You’ll agree with me that there was a time when smartphones were literally incomplete without the traditional 3.5mm audio jack. But ever since the removal of the traditional audio jack in early 2016, the audio jack has lost the “perfecto” feel. This has led to the evolution of the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.
We now have a growing list of smartphone manufacturers admiring the elimination, thus, a trend called 3.5mm audio jack removal. Amazingly, this trend is common to mostly flagship smartphones running on Android and iOS platforms.
When this removal got out, a whole lot of tech reviewers and audiophiles weren’t smiling with the whole idea. Manufacturers had no choice but to voice out why they chose this sort of innovation.
Here are a couple of reasons given:
1. In order to create more space
A notable OEM like Apple tabled it out that the removal was a bid to save space on the device so as to be used for an innovation. According to them, the traditional audio jack was battling with improved camera technologies, battery life and better processor which they needed to implement on their new phones.
For the Apple brand, the elimination started with the iPhone 7. Since then, the California-based smartphone manufacturer hasn’t looked back. But the idea about creating more space didn’t pan out well with the iPhone 7 as facts proved them wrong.
iPhone 6s had the dimensions 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches while the iPhone 7 also had the same dimensions (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches). Added to this, the battery capacity of the iPhone 7 was lower than that of the iPhone 6s. As a result, the excuse given by Apple felt very weak.
Another smartphone manufacturer, Essential also gave the same reason for the action. But while Apple’s actions weren’t justifiable, the Essential Phone was adequately justified. The battery life, design build and screen estate of the “pure Android” phone were all fantastic.
2. Better audio quality
HTC, another Android smartphone OEM argued that the audio quality of the smartphone got improved as a result of the removal. The company was able to infuse USonic technology to help the ears pick sonic pulses that will fine-tune it to an advanced listening experience.
A not so popular brand, LeEco also stated that the elimination helped improve sound quality. The Le2, Le 2 Pro and Le Max 2 were their first smartphones to present the removal. As a result, the phones featured the USB-C audio. However, there was also the option to use the USB-C to 3.5mm dongle.
3. Setting the groundwork for future designs
This was what Google revealed when their Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL were released. The US-based company explained that the switch to the new style will open up more futuristic designs as the company edges to a more bezel-less outlay.
The problem-solving USB-C to 3.5mm adapter
But the good news is, despite the whole 3.5mm audio jack removal drama, a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter can restore the glory of old. What the dongle does is to alter the functionality of the USB-C plugged into the phone and allow the 3.5mm audio jack to be accessible on the other end.
The dongle adopts the DAC (digital-to-analog converter) to convert the digital audio signals from the USB-C port and converts them to the analog audio signals which are passed out through the 3.5mm connector.
Additionally, USB-C to 3.5mm adapter often employ a protocol named “Audio Adapter Accessory Mode”. This mode allows those phones which send out analog audio signals to be well transmitted by the adapter.
If you have a pair of earphones with the 3.5mm jack, this adapter will ensure you don’t have to condemn the earphones.
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Here are some USB-C to 3.5mm dongles that can be easily purchased online:
Phones that support USB-C to 3.5mm dongle
This is a list of smartphones with eliminated 3.5mm audio jack that support USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack:
- Essential – Essential PH-1
- HTC – U Play, U11, U11+
- Apple – iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
- Google – Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL
- LeEco – Le 2, Le 2 Pro and Le Max 2
The truth is, many manufactures of premium smartphones are heading towards this 3.5mm removal direction. Even Samsung is planning on joining the crew. The USB-C to 3.5mm adapter will serve as a bridge linking the future of smartphone’s audio to the past.