Google explains why it got rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack

The 5-inch Pixel 2 has no headphone jack, no wireless charging and large bezels. (Source: Google)
The 5-inch Pixel 2 has no headphone jack, no wireless charging and large bezels. (Source: Google)
Google has explained the rationale behind its decision to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack. Following in the footsteps of Apple, Google explains that it is part of an effort to improve the audio experience.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

Google has explained why it has abandoned the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack on its latest Pixel 2 smartphones. Unsurprisingly, the explanation follows along similar lines to Apple’s decision to drop the venerable headphone jack on the iPhone 7 last year. It seems, it has something to do with redundancy while the Mountain View-based company also hopes that we forget it was only last year that it lampooned Apple for making the same decision.

Google Pixel Community Manager Orrin posted these remarks in response to customer enquires about why Google dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack:

The Pixel 2 still comes with a headphone jack but we have moved to USB-C, a standard that is becoming commonplace in the best phones and laptops of today. Moving to the USB-C audio port with Pixel 2 allows us to provide a better audio and digital experience, as we move towards a bezel-less future.

We admit, the last remark about “a bezel-less future” made us chuckle a little. While the Pixel 2 XL has done a reasonable job of minimizing its bezels, the bezels on the smaller 5-inch Pixel 2 are very much on the large side. Particularly for a premium priced flagship device in late 2017. Dare we mention that the Pixel 2 also lacks support for wireless charging, meaning that you won’t be able to charge it and listen to music over the said USB-C port at the same time?

Nonetheless, to make the transition a smoother one, Google has included a dongle in the box so that you can continue to use your preferred old-school headphones. If you lose it, however, or need another one, Google is charging its customers US$20 for the privilege – double what Apple charges for the same type of accessory. It’s also selling customers a dongle made by Moshi that allows you to listen to music and charge your phone over the single USB-C port. Interestingly, at US$45, the Moshi dongle is $10 more than a similar dongle made for the iPhone 7 by Belkin. 




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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-10- 9 (Update: 2017-10- 9)
Sanjiv Sathiah
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.