Microsoft Receives Patent to Protect the Headphone Jack

gamerk2

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I know there are still a lot of people using headphones with 3.5mm jacks, but is anyone really interested in continuing to use them with their phone?
Yes, for two reasons.

1: My work forbids the use of any bluetooth enabled device in the building. It's 3.5mm or bust.

2: All Bluetooth/USB based headphones have to have an internal DAC, which is typically shit quality. Even the cheap DAC used in phones is better then what you'll get in headsets.
 

farscapesg1

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Clearly audio quality isn't important to you. Those FM adapters sound like complete ass.
Yep, you are absolutely correct that audio quality while driving through traffic means very little to me since my attention is on the road.. not whether my music is crystal clear since it is just background noise. I'll also admit that I can't tell a damn difference between listening to straight FM radio vs Pandora via the FM transmitter on my '03 4Runner stock audio system :p
 

davethehedgehog

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I know there are still a lot of people using headphones with 3.5mm jacks, but is anyone really interested in continuing to use them with their phone?
Seriously? Pretty much everybody. What else would you need to regularly plug headphones into? Other than your portable music player?
 

farscapesg1

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Seriously? Pretty much everybody. What else would you need to regularly plug headphones into? Other than your portable music player?
I really dislike these "Pretty much everybody" answers. I don't know anyone I work with that still uses analog headphones, most have bluetooth of one kind or another and I haven't ridden in a single coworker's car in 3 years that used an AUX port (most have Bluetooth enabled stereos). On my last couple flights from Houston to Nashville, I would say the headphones in use were a 50/50 mix of bluetooth and analog. So from my experience, it is a pretty far cry from "pretty much everybody"...
 

Youn

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50% usage overall? nah... of course you'll see it more at airports and higher-tech places, but there's gotta be some solid stats on world-wide wireless headphone usage... I'm guessing it's below 10%
 

Cobalt35

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I use the headphone jack on my S8+ literally every day. I wouldn't have bought the phone if it had no headphone jack.
 

Cyraxx

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Going to stick with the 3.5mm jack as long as I can.

Bluetooth headsets make people look stupid and you look like you're talking to people or yourself when you really aren't.

I just use a simple headphone earbuds with an attached mic for my calls all the time, and I find it to be the best solution for taking calls.
 

lcpiper

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I really dislike these "Pretty much everybody" answers. I don't know anyone I work with that still uses analog headphones, most have bluetooth of one kind or another and I haven't ridden in a single coworker's car in 3 years that used an AUX port (most have Bluetooth enabled stereos). On my last couple flights from Houston to Nashville, I would say the headphones in use were a 50/50 mix of bluetooth and analog. So from my experience, it is a pretty far cry from "pretty much everybody"...

So I, and others have mentioned, am not allowed to have any kind of Bluetooth in their work environments. Hell I can't even take my phone in the building and have to lock it in a box outside or leave it to cook in my car. I can have an MP3 player as long as it has no mic or wireless capability, but those are actually getting hard to find except on ebay. Used Nanos are the easiest to still find.

I'm not alone either, I know others are in the same boat.
 

scan13

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For me it's convenient to have just one pair of earbuds for any device. This is why I will never buy a phone, laptop tablet or anything with proprietary connector.
 

viper1152012

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I use the quad dac in my phone to push my nice headset fr sweet audio.

I will always buy a phone with a Jack and dac.

The nicer Bluetooth headphones I have sound.....ok at best, but good old audio technias need some juice to thump and no Bluetooth set I have had the opportunity to use has changed my mind.

When I go out doors I have to bite the bullet and use my Samsung levels because they don't fall out of my ears and I use my watch to feed me music when I'm upside down :)
 

bos

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Yes, why the fuck do I want another interface when I have one that works fine and in compatible with a shit ton of devices? What I don't need is a thinner phone, I need a thicker one with a bigger battery.
 

Khahhblaab

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....next will be the "one-up" that will be a half-sized plug that will go with a half-sized flexible socket with an adapter to make it all work like the simple one that its all designed to replace because someone jumped the gun and took out compatibility to 99% of the headphones that the manufacturers sold that helped put the mp3 player to rest because the phone could play music and use the sometimes better headphones of the mp3 player. Forward backwards. U kno that somebody might have gotten a raise for getting the removal through.
 

farscapesg1

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So I, and others have mentioned, am not allowed to have any kind of Bluetooth in their work environments. Hell I can't even take my phone in the building and have to lock it in a box outside or leave it to cook in my car. I can have an MP3 player as long as it has no mic or wireless capability, but those are actually getting hard to find except on ebay. Used Nanos are the easiest to still find.

I'm not alone either, I know others are in the same boat.
And I get that, but you can't say that most people suffer the same regulations, which gets to my viewpoint that it isn't "most people" wanting an analog jack to remain. If anything, IMO there are most likely less people concerned about things like quality DACs, workplace restrictions, and other things that would prevent them from using Bluetooth. Those that need an analog port for headphones are becoming the minority.
Don't get me wrong, I could really care less if they stayed or went away. Sort of like parallel ports on computers. Yeah, I know someone that still insists on having one on his computer...
 

Mohonri

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Oh no, I get it, the 3.5 mm jack is an analogue device, you have to convert said analogue from the digital source so there is a tiny DAC in there. I do get it, the engineers wish they didn't always have to build around that shit. There's only one problem, people still want it. And some people actually make buying decisions based on it. When all other things are equal, a 3.5mm jack can make the difference for some people.
Even without a 3.5mm jack, your phone has a DAC. You've got a speaker (or multiple speakers), and those require a DAC.
 

babochee

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I have no use for the headphone jack and consider wired headphones a waste of money. Been using a pair of LG Tones for 2 years, never feel like I'm inconvenienced to charge them, haven't ran into an issue where I ran out of battery and best of all I don't have some dumb cord to get caught when mowing the yard or doing anything else while listening to music. Have a bluetooth FM transmitter in my car for playback since the car is old enough to not have an aux port or bluetooth options. Have a small bluetooth speaker on my desk at work for when no one else is in the office. Embrace the wireless!!!!
You must be ignorant to what high quality audio is.... FM transmitter? LOL
 

bbqrooster

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Just another data point. I gave my daughter wireless earbuds. She used the wireless earbuds initially. Then she borrowed my wired earbuds. After a while, she told me to buy myself a new pair of wired earbuds. She's confiscating my wired earbuds. She said the constant recharging of the wireless earbuds and its inferior audio quality just killed the desire to use it.
 

DoubleTap

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I don't want to deal with a dongle dac or bluetooth. I use my phone a lot during the day and I need my VMODA M100s and my back up XS. I don't want to be on a 2 hour call and not be able to charge my battery or forget the stupid dongle if I go somewhere.

This is anti consumer BS and I'm not having it.

Right now, it looks like the only flagship phones (on Sprint) with the jack are the LG V30+ and the S8/S8+/Note 8 and I just ruled out the V30+ due to the screen.

No Pixel, Essential, iPhone, Motorola Z2 Force

What a mess.
 

nilepez

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And I get that, but you can't say that most people suffer the same regulations, which gets to my viewpoint that it isn't "most people" wanting an analog jack to remain. If anything, IMO there are most likely less people concerned about things like quality DACs, workplace restrictions, and other things that would prevent them from using Bluetooth. Those that need an analog port for headphones are becoming the minority.
Don't get me wrong, I could really care less if they stayed or went away. Sort of like parallel ports on computers. Yeah, I know someone that still insists on having one on his computer...
You must not travel much. Hop on a long flight and you'll quickly find that BT headphones don't cut it. I can convert to Lighting (which is just a different connector for analog out), but It'd cost me 60 or 70 bucks for the cable, which is why I continue to use 3.5mm
 

chenw

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The posts in this thread has made it painfully clear that literally no one in this thread has actually read the Patent.

If anyone did, they would have realised that the techradar's article quoted the WRONG FREAKING PATENT. The one techradar has linked has got literally nothing to do with the headphone jack.

The exact patents (yes, there are 2) are the following

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm&r=25&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=(20170919.PD.+AND+Microsoft.ASNM.)&OS=isd/20170919+and+an/Microsoft&RS=(ISD/20170919+AND+AN/Microsoft)

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm&r=11&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&p=1&S1=(20171017.PD.+AND+Microsoft.ASNM.)&OS=isd/20171017+and+an/Microsoft&RS=(ISD/20171017+AND+AN/Microsoft)

Sorry for long links, blame USPTO's pages.
 

Uvaman2

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I really dislike these "Pretty much everybody" answers. I don't know anyone I work with that still uses analog headphones, most have bluetooth of one kind or another and I haven't ridden in a single coworker's car in 3 years that used an AUX port (most have Bluetooth enabled stereos). On my last couple flights from Houston to Nashville, I would say the headphones in use were a 50/50 mix of bluetooth and analog. So from my experience, it is a pretty far cry from "pretty much everybody"...
https://www.statista.com/chart/5733/headphone-sales-in-the-united-states/
So in 2016 it was still pretty much everybody.. but also another answer, there is more money it bt headphones.. also planned obsolesce is easier to achieve with bt headphone: battery goes bad, software /hardware incompatibility with updates leading to connection issues, losing one bud buttons go bad.. stuff like that.
 

chenw

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I personally have no love for Bluetooth, at all.

Connectivity wise, the kind of trouble I have had with Bluetooth peripherals could easily trump every other kind of connectivity issue, and that includes wifi. Every one of my Bluetooth headphones/earphones have that 1 second lag between input and response (like turning on and off music), normally that isn't too bad, unless I am watching a video, then I throw out the idea completely, 1 second discrepancy between pictures and audio is HIGHLY unacceptable.

So basically I avoid bluetooth whereever possible, even in my own car, I use AUX before I use Bluetooth. I think people prefer using BT audio in cars because they are too lazy to plug in the Aux cable/lighting cable into their phones, or they like talking on the phone.

I'd rather spend $300 bucks on a set of wired headphones (which I did recently) than to pay $300 for bluetooth headphones, unless I specifically needed the wireless, and even if I really want to spend money on one, they are not going to be from smartphone vendors.
 

davethehedgehog

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I really dislike these "Pretty much everybody" answers.... So from my experience, it is a pretty far cry from "pretty much everybody"...
Have a read through this thread to get the experiences of others.

Wireless headphones are like smart watches, a solution looking for a problem. And by solution I mean, an attempt to expand a new revenue stream. But I applaud your "courage"
 

JSumrall

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I'm going to use a pretty well known example/comparison here. When people ask, "mountains or ocean" I'm like, why not both?

Why not headphones and bluetooth options in every phone? I find it hard to believe that a) the headphone jack is taking up so much space that you can't find room for it in a device, especially in top tier, large screen devices and b) it's affecting the ability of manufacturers to make devices thinner.

I'm pretty satisfied with the LG V30's thinness at 7.39mm and it has a headphone jack.

Like other commenters here I really don't see thinness of a device as being something people look for when buying a device (although I'm sure some do) and I'd be happy to trade some thinness for toughness, water proofing, battery life, and a headphone jack.
 

DeathFromBelow

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I really dislike these "Pretty much everybody" answers. I don't know anyone I work with that still uses analog headphones, most have bluetooth of one kind or another and I haven't ridden in a single coworker's car in 3 years that used an AUX port (most have Bluetooth enabled stereos). On my last couple flights from Houston to Nashville, I would say the headphones in use were a 50/50 mix of bluetooth and analog. So from my experience, it is a pretty far cry from "pretty much everybody"...
As an example, most people don't know how to use the Start Menu properly so Microsoft removed it for a while. How did that work out? I honestly don't care what 'most people' use or what you think most people use. It's pretty damn obvious that they're just looking for new ways to squeeze money out of people by arbitrarily changing things.

My car has an aux jack, not bluetooth, and I don't want to buy a shitty bluetooth adapter so my phone manufacturer can save a few cents.
 
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Mize

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LG V30 > Pixel 2 XL strictly because of headphone jack. Just return it for another if you get one with a splotchy screen.
 

Youn

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it isn't "most people" wanting an analog jack to remain
most of us here do, clearly, but seeing as it was around 15-20% of sales last year wireless could become the norm soon... I wouldn't mind it if they offered good connectivity, sound quality, and battery life... but they simply do not yet...
 

Jim Kim

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I'm pretty satisfied with the LG V30's thinness at 7.39mm and it has a headphone jack.
Close your eyes and imagine how much more satisfied you'd be if it was 6.87mm.
Amazing difference, isn't it.
I like my steaks thick and my women thicker, why should my phone be any different.
Like other commenters here I really don't see thinness of a device as being something people look for when buying a device (although I'm sure some do) and I'd be happy to trade some thinness for toughness, water proofing, battery life, and a headphone jack.
Amen
 

farscapesg1

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https://www.statista.com/chart/5733/headphone-sales-in-the-united-states/
So in 2016 it was still pretty much everybody.. but also another answer, there is more money it bt headphones.. also planned obsolesce is easier to achieve with bt headphone: battery goes bad, software /hardware incompatibility with updates leading to connection issues, losing one bud buttons go bad.. stuff like that.
Hmm, ok 17% of total units.. I can admit to be being wrong in my opinion :p

I'll also admit that I'm just not a big headset person in the first place. The idea of using headphones, of any sort, for more than 6 hours a day is crazy to me. If I'm at work there are conference calls, meetings, socialization, etc. If I'm at home, there is family so I'm not isolating myself away to my own media consumption. My music consumption consists of yard work (wired headphones suck for this), the gym (again, have found wires get in my way more), jogging (eh.. about even), and the car (no aux port, hated the 3.5 to cassette quality and hassle). At work I have pretty regular interruptions, so listening to music is most commonly only on days where I'm there by myself.. and I would rather have it playing over a speaker than headphones in that case. The only times I use headphones for video are the rare occasions at lunch (and I usually would rather sit in my car to not be bothered and just use the car speakers for that), in bed while the wife is reading or sleeping, and on the plane.. which I've only been on two flights that were more than 4-5 hours.. and those were about 10 years ago when we had to use books or the onboard entertainment options to kill the time :p

Maybe I've just had good luck or I'm not just as picky. I can reliably get at least 6 hours of constant music from my 2 year old LG Tones, never have a connection issue with them, and find it simple to plug them in at night right next to my phone, which has to be plugged in anyways. They aren't separate "pods" so I don't have to worry about loosing one bud anymore than I would for a pair of wired ones. They go on my neck in the morning and half the time I forget they are still on me until I go to take a shower.
 

Obi_Kwiet

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Who really cares about making phones thinner than they are? We're spending huge amounts of effort getting phones .1" thinner so we can turn around and shove them into a 20 dollar case.
 

Seventyfive

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I'm curious, why don't the DAC in headsets match the quality of the ones in the phones? Are there some technical reasons for it?
I am going to guess it's related to the size of the dac they can fit inside a small pair of earbuds.
 

lcpiper

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Yes, for two reasons.

1: My work forbids the use of any bluetooth enabled device in the building. It's 3.5mm or bust.

2: All Bluetooth/USB based headphones have to have an internal DAC, which is typically shit quality. Even the cheap DAC used in phones is better then what you'll get in headsets.
And I get that, but you can't say that most people suffer the same regulations, which gets to my viewpoint that it isn't "most people" wanting an analog jack to remain. If anything, IMO there are most likely less people concerned about things like quality DACs, workplace restrictions, and other things that would prevent them from using Bluetooth. Those that need an analog port for headphones are becoming the minority.
Don't get me wrong, I could really care less if they stayed or went away. Sort of like parallel ports on computers. Yeah, I know someone that still insists on having one on his computer...

Thing is, it's not an all or nothing issue. It's a device feature and for some people it's an important one. That means as long as it looks like something that could make a sale, there will probably be a manufacturer building a phone with a headphone jack.
This issue isn't new and phones from major builders still have them. And you are talking Samsung, no one pinches pennies like the Koreans so if Samsung has kept the jack for another round then there is something valid about the argument.
 

lcpiper

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I'm going to use a pretty well known example/comparison here. When people ask, "mountains or ocean" I'm like, why not both?

Why not headphones and bluetooth options in every phone? I find it hard to believe that a) the headphone jack is taking up so much space that you can't find room for it in a device, especially in top tier, large screen devices and b) it's affecting the ability of manufacturers to make devices thinner.

I'm pretty satisfied with the LG V30's thinness at 7.39mm and it has a headphone jack.

Like other commenters here I really don't see thinness of a device as being something people look for when buying a device (although I'm sure some do) and I'd be happy to trade some thinness for toughness, water proofing, battery life, and a headphone jack.
The phones with jacks all have bluetooth as well, so your choice is mountains and oceans, or just oceans.
 

PCMusicGuy

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I'm ok with this patent, but phones don't need to be any thinner. Leave the 3.5mm alone and include it in every phone.

The bigger issue here, is that the OP, Montu, is clearly not hard enough to be allowed to post news if he thinks no 3.5mm jack is ok. :)
 

Mohonri

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Why not headphones and bluetooth options in every phone? I find it hard to believe that a) the headphone jack is taking up so much space that you can't find room for it in a device, especially in top tier, large screen devices and b) it's affecting the ability of manufacturers to make devices thinner.
It *might* have made sense back when every manufacturer was trying to make their phones thinner and thinner. But the last 3 generations of iPhone have actually gotten thicker, from 6.9mm (iPhone 6) to 7.1 (iPhone 7) to 7.3 (iPhone 8), which further pokes holes in the idea that "there's no room for the headphone jack." Apple fit both the taptic engine and the headphone jack in the iPhone 6. The Samsung Galaxy line has also increased in thickness the last generation--the S6 was 6.8mm, the S7 7.9mm, and the S8 is 8mm.
 
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