Flashback: the headphone jack has been around for over 100 years, still has a place on phones

15 March 2020
The simple 3.5mm plug is a jack of all trades, if you'll pardon the pun. It handles music and call, acts as an FM antenna and even a TV out port.

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taghack, 16 Mar 2020Hi, First off, thank you for voicing your concerns. We try our ... moreHi,
Since you said you can test audio output any time, could you please re-start the testing, ONLY for those phones which have 3.5mm jack?
I believe this will be convenient to all.

3.5mm jack or wireless!? If phone maker provide both in better quality, then why should you complain!? Fussy this and that, pick out both lacks, smart user won't do that, they will enjoy both of it on their lifestyle and peace in minds.

Kangal, 17 Mar 2020Read the comments section here. Clearly people want an all-or-n... moreAfter careful consideration, I decided to repost my comment. I think it is fruitless to argue with others about what constitutes the BEST phone or best features. Some prefer as many features as possible. Others want a more lean and curated experience. And there's also a subset that wants a balanced approach to compromises to champion practicality. Reply back with what option YOU prefer from the three below:

Device One: (JEEP) Rugged, with Maximum Features
200 grams and 121 x 81 x 9.1mm dimensions
5.32 inch screen, A4 aspect ratio 12.7:9 (like IMAX/Old TV)
2048 x 1448 RGBW LCD-IPS (no burn-in)
60Hz Refresh Rate (much better battery life)
+1,000 nits HDR10+ enabled
Display Square Corners
Uni-symmetrical design (10mm forehead)
Sensors and Large Selfie inside the forehead bezel
Front-firing boom monospeaker (doubles as earpiece)
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner (with HR-BP monitor)
Power button, plus three programmable buttons
Single Large camera (attachable lenses for ultrawide, macro, zoom)
DualSIM, microSD slot, and IrDa blaster
ThunderBolt-3 port, and QuadDAC 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Best Support for External Dock, Charging, HDMI, Ethernet, Aux, and Host-OTG
Modularity with Rear-Pogo pins (magnetically snaps on, keyboard or gamepad)
Rugged marketing photographs
Padded corner and Non-slip Textured exterior overall (no case!)
Thick (9.1mm) phone body (front, side, back)
Sideframe of Aluminium
Frontplate of Gorilla Glass 6
Backplate of Aerospace-grade Polycarbonate (tough and shock-absorbing)
Protection via Flat Tempered Glass for front, no protection required for rear (3M Skin)
Non-submersible (IP66) Splash resistance
5,321mAh User Removable battery
Healthy-Battery Charging (20W)
Regular Density Internals, Modular Design (Screen, Camera, Speaker, USB/3.5mm Ports)
Jolla SailFish OS (but can flash Android or alternate OS)
Probably retails for USD $799 ??

Device Two: (Subaru) Reliable, with Balanced Practicality
180 grams and 150 x 80 x 8.0mm dimensions
6.10 inch screen, aspect ratio 16:9 (like YouTube/New TV)
1440p-IGZO (most accurate)
120Hz Refresh Rate (fluid animations)
1,000 nits HDR10 supported
Display Rounded Corners
Symmetrical Top-Bottom Slim Bezels (8mm)
Sensors and Regular Selfie embedded inside bezels
Front-firing stereo loudspeakers
Standard Rear fingerprint sensor
Symmetrical/Reversible side buttons (Power, Volume Up, Volume Down, Camera)
Double Main camera (symmetrical, can create 3D-recordings)
NanoSIM, microSD slot, no IrDa blaster
USB 3.1-TypeC, and Regular 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Standard Support for HDMI, Host-OTG, and Connections
Handheld Console with dedicated JoyCon physical attachment (pocketable gamepad)
Standard marketing renders
Matte and chamfered exterior overall
Regular (8mm) phone body (front, side, back)
Sideframe of Stainless Steel
Frontplate of Gorilla Glass 6
Backplate of Anodised Aluminium (scratch-resistant 7000-series)
Protection via 2.5D Tempered Glass for front, optional Bumper Case for back
Submersible IP68 shallow waterproofing
4,800mAh non-removable battery (refurbishable/screwed in)
Balanced Fast Charging (30W)
High Density Internals, Semi-Modular Design (Screen, USB port, etc etc)
Skinned FlymeOS Android (unlockable bootloader)
Probably retails for USD $800 ??

Device Three: (porsche) Futuristic, with Maximum Style
179 grams and 179 x 79 x 7.9mm dimensions
7.49 inch screen, aspect ratio 21:9 (like Cinema/Movies)
4K-Pentile SAM-OLED (deepest blacks)
144Hz Active Sync display (smoothest animation)
794 nits Mobile-HDR compatible
Display Rounded Corners
Almost No Bezels (2mm each side)
Underscreen dual selfie camera
Vibrational Face Mono Speaker
Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner
No buttons, minimalistic sides
Triple rear camera (ultrawide, regular, zoom)
eSIM, no microSD, no IrDa blaster
USB 3.0-TypeC, but NO Headphone Jack
Limited Support for Video out, OTG, and Connections
Home Console via Xbox One controller connection (needs purse/backpack, not pocketable)
Styled marketing renders
Shiny and curved exterior overall
Sideframe of Titanium Alloy
Frontplate of transparent flat plastic (shockproof)
Backplate of transparent flat plastic (shockproof)
Thin (6mm) phone body (front to back), with thick (8mm) sideframe
Protection via 2.5D Curved Tempered Glass for back and front
Enhanced IP69 (ATM 5) waterproofing
4,179mAh non-removable battery (glued in)
Convenient Super Fast Charging (60W)
Maximum Density Internals, monolithic design (non-refurbishable)
Stock AndroidOne OS (locked bootloader)
Probably retails for USD $947 ??

Samath N8 808 owner, 18 Mar 2020Firstly, thank you so much for the reply. I've read each line ... moreThey never did adequate measuring nor had a equipment for it. Everything with SINAD over 100 dB is considered as that's only measurable with equipment & perhaps in critical listening. Coloring (also considerd as deviation and distortion even) along with output straight (in mV) is something you can hear easily. It's not per se because of use of this or that component but because of electrical & magnetic interfaces along the path. The OP Amp's are the best example of this. Its reason often would thicker body aluminium "flagship" & even more so glass sandwich one sound better than budget tin non sandwich one with same hardware. PCB quality also plays role & cetera & cetera. Hopefully graphite synthetic thin sheets will enter smartphones more frequently for cooling purposes and also help with sound quality as they are also a great shielding.

taghack, 16 Mar 2020Hi, First off, thank you for voicing your concerns. We try our ... moreFirstly, thank you so much for the reply.
I've read each line of the explanation earlier and I even replied to it, but I understand that with the barrage of comments from readers, it went unnoticed.

I'll repeat my reply here, please give it a read:- You said that the difference between the best and the worst is measurable only with lab equipment. I humbly believe this statement is inaccurate.
I own a Redmi 2 Prime which excels at audio output. I also tested Redmi Note 7 Pro at Mi Store.
The test track was a treble and vocal rich Japanese pop song "No. 1"... Another which I tested was "Video" From the 80's movie, Electric Dreams.
The pair of earphones was the same, Mi HD Earphones.

There was a noteable difference in quality.
Note 7 Pro had some sort of distortion, all I knew was that the output was worse. Dynamic range was there, loud and soft together, but it wasn't fun listening to the treble elements. I tried it back to back with Redmi 2.
I would say RN7Pro was acceptable quality, not bad by any means. Similar to it was Redmi Note 6 Pro.

So, differences are noticeable. You see, those who've had LG and Samsung flagships, they're more likely to notice the quality drop, (on their favourite songs only though) when they change phones.

Lastly, I would request you to test jack audio quality, for ONLY those phones which have 3.5mm jack present. That is likely to be easy & multi-beneficial for all...
Because an audio fan won't even think of a phone without jack.

Do let me know what you think of this idea. Thanks again.

  • jayant

mtu, 16 Mar 2020Please continue doing the wired audio tests for phones with a 3.... moreI also want Gsmarena to continue to provide audio test which was discontinued.It helped me decide while purchasing phone.

  • Anonymous

have to understand this ... the big brothers must know what the gadget doing

with 3.5 mm analog jack that deliver honest audiophile quality, the big brothers dont know what the user listening and/or doing

with digital wireless connection, big brothers becoming like god, they can even insert meta suggestions embedded in the audio that may alter the user brain waves

and they doing marketings with the words like, creating better user experiences, shaping the future, creating safer environment, and so on ... with only one goal in mind ... crowd control

for PS2 port, serial port, or printer port on back side of a computer, these can be removed without objection. the newer USB port performs better, and had completely did what those legacy ports did. and did better.

3.5MM jack is a different thing. there must be an analogue way to connect the passive speaker to the sound source. 3.5MM jack would be still here on larger size audio equipment in foreseeable future. The Size of the earphone cans are limited. more spaces reserved for placing in the speaker(s), better qualities the sound could be.

now those wireless earphone models, had amazingly put in the DAC, AMP, Batteries in that tiny earphone cans, no one can expect the sound would be good. there are interference in such small space. sound are output, but those are not high quality sound.

High quality sound could wake up the soul, sound is the thing that connect the soul most directly. High quality sound inspires better thought, new thought. I hope the phone makers could understand what sound is, why sound quality is such important. communicate more with those makers who know sound.

newer phone models should aim for a higher quality, not going to an opposite direction

Love the Community, 16 Mar 2020Bruh, only you cared about this enough to give your own post 1 l... moreRead the comments section here.
Clearly people want an all-or-nothing. They don't want a beautiful device that has many features. No they want something beautiful and stylish, even if it means it is slippery, not-durable, and lacks many features. Or they want a work-horse something they can depend on day in or day out. The last option is like a counter-culture movement of recent. You give people free software with the caveat of privacy, and instead they want open software and their choice of security. Or you give people these shiny objects to admire in an office, and instead they want something rough and sturdy to take to the mountains.

Besides, mobile phones have lots of compromises. Each choice or addition, is a vote to not include a dozen other things. So you can't have one device which is tiny, sleek and beautiful... but at the same time has the largest screen, battery, and most sensors... and also is tough, and easy to refurbish.

That's why after careful consideration, I truly think the BEST phone, is the one that's in one of these three categories. And it is up to the user, to decide which personality they are, and hence which device suits their wants/needs best. My analogy to cars was pretty on point, think of one as like a Porsche 911.... its sleek, beautiful, fast, but uncomfortable to sit and lacks many features. But it is the dream car for some people. For others it is the Jeep Wrangler, its tough, solid, easy to service but the ride is noisy and parking can be difficult. It's a dream car of some people, especially to keep this "for life". Then there's the Subaru Forester. It's not quite rugged but not quite sleek, but it drives comfortably and parks easily. For others, this is their best car, it ticks all the boxes and isn't being pretentious.

Besides, my comment got removed. Should I repost it?

  • Anonymous

This prevents me from having bluetooth brain-fried.

taghack, 16 Mar 2020Hi, First off, thank you for voicing your concerns. We try our ... morePlease continue doing the wired audio tests for phones with a 3.5mm audio jack. As you can see from all the comments on here and your page announcing stopping these tests, a lot of people still highly value them. As you still have the test equipment and there are not that many phones with the jack, it wouldn't be too much extra work for you.


  • Anonymous

TimApple, 16 Mar 2020Headphone jack is gone and all of you have to accept it. It's no... moreHahaha glue or tape us exactly when I think of a solution to this. Way easier than a headphone jack being installed by the manufacturer.

  • Anonymous

q8peace, 16 Mar 2020the headphone jack is really bad in my car is always disconnect ... moreThats super interesting

Flgshp2020, 16 Mar 2020Just compare the dac provided by both companies and you'll get y... more1. Sometimes phones with more RAM are slower than their competitors with less RAM. Only real life test will tell.
2. There is no information what kind of DAC is used in Xperia 1 II.

So we will see once Xperia 1 II is released.

People you don't want to introduce additional EMI in between so forget about magnetic USB cables. Right now to go would be OTG adopter with 17 KOhm's tiristor or silver plated cables.

  • q8peace

the headphone jack is really bad in my car is always disconnect when i touched it seems its lose and the way i always have wired is no more thing to me / i just switch to wireless so much convenient bluetooth much comfort and also wifi usb headphone also great

Flgshp2020, 16 Mar 2020Just compare the dac provided by both companies and you'll get y... more& when you compare both DAC's (ESS ES9028KM2 & QC one) you will see very similar specs. SABRE's DAC's are very sensitive thing's and prone in picking up noise which is a reason why they are described as bright sounding. LG did a great implementation of it on G8 at least where it reaches 116 dB SINAD with UAPP and 112 with LG's music player,but then also menaged to get the QC DAC in the SoC to 107 DB so it's not about DAC per see. What they did utterly wrong whose the limiting output power (mV) for low impedance headaphones so it only can drive 16 Ohm's one's good enough & even so in "quad DAC" mode. I currently use external battery powered DAC with Sony which is ES9018K2M DAC + Sabre9601k AMP (ES9028KM2 integrates pretty much same Amp which loses some oompah [5~10 mV at 32 Ohm's] pretty much same DAC), it's not very elegant solution but it serves the purpose ideally for 32~40 Ohm's earphones/headaphones while it can satisfactory drive 64 Ohm's one's but that's not ideal use case. I actually modified DAC shielding with thin layer (0.3 mm equivalent to 63~65 dB) of graphite film & use silver plated USB cable result is: better dynamics, better low end, mids aren't elevated anymore and it's not fast & that much sharp and more also physicality depth & wide improved very much. Now it sounds like AKM but with better dynamics. It all coasted me less than 100$ (TempoTec Sonata iDSD DAC 63$, Shanling L2 cable 25 $ and sheat of graphite film with adhesive 2.5$) and a little time.

  • Anonymous

Long life to 3.5 audio jack. I fail to understand people which want to use BT headphones (not a pinnacle of anything):

1) They still have worse audio quality, no matter the standard
2) You have autonomy issues (another battery to recharge every day)
3) You are going to have another radio transmitter and receiver in your body. BT is a low frequency transmission, but even there, you are inserting it right inside your head through the ears, do you understand what that means? The major problem with radio and the body is distance, the closer you are to the emitter/receptor, the more they will harm you: Do you really want an antenna inside your head for not having a damn simple cable hanging? Think again...

S Yu, 16 Mar 2020I have a magnetic charging cable-adaptor right now, it really do... moreI had a magnetic adapter for a dock, I'll soon goes full magnetic cables for the house's phones as it is more convenient.
It is super duper easy, and technically it already exist (there is magnetic jack, but those aren't for smartphone).
How easy to detach would be down to how strong the magnet in the adapter would be, we could as well have "regular" as the one provided in the box, weaker one for those who want/need easier detachment, and another with a longer magnet for more strength.
Nothing even prevent to extend how far the outer ring can be, meaning if a smartphone have a really large one and an adapter as big is provided, it will be really difficult to accidentally disconnect it.
Also keep in mind that with current magnetic adapter, it is the tiny phone side adapter who is magnetic and the cable side is just a metal contacter, my idea for many reasons switch it and the magnet is on the jack or usb adapter, meaning it it can be way stronger if needed, and already we can lift a phone with it, which is quite strong enough !
Actually I was about to contact Oppo to give them this idea along with many other in exchange for free phones (reasonable number, not for selling them, personal use only) and them helping me out when I would bring idea to other compagnies by confirming I am the inventor of X number of idea they use (and potentially also making royalties on the revenues they would made from other companies using those idea), which, based on all the idea I have (those I discuss on the internet aren't my important ones obviously) would have been the deal of the century for them as it would cost them virtually nothing, actually a negative amount since they would make more profits than they would loss...
My idea was to get their help to having more credibility to expose big idea to companies like Tesla as I have quite a lot of idea about self driving and electric cars.
But I saw how bad the Find X2 (which actually motivated me to choose Oppo) has become with his punch hole, removal of 3D facial recognition and curved edges...
And I also saw how Tesla did negative things to some owners through distance control (like removing features), which made me back away from contacting them both.
Otherwise it would already had been done in labs/test phones.

But, it have been technically kind of already done with the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro having magnetic connectors on the back, the rest is only a matter of time, which is why I started to talk about this particular idea.
But it would be quite easy to do, it is literally as easy as making a jack for the phone side, even more because you only have rings rather than layers of conductive materials, and the adapter is also quite simple, like a regular jack to jack adapter but with the easy to make flat end and a magnet behind it.

taghack, 16 Mar 2020Hi, First off, thank you for voicing your concerns. We try our ... more...and...whether or not there's a forced conversion to 48KHz output.