As expected, Apple announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last week. Much of the ensuing buzz has centered around Apple's removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Like it or not, this still leaves two options to connect headphones to the latest iPhone models: wireless Bluetooth audio or wired headphones. There has been a lot of confusion surrounding this change, with many Apple fans believing that the company will ship the iPhone 7 with wireless AirPods. Let's bring some clarity to what's happened.
Several reports over the months have predicted the demise of the 3.5mm headphone jack on the upcoming iPhone 7. More evidence has surfaced that Apple indeed plans to send the legacy audio jack to its final resting place alongside the floppy drive. Images leaked on the Chinese site Weibo show standard EarPods with one glaring difference: a Lightning connector in place of the familiar audio plug.
Reports continue to surface indicating that Apple will ditch the 3.5mm audio jack on the next generation iPhone. This move would leave the iPhone 7 with just a Lightning port, and the device would ship with Lightning-compatible headphones in the box. Apple is also said to be developing wireless Bluetooth EarPods that will be available separately. Now Mac Otakara reveals several Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapters that are set to hit the market.
Once a new Apple product hits the market, it doesn't take long for someone to disassemble the unit to see what makes it tick. In classic fashion, iFixit did just that to the EarPods, even though they are not designed to be opened or repaired. Despite this drawback, there are several design improvements beyond just acoustics.
The EarPods are the first Apple earbud headphones to utilize paper cones in the speaker diaphragms as opposed to all plastic. Not only should this improve frequency response, but it results in a more durable speaker that will better resist tearing. Other durability improvements were also spotted in the teardown.
Apple announced new in-ear headphones called EarPods at its keynote on Wednesday. The EarPods will begin shipping with every iPod touch, iPod nano and iPhone after the iPhone 5 is released on September 21. Apple spent three years redesigning the old in-ear headphones that previously came with older Apple devices.
Apple uploaded a video to YouTube explaining why the new EarPods are better. Jonny Ive, Apple’s head of industrial design explains in the clip that making one headphone to fit everbody’s ear would be impossible, but that's exactly what Apple set out to do.