Apple’s iPhone 7 touts lots of new features, but few received as much derision as the lack of a headphone jack. Apple’s new phone will be without an auxiliary input and will instead offer AirPods. (Apple photo)

Apple’s iPhone 7 touts lots of new features, but few received as much derision as the lack of a headphone jack. Apple’s new phone will be without an auxiliary input and will instead offer AirPods. (Apple photo)

Web Monkey: You like your headphones

The Walkman had one; so did the Discman, the iPod and the iPhone after that. Even the Zune had one, and it was probably its best feature. Through every recent technological advance, one thing has been constant: the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Now Apple is taking that away when it rolls out the iPhone 7. It’s betting the headphone jack and all of our earbuds will go the way of the VCR and the 8-track. Instead of being tethered to our devices, we’re expected to fork over $159 for wireless Bluetooth “AirPods,” then another $159 when the family cat steals the first pair.

A cynic would say those AirPod sales are Apple’s main motivation for making the change. In response, Apple says “shiny new camera!” It also says the extra millimeters required by the headphone are too bulky and need to come off – like a 90-pound model going in for a tummy tuck.

In our latest poll at HeraldNet.com, we asked what you think of the move, and most of you are reluctant to give up your old headphones. While one-third of voters said it’s the wave of the future, two-thirds said it’s a mistake.

Along with the natural aversion to change, there are practical reasons to resist. Bluetooth isn’t exactly plug-and-play, and if you insist on corded headphones, you can use a dongle to connect to the single remaining lightning port, which means you can’t listen to music and charge your device at the same time. What are we? Animals?

Sure, nobody’s got a gun to your head. You can buy other smartphones and cling to your old headphones, at least for a while. But the iPhone tends to be a trendsetter. If it wasn’t, those of us with other smartphones would still be doing terrible drawings on our Palm Pilots instead of posting selfies on Facebook.

At least we’d still be able to use our headphones.

— Doug Parry, parryracer@gmail.com; @parryracer

For our next poll, we want to know who should pay the freight for our bulky ballots:

Talk to us

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