Magzet aims to bring MagSafe-like functionality to 3.5mm audio jacks

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2015
Anyone who has ever had their headphones yanked off their head after getting the cord caught on a doorknob or dealt with a loose plug from from too many insertion cycles will appreciate the idea behind Magzet, a new adapter that adds MagSafe-like functionality to the audio jack.




Magzet consists of two parts: a jack that slots into the headphone port on a smartphone or tablet, and a magnetic adapter into which you can plug a pair of headphones. The two pieces then snap together magnetically, with automatic alignment.

The company says that all of the functionality of inline remote controls will still work, including the ability to place and receive calls and control audio playback. Users can leave the jack portion in all the time, with a special design preventing the device from detecting an inserted plug unless both Magzet pieces are together.



Magzet is aiming to ship before the end of 2015, and backers can receive a variety of plug and jack combinations, based on their contribution level. $20 will net 1 jack and 1 adapter, with additional levels topping out at 3 adapters and 5 jacks plus 2 limited-edition t-shirts for $99.

A press time, Magzet had raised nearly $10,000 of its $294,000 goal on Kickstarter.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 916member
    About time. I was really expecting Apple to do this a long time ago. But I guess Apple's vision is going Bluetooth. Wireless and battery consumption.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,032member
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=9&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7,997,906&OS=7,997,906&RS=7,997,906

    Techniques for coupling interfaces parts using moveable magnetic elements, an Apple patent. I wonder whether Apple sees this headphone jack as being covered by their MagSafe patent, especially since this patent isn't only for the power connector.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,117member
    It's a interesting idea and if it was built in, it would be pretty cool. I don't want that adapter plugged in all the time though. Besides I've been using Bluetooth headphones for quite some time. My phone lasts just fine for the day just leaving Bluetooth on 24 hours a day, same with Wifi. If it's not connecting to my Headset, it's connecting to my truck stereo system. Or connecting to my "Tile" which uses lower power blue tooth, which is a small square thing you can attached to things like a key chain to help you find your Keys for example.

    So anyway, once I have my Bluetooth Headset on, there's zero cord to deal with, which is pretty nice and sounds great.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    surely Apple has this patented?
    if not,
    so...
  • Reply 5 of 22
    What a waste. Wireless technology is plenty power efficient and will only get better. Sound quality is just fine unless you are an audiophile. The latest beats wireless are fantastic. Plenty of other brands to choose from as well.
  • Reply 7 of 22

    What would the benefit of using this over bluetooth headphones? I guess it would be cheaper than getting a new pair of really nice BT headphones but not that much cheaper.

  • Reply 8 of 22
    The headphone wire staying connected has actually saved my iPhone a few times; like when my iPhone slipped out of my hands when fishing it out of a winter jacket, the headphones stayed attached and prevented the phone from hitting the ground.

    On the other hand, the headphone wire occasionally catches on a door jam or fence. I think it might be more useful if the magnetic detachment occurred in the *middle* of the headphone wire, eg. at the juncture where the right and left split from the center. This could prevent the ear buds tugging at the ears should the wire get caught, and it might avoid the mag-safe patent issues.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    I have wanted something like this for a while.  My daughter keeps wrecking the cord on her headphones and I have gotten tired of fixing them.  I found some earbuds called Skunk Juice that have a magentic break away connector system.  I was able to get a set on special and attached the coupling from them to the cord of her Senheisers so now hopefully, problem fixed.

  • Reply 10 of 22
    For me, Magsafe plugs detach too easily. It would be nicer if most headphone manufacturers actually put some engineering effort into their plugs and cables like V-MODA does. They angle their plugs to minimize strain, and use kevlar-reinforced cloth cables that are insanely difficult to break.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Regardless of whether Apple has their own patent (it's not like Apple invented the magnetic plug which at least dates back to slow cookers from the 1970s), All I see is a very large plug and I question how well it's going to work to line up the 4(?) pins in a modern 3.5mm jack correctly every time.

    Personally, I'd like the 3.5mm jack to go away in favour of USB-C and Bluetooth connected headphones.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    Personally, I'd like the 3.5mm jack to go away in favour of USB-C and Bluetooth connected headphones.

     

    Doesn't seem like a very sensible wish.  Why?

     

    I have been hoping for the replacement of the 3.5mm jack with a standardised magnetic alternative.

  • Reply 13 of 22
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    cnocbui wrote: »
    Doesn't seem like a very sensible wish.  Why?

    I have been hoping for the replacement of the 3.5mm jack with a standardised magnetic alternative.

    I don't see how one can make a viable magnetic option with at least 4 unique pins is possible in a space less than the current 3.5mm jack, not to mention the last of utility you get from a 3.5mm jack. I also don't see why a magnetic connector is a good idea for a headphone connector? So it can pop our whilst on a jog? It's surely not to make connecting any easier since USB-C, Lightning and the 3.5mm jack don't require you to look at the plug to insert.
  • Reply 14 of 22

    That would have been really, really cool 20 years ago, but with 10+ hours music playback time and good sound quality on many bluetooth headphones, why bother with wires?

  • Reply 15 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member

    and when you dock your laptop, you get no sound from speaker.

  • Reply 16 of 22
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I don't see how one can make a viable magnetic option with at least 4 unique pins is possible in a space less than the current 3.5mm jack, not to mention the last of utility you get from a 3.5mm jack. I also don't see why a magnetic connector is a good idea for a headphone connector? So it can pop our whilst on a jog? It's surely not to make connecting any easier since USB-C, Lightning and the 3.5mm jack don't require you to look at the plug to insert.



    I HAVE bent my headphone jack before, so I guess I could see wanting to prevent that.

     

    But I'm with you on the removing the jack from the laptop in favour of USB-C - I mean, worst case scenario just buy a 3.5mm->usb-c adaptor and let the rest of us have a port we might actually use.

  • Reply 17 of 22
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

     

    That would have been really, really cool 20 years ago, but with 10+ hours music playback time and good sound quality on many bluetooth headphones, why bother with wires?


     

    Well, many people still own wired headphones that cost $200-400. Buying another pair of bluetooth headphones (close to the same audio quality) will cost more. 

  • Reply 19 of 22
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    What a waste. Wireless technology is plenty power efficient and will only get better. Sound quality is just fine unless you are an audiophile. The latest beats wireless are fantastic. Plenty of other brands to choose from as well.

    Not at all, wireless headphones are decent enough now but still no where near that of wired in terms of sound quality. I have yet to find a pair of Bluetooth headphones that sound as good as my Bower & Wikons P5's, their just incredible. That and I personally enjoy having as few battery operated mobile asscesories as possible. Like with my problem with smart watches I don't want to have to charge these prepherials every single night unless they charge wirelessly. The audio jack just works the best for me and this little invention is going to help immensely for those times that the cable gets snagged and your earphones get ripped out of your ears or from your head, causing both discomfort and stress on the cable. My kids went threw a couple of beats headphones because of this, well mostly because of their weaker than average cables.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I don't see how one can make a viable magnetic option with at least 4 unique pins is possible in a space less than the current 3.5mm jack, not to mention the last of utility you get from a 3.5mm jack. I also don't see why a magnetic connector is a good idea for a headphone connector? So it can pop our whilst on a jog? It's surely not to make connecting any easier since USB-C, Lightning and the 3.5mm jack don't require you to look at the plug to insert.



    The space a 3.5mm jack takes up is quite large in terms of volume inside a device.  I magnetic jack could be much shallower to the point of being just a slight depression in the exterior of a device and could easily take up far less space on the inside of a device.  An Apple Mag Safe connector already has 5 pins in just 7mm length.

     

    So what if it pops out on a jog? That is actually exactly what you want when a cable comes under strain.  How hard such a connector grips could be varied depending on the strength of magnets used.  A Mag safe connector grips with more than enough force for jogging.  You would probably want less than that so it does let go before the conductors in a cable get damaged.

     

    USB for headphones is pretty silly.  It means all headphones have to have their own DAC and audio circuitry, not to mention the connector being far bulkier than a 3.5mm one, and the total lack of backward compatibility with nearly everything, and certainly every piece of high quality audio gear ever made.

Sign In or Register to comment.