Apple polling MacBook Pro owners on use of headphone jack, other ports

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  • Reply 61 of 84
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,639member
    Soli said:
    schlack said:
    use it every single day...just put both as an interim solution
    Including Lightning just for headphones seems awful to me, but keeping the 3.5mm port is worse, and having both is just not a good solution. I'd imagine that those that are Mac owners that aren't also iPhone owners or those capable of being one of the innumerable Lighting headphones on the market can simply use an adapter. I'd bet this survey isn't about whether they should remove the 3.5mm jack, at least not if that's the case for a new Apple notebook design presumably launching next month, but whether they should include in the box the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter.
    Disagree.   You don't have the space problems in a Mac the way you do in a phone and there's no need to make the Mac water resistant.  Therefore there's no reason not to keep the 3.5mm jack.    

    But I do agree that this survey is not about the upcoming Macs because those have probably been long designed already if not already manufactured.  It has to be for next year's Macs.   

    Apple better keep multiple ports in the MBP, especially USB.   They will alienate too many customers if they don't in return for what benefit? - making the side look nicer in photographs?   Moving forward with new tech is fine, but it has to evolve - you can't force people to toss all their accessories or have to buy a ton of expensive adapters unless there are mighty good reasons.   I would say they could get rid of some ports, like possibly the FireWire port, but even there, even though I don't use it, there are probably many people who do.     

         
    jasenj1baconstang
  • Reply 62 of 84
    We use several ports for engineering work. USB is highly used to connect to oscilloscopes, meters, JTAG emulators, etc. Many of these systems could use USBC with a hub, but sometimes visiting a customer, it is a pain to carry all these dongles, just to debug a system.

    Audio port is constantly used, particularly the digital TOSlink for connecting to high end speakers and receivers. Regular headphone jack is used to test audio. We have tried bluetooth, but when you are in a lab with equipment that generates interference, bluetooth disconnects. What is worse, the battery dies and now you no longer have a headphones. This is particularly bad in very long airplane trips. Do not want to run out of battery on a 12 hour flight since that is what is keeping the noise down. I still need a headphone jack to connect to the plane audio, if I want to see their movies. 

    We also use the headphone jack to create noise sources and particular audio patterns to test our equipment. Cannot really do that with bluetooth.
    jasenj1baconstang
  • Reply 63 of 84
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    zoetmb said:
    Soli said:
    schlack said:
    use it every single day...just put both as an interim solution
    Including Lightning just for headphones seems awful to me, but keeping the 3.5mm port is worse, and having both is just not a good solution. I'd imagine that those that are Mac owners that aren't also iPhone owners or those capable of being one of the innumerable Lighting headphones on the market can simply use an adapter. I'd bet this survey isn't about whether they should remove the 3.5mm jack, at least not if that's the case for a new Apple notebook design presumably launching next month, but whether they should include in the box the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter.
    Disagree.   You don't have the space problems in a Mac the way you do in a phone and there's no need to make the Mac water resistant.  Therefore there's no reason not to keep the 3.5mm jack.    

    But I do agree that this survey is not about the upcoming Macs because those have probably been long designed already if not already manufactured.  It has to be for next year's Macs.   

    Apple better keep multiple ports in the MBP, especially USB.   They will alienate too many customers if they don't in return for what benefit? - making the side look nicer in photographs?   Moving forward with new tech is fine, but it has to evolve - you can't force people to toss all their accessories or have to buy a ton of expensive adapters unless there are mighty good reasons.   I would say they could get rid of some ports, like possibly the FireWire port, but even there, even though I don't use it, there are probably many people who do.     

         
    Agreed. There is no reason to drop the headphone jack on any Macs, except the Retina MacBook, which would actually benefit from replacing the single function headphone jack with a Lightning port at a minimum. 

    The MBP doesn't have Firewire now. It's all Thunderbolt, which is going to USB-C anyway. But based on the rumored case designs of the new one, they're going with 4 USB-C ports, and a headphone jack, with a blank space where the magsafe used to be, just perfect to add a Lightning port. But both can co-exist for a while anyway in that design. The MBA is likely going away, so that's a non-issue. And there's no reason to lose it on the desktops. Just like there's no reason to remove it on the iPads, yet.
  • Reply 64 of 84
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 394member
    sergioz said:
    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't apple audio port is compatible with the TOSLINK system which is still capable of carrying up to 7.1 channels of very high-resolution audio? Although for the majority of consumer setups, there will be absolutely no discernible difference between audio quality when using an HDMI cable or a TOSLINK cable, but yeah I am ready to throw away aging analog audio port. Some of my DJ friends are really concerned, but they'll have to adapt! ;)  
    Not many people know that this connection is dual: analog and optical. I use optical connection every day for several hours. I am all for digital replacement but I dread AirPlay over WiFi because this thing sucks impossibly. [begin rant] I take no pleasure in listening to stuttering sound every time I enter a search term in Safari, which triggers multiple HTTP connections and kills the streaming. Apple, please why on earth in 21st century it is impossible to cache the whole darn song when streaming from MacBook Pro to AppleTV 4 with 64GB memory so it won't stutter when the network slows down? Before you ask, yes I use Apple Airport Extreme N. [end rant]
    Agreed. I love this little port with optical out. I have it connected to a ZVOX as a near field monitor at the office. Outstanding at low and high volumes.

    baconstang
  • Reply 65 of 84
    I use it to plug in my external speakers when my Mac is plugged in and closed, with an external monitor connected to it on my desk. See example photo. So yeah I use it all the time!
  • Reply 66 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    zoetmb said:
    Soli said:
    schlack said:
    use it every single day...just put both as an interim solution
    Including Lightning just for headphones seems awful to me, but keeping the 3.5mm port is worse, and having both is just not a good solution. I'd imagine that those that are Mac owners that aren't also iPhone owners or those capable of being one of the innumerable Lighting headphones on the market can simply use an adapter. I'd bet this survey isn't about whether they should remove the 3.5mm jack, at least not if that's the case for a new Apple notebook design presumably launching next month, but whether they should include in the box the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter.
    Disagree.   You don't have the space problems in a Mac the way you do in a phone and there's no need to make the Mac water resistant.  Therefore there's no reason not to keep the 3.5mm jack.    

    But I do agree that this survey is not about the upcoming Macs because those have probably been long designed already if not already manufactured.  It has to be for next year's Macs.   

    Apple better keep multiple ports in the MBP, especially USB.   They will alienate too many customers if they don't in return for what benefit? - making the side look nicer in photographs?   Moving forward with new tech is fine, but it has to evolve - you can't force people to toss all their accessories or have to buy a ton of expensive adapters unless there are mighty good reasons.   I would say they could get rid of some ports, like possibly the FireWire port, but even there, even though I don't use it, there are probably many people who do. 
    If you're only qualifier is "because there's space keep it" then are you upset that Apple ever got rid of any port on their iMac? There's plenty of space on the back for many, many other ports. I'm sure someone would get some use out of HDMI, DVI, or VGA.

    Apple doesn't do that. As I stated previously, because space isn't the same kind of issue as on the iPhone, it's not as imperative to remove it—but it will be going away. Same for the iPad. Whether that means in 1–3 revisions after the 3.5mm jack get dropped from more iPhones in use, the iDevice line-up as a whole, USB-C is commonplace on most higher-end smartphones, and Lightning, USB-C, and BT headphone get over 85% of the headphone revenue, or in 4–8 revisions when the casing change arrives, I couldn't say, but I can say that the 3.5mm analog audio jack is going away.

    As for TOSLINK, keep in mind that the Apple TV lost it on the last revision, and that was probably where it got used the most out of all of Apple's devices.
  • Reply 67 of 84
    ireland said:
    Guys, what if the existence of this survey is in itself a way for Apple to leak they are getting rid of the port to get people accustomed to the idea before launch?
    It's either that or no new MBP this year. Even if it's just a decision on whether to supply an adaptor, that takes design time and then production lead-time on packaging etc (we know how Apple obsesses over presentation, they won't just throw it in the box loose and not mention it anywhere).

    I'm in the queue for a new MBP too so I hope it arrives this year. However, it's a notebook which means lots of people (me included) pick it up and take it places - places where the AV kit is lowest common denominator. I regularly use my current MBP in a conference room where the projector needs a VGA dongle and the audio is 3.5mm jack: that's common because everyone's notebook/laptop can use it. I do also use the 3.5mm jack at home sometimes, for 'phones or speakers and occasionally as an optical port - Apple's wireless isn't always reliable (even with 10.11.6) or appropriate.

    A MBP should be a pro workhorse so it needs lots of connectivity (quantity and type). Making it smaller and lighter is only clever if you don't export the size and weight into a stack of (easily lost, easily damaged, extra cost) dongles.
    jasenj1baconstang
  • Reply 68 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    command_f said:
    ireland said:
    Guys, what if the existence of this survey is in itself a way for Apple to leak they are getting rid of the port to get people accustomed to the idea before launch?
    It's either that or no new MBP this year. Even if it's just a decision on whether to supply an adaptor, that takes design time and then production lead-time on packaging etc (we know how Apple obsesses over presentation, they won't just throw it in the box loose and not mention it anywhere).

    I'm in the queue for a new MBP too so I hope it arrives this year. However, it's a notebook which means lots of people (me included) pick it up and take it places - places where the AV kit is lowest common denominator. I regularly use my current MBP in a conference room where the projector needs a VGA dongle and the audio is 3.5mm jack: that's common because everyone's notebook/laptop can use it. I do also use the 3.5mm jack at home sometimes, for 'phones or speakers and occasionally as an optical port - Apple's wireless isn't always reliable (even with 10.11.6) or appropriate.

    A MBP should be a pro workhorse so it needs lots of connectivity (quantity and type). Making it smaller and lighter is only clever if you don't export the size and weight into a stack of (easily lost, easily damaged, extra cost) dongles.
    For the packaging, that can happen very quickly and with little cost for anything they had already produced, whether they use paper or plastic as the core material.

    Even if they remove MagSafe and move to the same style PSU as the MacBook, which is cordless and contains a single USB-C port, the size of the PSU will likely follow previous trends and be thick enough that the box is insert is mostly a platform for the notebook to sit on with mostly air below, and only 2–3 cut outs are needed for the PSU, 6'(?) USB-C cable, and literature.

    12" MacBook (2015): 


    15" MacBook Pro (2015):

    xzu
  • Reply 69 of 84
    It will be a refresh in the future. The plan will be to include a Lightning port on all Macs to take advantage of the Lightning EarPods in everyone's hands as the iPhone 7 roll out progresses. They will still include an adaptor and it will the same as the one coming with iPhone 7's now. This will happen once a critical mass of iPhone 7's have shipped, maybe sometime next year even after the iPhone 7s/8 rollout on the iPhone's 10th anniversary.
  • Reply 70 of 84
    normmnormm Posts: 653member
    On laptops, switch to usb audio.  This is a fully digital connection, with power available for noise cancellation and for microphones.  People can also use wireless audio if they want, but including the headphone jack as a wired connection these days is anachronistic.
  • Reply 71 of 84
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    command_f said:
    ireland said:
    Guys, what if the existence of this survey is in itself a way for Apple to leak they are getting rid of the port to get people accustomed to the idea before launch?
    It's either that or no new MBP this year. Even if it's just a decision on whether to supply an adaptor, that takes design time and then production lead-time on packaging etc (we know how Apple obsesses over presentation, they won't just throw it in the box loose and not mention it anywhere).

    I'm in the queue for a new MBP too so I hope it arrives this year. However, it's a notebook which means lots of people (me included) pick it up and take it places - places where the AV kit is lowest common denominator. I regularly use my current MBP in a conference room where the projector needs a VGA dongle and the audio is 3.5mm jack: that's common because everyone's notebook/laptop can use it. I do also use the 3.5mm jack at home sometimes, for 'phones or speakers and occasionally as an optical port - Apple's wireless isn't always reliable (even with 10.11.6) or appropriate.

    A MBP should be a pro workhorse so it needs lots of connectivity (quantity and type). Making it smaller and lighter is only clever if you don't export the size and weight into a stack of (easily lost, easily damaged, extra cost) dongles.
    I don't agree that Apple should necessarily continue to support all "pro" ports. Ideally, all "pro" devices should be native USB-C. And that's what the transition is all about. Yes corporations continue using common standards for years after they are still relevant, like VGA, but in my definition of "Pro", the person who needs to make use of that equipment should be prepared with whatever adapter they need to do their job. It may be inconvenient, but that's why they're called "Pros". 
  • Reply 72 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    I'm laughing at the idea that a 3.5mm audio jack is now being called a "pro" port.
  • Reply 73 of 84
    I use USB for audio devices. However, I will admit that it doesn't always "just work". I love doing conference calls where I realize the mic isn't working at all a halfway into the call requiring me to unplug/replug, etc.
    baconstang
  • Reply 74 of 84
    I've been using Apple products since the days when you were virtually a laughing stock if you used their products…But with this question, about missing the headphone port, they have shown (again) they have spectacularly lost perspective. Not only would we miss the headphone port, we also miss all the other ports they've already sacrificed…Which has ultimately led to pro-users having to buy one of these:

    http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/

    …Or similar.

    So Apple can remove all but one of their ports, yet continue to sell their laptops at the same price…While we have to invest in third party solutions to connect the peripherals we're still using…Note I deliberate avoided the term 'legacy' peripherals. How about giving us state-of-the-art, Kady processors with the latest gen graphics at the same price, Apple. Then us professional level content creators would not only be happy to continue buying and using your computers we'd continue to evangelise about them…After 25 years of using Apple hardware, I'm having my doubts in continuing in that, for the above reasons.
    baconstang
  • Reply 75 of 84
    zoetmb said:

    But I do agree that this survey is not about the upcoming Macs because those have probably been long designed already if not already manufactured.  It has to be for next year's Macs.   
         
    Wishful thinking, LOL, This survey is proof that the next Macbook Pro update won't happen until next year. It would only take them a couple of months to make changes and start production, so it could still happen early next year. But it won't be in Oct. or Nov. or Dec.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 76 of 84
    Removing it wouldn't be for any practical reason, but more for formal aesthetic reasons. The Macbook Pro is a pro machine for goodness sake. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 77 of 84
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Apple on Wednesday sent out surveys to a sampling of MacBook Pro customers asking whether they use the laptop's headphone jack, a question that suggests the company is looking to remove the legacy component as it did with iPhone 7.





    Hmm. I think on the MacBook there really is no reason to remove it either, however unlike the iPhone (where it's principally used with music and phone calls, thus removing it was foolish, at least not without replacing it with a USB-C jack for power) the Macbook Pro is a bit of a different animal.

    People who use it (and do not own an iPhone/iPod or don't use one at home) are more likely to have external speakers or primarily use headphones connected to another object (Eg a HDMI monitor) to avoid having to plug and unplug headphones all the time. So if Apple were to replace the microphone and headphone jacks on the Macbook Pro with two USB-C jacks, then I'd say it's an OK trade, and even if you have to use a headphone dongle, you're not giving up charging your laptop just to listen to music.

    Now as for why? You can't pull the "waterproof" BS here, nor can you pull the extra battery life either, because unlike the iPhone and iPad (which are about 40% battery by weight) a laptop is not, and requires sufficient cooling that would preclude "water-proofing" it. So it seems like the safe move for Apple here would be to keep the headphone jack on the next MacBook Pro, but "remove" it from the MacBook Air (add an additional USB-C port.) If that doesn't go over well on the Air, then you wouldn't want to remove it on the MacBook Pro.

    And the reason to experiment with the Air in this case, is that the MacBook Pro IS the alternative.
  • Reply 78 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    misa said:
    So if Apple were to replace the microphone and headphone jacks on the Macbook Pro with two USB-C jacks, then I'd say it's an OK trade, and even if you have to use a headphone dongle, you're not giving up charging your laptop just to listen to music.
    Actually, it's been many years since the stand-alone microphone jack was removed. They've been using the same 4-pin analogy plug that's found in the the iPhone and iPad so if it's going to be replaced with USB-C, it would only be a single USB port.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 79 of 84
    Use the jack port every day, either for standard 3.5 speakers, headphones or TOSLink.. Would be a real shame to loose it since i already use both USB and both thunderbolt ports on my MBP..

    And, i got the survey on the 31st, possible that they sent them out to the UK first...
  • Reply 80 of 84
    In my opinion optical drive removal is not same as headphone jack removal. DVDs have limited capacity and can be damaged and cause data loss. And optical drives take a lot of space in computers. I understand the reason to remove these drives.

    On the other hand, headphone ports do not take a lot of space in devices. They are widey used in electronic devices and they have an industrial standard. Removing headphone jack reminds me the phones before iPhones. Every manufacturer was using a different type of port and it was very inconvenient for users.

    I also find that digital output vs analog output discussion is misleading. Sound itself is analog, that's how human ear works. In the end all digital signals must be converted to analog signals to be able to reach human ear.

    Wireless systems have battery and sound quality issues. Wireless phones do not last weeks but hours with one charge. Wireless headphones looses sound quality and sometimes looses connection with the device. Also wirelss headphones are pricier than headphones with 3.5 mm jack.

    I will still buy and use Apple products, it is not a deal breaker for me but I think removing headphone jack is unnecessary and it is not moving forward move.


    Yes, sound is analog to the human ear. However, each time you transition between digital and analog, it takes power and there could be a loss of signal quality.  The headphone jack is the "last step" before the electrical energy is transferred to acoustic anergy and to your ear.  However, with newer headphones that require power and perform various DSP functions to the signal, an analog input is extra overhead.  That's why headphones then need batteries to be charged and require more power to convert the analog signal to a digital one, process the signal and then convert it back to analog.

    By transferring the signal to the headphones digitally over an interconnect that includes power, the component cost of the headphones themselves can decrease and be made simpler.  The headphone receives a digital signal, manipulates it and uses its own DAC to convert to analog.  Again, this can all be done without batteries unless they are wireless because power can flow over the Lightning or USB-C cable. Headphones can then compete on sound quality more effectively as they can implement better DAC chips and signal processing.

    The sound industry is progressively marching forward with digital audio and it's hold outs like the headphone jack that is starting to hold the technology back. Sound mixing consoles are now only limited by the old analog connectors that have been used forever.  If those old connectors are replaced my more modern, digital ones, then sound technology will advanced at a faster pace and prices will move downward.

    An example of this are microphones. Microphones use XLR connectors which transfer balanced audio signals. It's a great format and has taken us very far.  A mic cable can stretch about 1000 feet without degradation.  But each microphone gets plugged into a board which then has something called a "mic preamplifier".  That takes the very weak signal from the microphone and converts it to a useable signal. From there, it gets converted to a digital signal and processed.  Finally the final signal is converted to an analog signal on the board and sent back out to an XLR format.  The quality of the signal then depends on the sound board.

    But if the musical instrument converts to a digital signal, then the connectors can shrink making connection of everything easier. Basically each instrument could be plugged into a computer network.  Instead of focusing on which channel something were plugged into, it would show up as a certain mic and I could mix it.  The signal then flows back to the network where powered main speakers take the signal, run it through their own DACs (again important when you're doing live sound and are doing things like sound positioning and steering) and then you get sound.  Setting up a stage would be as easy as plugging things into a network router and calling it a day.
    edited September 2016
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