Rumor: Apple to debut Bluetooth earbuds alongside 'iPhone 7,' with truly wireless left & right earp

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 78
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,534member
    I could see these singular wireless earbuds falling out at Inopportune times unless they are an in-the-ear-canal style. You'd probably see a few meeting their demise in toilets and urinals, train stations, bicycles, etc.

    However, Apple could easily overcome the isolation effect that the in-ear-canal earphones impose by incorporating a manual and/or automatic muting feature in the earphones that simultaneously:

     1) mutes the audio playback to the phones AND
     2) redirects the audio collected from your device's microphone to the earphones.

    When activated manually the music would stop but you'd be able to hear surrounding sounds perfectly (and perhaps enhanced) because your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or other Bluetooth device with a microphone (or microphone array) would now be piping sound it's picking up to the earphones. An app would allow you to select how much ambient sound from the microphones is interleaved with the music so it's not an all or nothing proposition. Allowing say 10% ambient sounds through would emulate an open headphone or classic earbud scenario and keep you from feeling isolated.

    In automatic mode the device's microphones would always be listening for certain sounds, say your spouse's lovely voice, the boss, emergency sirens, etc., and automatically initiate the mute+override function. Again the associated app would allow you to define what sensed sounds or events trigger the automatic mute+override. It doesn't have to be initiated by audio sensing alone. For example, flashing blue lights detected by the camera in your iPhone docked on your dash.

    This type of capability would be extremely useful in noisy environments where you want to block out all sounds other than the ones you want or need to hear, like emergency tones and voices. Since this involves cooperation between the device, e.g. iPhone, and the headphones it opens up many many more possibilities because even a low end iPhone has massively more processing capability than the best noise cancelling headphones on the market. Oh, and certainly your device could initiate a mute+override to talk to you but nothing new with this.

    The novel feature is using your connected device's microphones to augment and replace the external sounds that in-ear-canal earphones normally block.

    The battery life challenge still needs to be overcome.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 42 of 78
    Well Apple has a serious fu*king compatibility problem on it's hands. The Macbook has a headphone jack and USB-C port, so you won't be able to use your lightning-equipped headphones with it. What are they going to do in the future? Include a Lightning port and USB-C port on the MacBook?
  • Reply 43 of 78
    lkrupp said:
    cali said:
    Bluetooth-only iPhone makes sense only if they fixed the battery issues. Otherwise this sounds terrible.
    You post this nonsense in just about every thread. Get a clue.
    That was my thought as well.. I have zero issues with battery. My iPhone 6s Plus usually has 40-50% left by bed time; and this is with me listening on and off ALL DAY using Bluetooth headset I have now. .. LG has a nice pair around the neck style that I've used for a few years and upgraded over the years.
    nolamacguyanantksundaram
  • Reply 44 of 78
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    mac_128 said:
    atlapple said:
    Good to see Apple is going to get rid of an universal port in favor of making most users buy yet again another dongle. Unlike getting rid of optical drives in Macs there is no real space saving benefits to getting rid of a 3.5mm jack.
    Let me guess you're just learning to read. I made it clear in both of my posts that getting rid of optical drives made sense because there was a clear benefit. Getting rid of a 3.5mm jack has no clear benefit when it comes to reducing size. If you're going to comment on my posts at lease read them. 
    Perhaps if you would elaborate a bit more, perhaps we could properly address you. The 3.5mm jack hardware takes up about 184 cubic mm. How is that trivial in a device measured in mm?

    It could be thought trivial when that actually only represents roughly 0.28% of the volume of an 6S and 0.2% that of a Plus.  Fits my definition.
    staticx57
  • Reply 45 of 78
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    cali said:
    Bluetooth-only iPhone makes sense only if they fixed the battery issues. Otherwise this sounds terrible.
    The battery issue within the earbuds themselves? Yes that would be the sticking point wouldn't it? Such a small place to have decent battery power for the Bluetooth receiver transmitter plus sound processing... could be tricky.
  • Reply 46 of 78
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    The main problem I have with Apple's direction here is that the "included in the box" headphones are likely to be lightning EarPods, and EarPods just fall out of your ears constantly.  If you use them daily they only last about six months anyway. 

    These wireless earphones sound okay, but they are likely to be at least a couple of hundred dollars, and they don't seem to be "in-ear" even (the only ear buds that really, actually, stay in).  The "hook over the back of the ear" type that these seem likely to be, is generally the least popular type of ear buds out there, because again ... they generally don't fit and generally fall out a lot.  They don't usually even seal at the ear properly, so they leak sound as well.  All of the really, really low quality ear buds are these "hook over the ear" type. 

    Apple's will no doubt be much better than what's currently out there, but I don't see how they can really get over these problems.  

    The only current Apple branded ear buds that work well, stay in your ears well, and produce comparable output to non-Apple brands are the Apple in-ear ear buds.  To use these however, some kind of bulky adapter will be necessary.  

    I can't get over seeing this as essentially a "lose-lose-lose" situation for anyone who cares even a little bit about sound quality and actually listens to their iPhone a lot.  
    HATE the in-ear Apple buds while I like, use and hardly have ever damaged (maybe one pair out of the series starting with the 3G) the standard ones, and I think I'm still on the ones that came with my 5s as they last just fine with daily carry and use. And, yes, I do listen to my iPhone a lot. Mileages vary.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 47 of 78
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    If the bundled headphones have a Lightning connector then I wonder if there will be a Lightning port in the next generations of Macs.
  • Reply 48 of 78
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    bdkennedy said:
    Well Apple has a serious fu*king compatibility problem on it's hands. The Macbook has a headphone jack and USB-C port, so you won't be able to use your lightning-equipped headphones with it. What are they going to do in the future? Include a Lightning port and USB-C port on the MacBook?
    Yes. That's exactly what they are going to do. And if this happens, they will likely replace the 3.5mm jack on every Apple product except perhaps the desktop Macs for now.
  • Reply 49 of 78
    atlappleatlapple Posts: 496member

    atlapple said:
    Let me guess you're just learning to read. I made it clear in both of my posts that getting rid of optical drives made sense because there was a clear benefit. Getting rid of a 3.5mm jack has no clear benefit 
    ...that youre aware of. thats the part you keep forgetting. for some reason iHaters and trolls always feel they know everything at all times, when they dont. nobody but the team inside apple know what the benefits of such a hypothetical change would be, until they tell us.
    The fact that I am an engineer I don't alway assume or buy into Apple always knows whats best. I sometimes come to the conclusion that consumers know what they want more than Apple. Moving from a universal port to a proprietary only port makes no sense.
    edited January 2016 cnocbui
  • Reply 50 of 78
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    lkrupp said:
    cali said:
    Bluetooth-only iPhone makes sense only if they fixed the battery issues. Otherwise this sounds terrible.
    You post this nonsense in just about every thread. Get a clue.
    Every thread isn't about bluetooth-only iPhones .
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 51 of 78
    calicali Posts: 3,494member

    atlapple said:
    iPhone thickness generally goes down (and sometimes up) by a few tenths of millimetres each year.  The iPhone 7 would have to be 3 full millimetres thinner however to make the claim (if Apple makes it) that "the audio jack had to be removed so they could make it thinner."  

    So in that sense, almost every story on the subject you see on the web toady is incorrect since they all reference the "problem" of the audio jack in reference to being able to make the phone thinner.  Also, iPhone 7 is quite unlikely to be that thin.  It would require new battery tech or new screen tech (or both), each of which shaved a full millimetre or two off of the thickness.  

    The odds of the new iPhone even being as thin as the current iPod touch, are very small.  Even if it lost a full millimetre, it would be a huge change, the biggest in five full years, and it would still be a millimetre thicker than the current iPod touch. 
    I agree 100% which is why I see no benefit to removing the 3.5mm jack. Apple didn't even remove it from its ultra thin Macbook. Removing optical drives from Macs made sense this doesn't. 
    Removing the jack makes perfect sense only when:

    1. They can fix the battery issues. People bitch about their iPhones lasting 24 hours yet wanna ditch the 3.5mm jack? Expect battery life to be cut in half.

    2. Bluetooth gains even more traction. Digital media has been adopted since the 90's, removinf the CD drive was logical. %99 high end headphones have cords. Heck even most cheap earphones have cords.

    3. When there's a truly thin jack developed. The lightning connector isn't much slimmer than the 3.5mm jack.

    People think I'm bashing Apple but if you read a little closer I'm giving them credit. I'm confident they won't move forward until the tech is ready.
  • Reply 52 of 78
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,388member
    I don't think it's the thickness of the connector that is the problem.
    Look at the volume it takes up inside the phone to see why Apple really wants to get rid of it. 
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 53 of 78
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    cali said:
    Removing the jack makes perfect sense only when:

    1. They can fix the battery issues. People bitch about their iPhones lasting 24 hours yet wanna ditch the 3.5mm jack? Expect battery life to be cut in half.

    2. Bluetooth gains even more traction. Digital media has been adopted since the 90's, removinf the CD drive was logical. %99 high end headphones have cords. Heck even most cheap earphones have cords.

    3. When there's a truly thin jack developed. The lightning connector isn't much slimmer than the 3.5mm jack.

    People think I'm bashing Apple but if you read a little closer I'm giving them credit. I'm confident they won't move forward until the tech is ready.
    1) So you're saying Apple only removes universal standards when the replacements are 100% ready? Maybe you can tell me what Apple replaced the floppy drive with, when they dropped it from the iMac in 1998. As for battery life, my BT headphones have over 8 hours on a single charge. Some last over 20. I've never had my iPhone run out of power while using them. Nor have they run out of power while I was using them.

    2) So again, when Apple replaced serial ports with USB, and SCSI with FireWire, you're saying that there were dozens of inexpensive, reliable products ready to be adopted by customers excited to throw away the thousands of dollars invested in the legacy technology? And I'm just curious where you get your statistics. 99% of high end headphones have cords? What's the price range of, and what constitutes high end headphones? And "most" cheap headphones are wired? I only ask because it's kind of hard to believe Apple would do something like this if your stats were accurate. But that aside, how exactly is Bluetooth audio going to gain more traction, unless a customer has a reason to invest in the currently expensive tech? And what will be the incentive for those prices to come down, if there's no demand because there's a cheap alternative that's been around for over 100 years, despite the fact it tethers the user to their equipment and restricts mobility?

    3) the Lightning connector is 1.5mm thick. How much slimmer must the connector get? Here's a thought, how about getting rid of the wires altogether, but improve the technology so the majority of the customers have audio quality and convenience that rivals restrictive wired connections?

    I'm confident Apple won't move ahead with this either without the data to back it up and suggest that consumers are at the tipping point and ready to embrace wireless audio. But here's a thought, even if their data indicates customers are ready to make the transition, maybe Apple should play it safe and just stop improving the iPhone, or adding features so it can keep a redundant, single function 3.5mm audio jack. Or maybe they should just get rid of the Lightning port, and use the audio jack to charge the phone and synchronize with the Mac like the iPod Shuffle. Clearly based on your reaction and others, that's a much better choice.

    But you still won't be able to use Ethernet with the iPhone, even though it's far superior to Wifi. Maybe they should get rid of the wifi radio instead, and give us an Ethernet port to give customers the best networking experience possible. That would sure save battery life too.
    mattinoz
  • Reply 54 of 78
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Those 'EARpods' are actually a standalone product.

    Why not branding them as iPod?
  • Reply 55 of 78
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    mac_128 said:
    cali said:
    Removing the jack makes perfect sense only when:

    1. They can fix the battery issues. People bitch about their iPhones lasting 24 hours yet wanna ditch the 3.5mm jack? Expect battery life to be cut in half.

    2. Bluetooth gains even more traction. Digital media has been adopted since the 90's, removinf the CD drive was logical. %99 high end headphones have cords. Heck even most cheap earphones have cords.

    3. When there's a truly thin jack developed. The lightning connector isn't much slimmer than the 3.5mm jack.

    People think I'm bashing Apple but if you read a little closer I'm giving them credit. I'm confident they won't move forward until the tech is ready.
    1) So you're saying Apple only removes universal standards when the replacements are 100% ready? Maybe you can tell me what Apple replaced the floppy drive with, when they dropped it from the iMac in 1998. As for battery life, my BT headphones have over 8 hours on a single charge. Some last over 20. I've never had my iPhone run out of power while using them. Nor have they run out of power while I was using them.

    2) So again, when Apple replaced serial ports with USB, and SCSI with FireWire, you're saying that there were dozens of inexpensive, reliable products ready to be adopted by customers excited to throw away the thousands of dollars invested in the legacy technology? And I'm just curious where you get your statistics. 99% of high end headphones have cords? What's the price range of, and what constitutes high end headphones? And "most" cheap headphones are wired? I only ask because it's kind of hard to believe Apple would do something like this if your stats were accurate. But that aside, how exactly is Bluetooth audio going to gain more traction, unless a customer has a reason to invest in the currently expensive tech? And what will be the incentive for those prices to come down, if there's no demand because there's a cheap alternative that's been around for over 100 years, despite the fact it tethers the user to their equipment and restricts mobility?

    3) the Lightning connector is 1.5mm thick. How much slimmer must the connector get? Here's a thought, how about getting rid of the wires altogether, but improve the technology so the majority of the customers have audio quality and convenience that rivals restrictive wired connections?

    I'm confident Apple won't move ahead with this either without the data to back it up and suggest that consumers are at the tipping point and ready to embrace wireless audio. But here's a thought, even if their data indicates customers are ready to make the transition, maybe Apple should play it safe and just stop improving the iPhone, or adding features so it can keep a redundant, single function 3.5mm audio jack. Or maybe they should just get rid of the Lightning port, and use the audio jack to charge the phone and synchronize with the Mac like the iPod Shuffle. Clearly based on your reaction and others, that's a much better choice.

    But you still won't be able to use Ethernet with the iPhone, even though it's far superior to Wifi. Maybe they should get rid of the wifi radio instead, and give us an Ethernet port to give customers the best networking experience possible. That would sure save battery life too.
    A valiant effort at trying to justify the nonsensical.

    Apple devices already have Bluetooth, so people who want to listen to compressed lossy audio can do so.  There is nothing to stop them except Apple's crappy implementation of the tech.  Bluetooth for audio is convenient in some instances but is actually a big fiddle.  I have a JVC Bluetooth receiver with in-ear-buds and I have run out of power plenty of times, even though it has an 11hr rating - which only applies when it was new of course.  I am just not into charging stuff daily.  Guess what these things run on - oh yes - damn Li-ion batteries -  which all have very limited life-spans and constantly loose capacity.  If you can't change the battery in a Bluetooth device you should consider it an expensive disposable item which you will have to bin at some point.  Apple don't do user-replaceable batteries anymore - sadly.  Any Bluetooth audio devices Apple comes up with that deliver high audio quality are going to be expensive.  If it's even possible to replace the batteries that is going to involve both hassle and considerable expense.

    Having to always ensure you have multiple devices charged is a fiddle.  I only use the earbuds when I am doing things where the trade-off in sound quality and comfort for cord-free mobility makes it worth it, otherwise I use my wired over ear headphones.  Which, by the way, the bluetooth receiver can't really drive as well as my phone and Macbook can.

    There is no sound quality improvement to be had from the lightning port or Bluetooth vs a 3.5mm headphone jack.  There is no technical reason to get rid of it - not even that bogus argument of thinness or internal volume.  There is an Android phone that is 4.75mm thick which still has a headphone jack.  The camera in a smartphone would have to be got rid of or be of lower quality if anyone really thinks they want a 4mm thick phone or thinner.  Boy are those going to bend.  The internal volume saving from eschewing the socket argument is another nonsense when it takes up only 0.28 % of the volume of a 6S.  I have not seen anyone ever say they were so keen on a thinner phone they would be happy for the camera to be dropped.  I would bet more people spend time listening via wired earphones/headphones than they spend taking photos.

    I have seen far more people cry for better battery life from iPhones than for a thinner one.  I would bet that if it were a choice between force-touch or better battery life, most people would choose the latter.  The same for the choice between force-touch and the headphone jack.
  • Reply 56 of 78
    bdkennedy said:
    Well Apple has a serious fu*king compatibility problem on it's hands. The Macbook has a headphone jack and USB-C port, so you won't be able to use your lightning-equipped headphones with it. What are they going to do in the future? Include a Lightning port and USB-C port on the MacBook?
    Get a frickin' adapter, and stop whining.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 57 of 78
    cnocbui said:

    I have seen far more people cry for better battery life from iPhones than for a thinner one.
    Since you've "seen" it, I am sure it must be true.

    For some reason, I thought I'd seen far many more tens of millions of people around the globe BUY the thinner ones, and express ever higher rates of customer satisfaction, but what do I know.....

    /s
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 58 of 78
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    cnocbui said:
    mac_128 said:
    1) So you're saying Apple only removes universal standards when the replacements are 100% ready? Maybe you can tell me what Apple replaced the floppy drive with, when they dropped it from the iMac in 1998. As for battery life, my BT headphones have over 8 hours on a single charge. Some last over 20. I've never had my iPhone run out of power while using them. Nor have they run out of power while I was using them.

    2) So again, when Apple replaced serial ports with USB, and SCSI with FireWire, you're saying that there were dozens of inexpensive, reliable products ready to be adopted by customers excited to throw away the thousands of dollars invested in the legacy technology? And I'm just curious where you get your statistics. 99% of high end headphones have cords? What's the price range of, and what constitutes high end headphones? And "most" cheap headphones are wired? I only ask because it's kind of hard to believe Apple would do something like this if your stats were accurate. But that aside, how exactly is Bluetooth audio going to gain more traction, unless a customer has a reason to invest in the currently expensive tech? And what will be the incentive for those prices to come down, if there's no demand because there's a cheap alternative that's been around for over 100 years, despite the fact it tethers the user to their equipment and restricts mobility?

    3) the Lightning connector is 1.5mm thick. How much slimmer must the connector get? Here's a thought, how about getting rid of the wires altogether, but improve the technology so the majority of the customers have audio quality and convenience that rivals restrictive wired connections?

    I'm confident Apple won't move ahead with this either without the data to back it up and suggest that consumers are at the tipping point and ready to embrace wireless audio. But here's a thought, even if their data indicates customers are ready to make the transition, maybe Apple should play it safe and just stop improving the iPhone, or adding features so it can keep a redundant, single function 3.5mm audio jack. Or maybe they should just get rid of the Lightning port, and use the audio jack to charge the phone and synchronize with the Mac like the iPod Shuffle. Clearly based on your reaction and others, that's a much better choice.

    But you still won't be able to use Ethernet with the iPhone, even though it's far superior to Wifi. Maybe they should get rid of the wifi radio instead, and give us an Ethernet port to give customers the best networking experience possible. That would sure save battery life too.
    I have seen far more people cry for better battery life from iPhones than for a thinner one.  I would bet that if it were a choice between force-touch or better battery life, most people would choose the latter.  The same for the choice between force-touch and the headphone jack.
    you don't know that it's about making it thinner since Apple hasn't said, and there are thinner devices today with the jack. 

    removing the 3.5 yields more volume for battery, especially since some was lost for 3D Touch. 

    now what do you say?
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 59 of 78
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,901member
    Even if there's no wire connecting the two BT buds, I hope there's an option to connect them with a tether or those things can get lost too easily.
  • Reply 60 of 78
    xbitxbit Posts: 391member
    As much as I love Apple, I don't trust to ever make a good pair of earphones. Their track record is woeful.
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