Rumors about the iPhone 7 have been going around since the first quarter of the year. Apple fans around the world have been waiting for the launch of the iPhone 7 and it finally happened last September 7. If you came to know the time of the iPod generation, then you probably remember that their wired earphones were all the rave. The latest launch just wiped out that trend as Apple removed the traditional audio jack and introduced the wireless AirPods.
The ‘courage’ to ‘remove’
Now, this isn’t the first time Apple was known to have removed a traditional part of a tech item. Their MacBooks were also among the first to remove floppy disk drives, CD/DVD drives, and even USB ports. So why remove the universal and familiar 3.5mm headphone jack? ‘Courage’ is the word used by Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller. A courage to take a leap from what’s familiar. According to him, ditching the traditional headphone jack frees up more space for a slender phone for other technologies.
Buyers of the iPhone 7, however, need not fret as a box of the new iPhones will come with wired EarPods that connect via the charging port. And for those who prefer to use their old, traditional earphones or headsets, the phones will also come with a 3.5mm jack adaptor that will also connect to the lightning power port.
Rise of the AirPods
With Apple’s latest move, they are clearly promoting their consumers to go wireless. Along with the launch of the iPhone 7 came the introduction of the wireless AirPods. AirPods are wireless earphones specifically made for Apple devices. These earphones could pair up with the iPhones much quicker than any other brand of wireless headsets. It comes with motion sensors in the buds that allow the firm’s famous virtual assistant, Siri, to be activated for voice commands just by double-tapping the sides. The AirPods also contain infrared sensors that allows it to detect when they are in the user’s ear. This way, it automatically stops playing once their taken out.
Going wireless can lessen the hassle that tangled wires bring. Now all you have to do is pick up the Pods, put them in your ear, and you’re ready to go. These AirPods also come with W1 chips, which is practically their ‘brains’, that make them perfect for the iPhone. These W1 chips make them smart enough to even detect when they’re about to be used. Just popping the case open will prompt your iPhone to pair up with the AirPod. Using them may maximize your iPhone’s potential.
Also, by going wireless, you won’t need to have your phone in your hands in order to contact Siri. If there would be any messages you’d want to read and you can’t get your hands on your phone, you can prompt Siri to do the reading through your AirPods. You can also ask Siri the weather, directions, or anything else just by double tapping your Pods. This lets you conveniently keep your phones in your pocket or bags while walking while needing answers from Siri.
For starters, AirPods are going to make you break the bank. At $159, they definitely don’t come cheap. And since they’re small and wireless, you’d have a bigger chance of losing them than wired earphones. Next, if you find it inconvenient to charge your devices frequently, then you’re going to have to get used to charging two devices now. According to Apple, a single charging of the AirPods could give you five hours of listening time. But the charging case could add up 24 hours to that.
You’re probably pretty stunned by the news that perhaps you didn’t notice the small implications of just having a single port in a phone. Now it would be difficult to listen privately while charging. In order to listen to music while charging, you would either have to use the loud speaker or get an Apple Lightning Dock or the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone.
Another con to going wireless would be the quality of music. As Simon Lucas, editor of What Hi-Fi magazine puts it, wired earphones have better stability as there are no chances of drop-outs. He also pointed out that wired buds have to be charged and that the louder you listen, the faster the battery goes down. (Ref)
Apple’s move to take away the universal jack would be annoying to those who really prefer not to go wireless. As much as there is a lightning port EarPod that comes with the phone, those prefer to use their old headsets or earphones would now have to use the lightning port adaptor that’s also shipped with the iPhone. That means added baggage even if it is just a small adaptor.
The Beats’ Announcement
Being acquired by the Apple, you’d expect some announcement from Beats by Dre especially after the news of the missing audio jack. And with that, the Beats brand laid out three new headsets that also contain the W1 chip as the AirPods.
There’s the Beats Solo3 Wireless which promises award winning sounds and a battery life that lasts up to 40 hours. It’s a big headset but it ensures comfort with its cushioned ear cups that are also adjustable. There’s also the BeatsX which are Bluetooth earphones but are wired to each other. It has a Remotetalk feature that lets you take hands free calls by just a click of a button in the wire that connects the earphones together. It’s said to be fast fueled in a sense that five minutes of charging can give you two hours of playback. It also comes with magnetic earbuds and secure-fit wing tips. Lastly, there’s the Powerbeats3 Wireless. This looks like their product for athletes or those who are into working out as these earphones are sweat and water-resistant which makes them ideal for those who like to listen to music while exercising. There’s also no need to worry about it whether it’s raining or the sun is out. They also come with secure-fit ear hooks that secure them to the ears even when the user is on the go.
All three earphones are said to be available by fall.