of 45
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I think you miss the point of Apple's headphones. Not everyone listens to rap and not everyone listens to classical music. Sure, a lot of kids and a lot of audiophiles don't like them because they don't have a subwoofer or because you can't hear the conductor coughing on that recording from the 20's, but most people don't care.



    That's who they are made for, "most people."



    Listen to The Beatles with the stock Apple headphones and you miss out on half the record. Mainstream music from the 60s & 70s sounds terrible on them. This isn't about bass junkies and audiophiles, it's about "most people". It's about music producers having to change their music to suit headphones that sound metallic and tinny.



    A $20 pair of Sennheiser headphones largely solves the problem. If Apple were to use a proprietary adaptor* then decent headphones would become more expensive and it wouldn't solve the problem that Apple's stock headphones are as bad as any other stock headphones.



    * very unlikely but Asst. Prof. suggests they do in order to stop bad headphones being used.
  • Reply 29 of 45
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post


    I don't think Apple needs to go much thinner on their mobile iDevices; thick enough to accommodate a 3.5mm plug is thin enough already. If, on the other hand, Apple wanted to reclaim some internal real estate currently occupied by the 3.5mm plug, I'd prefer they cut the cord entirely and use a BT option rather than any of the patented designs featured in this article.



    You and I were thinking the exact same thing. Why not just cut off the cord?! Why should I be tethered to a cord?
  • Reply 30 of 45
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    You know you are good when a 3.5 millimeter hole is the limiting factor of your device. Don't think I want any flexible housing or having the cable exposed, because flexible will rip and exposed will be water damaged.



    Then again we might just move to Bluetooth based headsets that are really easy to pair with any device or something of that nature.
  • Reply 31 of 45
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member
    never mind
  • Reply 32 of 45
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Why not make the jump to wireless headphones using Airplay then you don't need a socket.



    They could always make an adapter to accommodate wired headphones.
  • Reply 33 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Listen to The Beatles with the stock Apple headphones and you miss out on half the record. Mainstream music from the 60s & 70s sounds terrible on them. This isn't about bass junkies and audiophiles, it's about "most people". It's about music producers having to change their music to suit headphones that sound metallic and tinny. ...



    I agree with your facts but disagree with your conclusion here.



    First off, as someone that grew up listening to the Beatles on the original vinyl records (bought as they came out!), I can tell you that the audio quality on them is absolutely terrible. The originals were mono, and even going back to the master (mono) tapes doesn't get back quality of sound that isn't there to begin with. Even the stereo recordings made in the 70's were just awful because the equipment just didn't exist to make them any better. All the remastering and digital trickery used in the intervening years for the CD's and the many many re-releases and re-masterings doesn't change that fact. Indeed, they often sound a great deal worse than the sound from the original vinyl records.



    These recordings sound terrible because they are terrible recordings.



    It most definitely is about "most people" because Apple isn't in the business of making high end audiophile quality gear. My point was that Apple makes a cheap throw in the box headset that works for the vast majority of people buying their stuff. They also use as close to a standard audio jack as they can so as to allow those that want unnaturally overdone bass or ridiculously high quality sound reproduction, to purchase their own headsets that work with the device.



    This is, (IMO of course), a very logical "best practice" kind of way to approach things. It gives by far the majority of the consumers exactly what they want, while allowing those that don't like it to use third party alternatives. It also keeps the cost of the product down by not including headsets that cost far more to make and that the majority of their market won't be able to appreciate anyway. Seems like a win-win to me.



    My only real problem with their gear is the Apple "in-ear" headphones they sell as a sort of semi-high end alternative are very poorly constructed. They have a much better sound than the ones in the box, and if not for the price would arguably be a better model to include. Unfortunately they literally fall apart after about 6 months and cost approximately a hundred dollars in most markets. so even if you buy a new iPhone or iPod once a year, you have to buy a new headset between 1.5 and twice a year, which I don't feel is very fair. Replacement covers for the drivers also cost about 40 dollars so if you lose one of those little rubber thingies, your screwed for half the price of a new headset. I've also bought two of these sets now that were broken right out of the box (torn drivers, cracked parts etc.)



    If there was a single manufacturer out there that made replacement in-ear phones, that didn't look like a dog's breakfast I would switch to them, but for me the design and the aesthetic appeal of the Apple in-ear headset trumps the (slightly) better quality sound from the alternatives. I refuse to walk around with jazzy black and silver earbuds with chrome do-dads and logos all over them just to enjoy slightly better sound when i'm on the subway anyway.
  • Reply 34 of 45
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Think ahead, people. Someone else was spot on when he talked about plugging headphones into a credit card sized device. As it becomes more and more feasible to make tiny devices, the 3.5mm plug will be an issue. Apple is just locking away some solutions to that problem. I didn't see Steven P. Jobs listed as an inventor, so I don't think "executives" are waiting time on this to the detriment of other initiatives. And I'm sure they will give a hard look at "blue tooth only" as an alternative before they release a product using a funky 3.5mm socket.
  • Reply 35 of 45
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    The next Nano will be a little sleeve?kind of like the one on the end of your shoelaces?that slips over any headphone?s plug.



    The one after that will be a ring the size of a stunted lentil.
  • Reply 36 of 45
    I said the 3.5" stereo jack would be to big and a problem for Apple the day I bought my 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle.
  • Reply 37 of 45
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    It makes a nice change to see Apple respecting the standard devices that people already own.



    Let's see more of this !
  • Reply 38 of 45
    bregaladbregalad Posts: 816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Asst. Prof.


    Apple really needs to do this. As of now, any crap company can make headphones and other audio devices that plug into Apple's stuff, with the result that the sound is lousy. So people blame Apple.



    You've got it completely backwards. Apple is to blame for lousy audio quality. They use the cheapest D/A converters available and they ship those white ear buds that provide sound akin to holding a sea shell to your ear.



    The fact that they use standard audio plugs allows people who care to buy better headphones without having to pay an Apple licensing fee on top of that.



    Apple's obsession with thin makes the modelling industry look healthy. I don't want my portable devices to be as thin as a credit card. My iPod touch has a much better feel in my hand since I added a case that increases the thickness and width.
  • Reply 39 of 45
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    The iPod Shuffle should eventually just be a set of headphones anyway. Forget having a device to plug in at all.



    The iPhones and other iPods should eventually be bracelet like devices with flexible screens. Not using it then slap it around your wrist and it turns into a watch or whatever. There would be no place for a jack so some sort of wireless tech (i.e. Bluetooth) would need to be employed.



    Neither of those possibilities are that far fetched. Not sure of the need for this patent other than slapping a suit on a competitor.
  • Reply 40 of 45
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    It makes a nice change to see Apple respecting the standard devices that people already own.



    Let's see more of this !



    A change? Apple using a non-standard connector is very rare. Standard connectors are Apple’s norm. The iPod dock connector is unique, but it had to serve widely-varied functions in a thin format; and what other devices would you want to plug into that cable anyway?



    As for USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt, they’re standards and I’m glad Apple adopted them early and dragged the rest of the world along. (And none of them prevented the use of older gear. Even USB would work with ADB devices using an iMate adapter.)



    And then there’s the micro-DVI port on my Air... but a full-size DVI (or VGA) port simply wouldn’t fit. So adapters were necessary to connect those giant plugs to the thin machine. Mini-DVI wasn’t a rejection of devices people already owned; its entire purpose was to connect those existing devices.



    Lastly, look at the iPhone: it’s commonplace among cell makers to use non-standard headphone jacks. But Apple never did. So there’s no surprise that Apple’s plans continue to involve standard headphone jacks.
Sign In or Register to comment.