The Google Pixel 2 may not have a headphone jack

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

This reddit thread is kind of amazing. It’s full of people absolutely losing their minds over the idea of Google removing the headphone jack in the next Pixel. Here are a few of the top comments:

There are tons more on that page (6149 comments in 9 hours!) so you should really check it out yourself.

These comments are broken down into a few categories:

  1. Apple, HTC, LG, and Motorola are removing headphone jacks, and now Google? Gonna get a Galaxy now
  2. I use my headphone jack all the time, I can’t use a phone without one
  3. Google made fun of Apple for killing the plug last year and now Google is doing the same thing

My answer to the first category is easy: this happens all the time, Apple kills something other manufacturers say is essential and then in a year or two everyone else just magically agrees and follows suit. I was told “this time it’s different” last year, but here we are less than 12 months later and it’s happening in a big way. Not everyone has removed the headphone jack yet, but it’s happening and I’d be surprised to see many mainstream phones with them in 2 years.

The second point is fair, and I don’t doubt that many people do use their headphone jacks daily. I personally used mine regularly as well before I got the iPhone 7 Plus, but today it’s literally not even something I think about anymore. I used my headphone jack mostly for…well headphones, and that use case was not interrupted at all by switching. The iPhone had a pair of Lightning headphones in the box, which is what I used sometimes, and they had an adapter as well.

But wired headphones are a pain in their own right so I started using Bluetooth headphones all the time. I personally think the AirPods are the best headphones I’ve ever owned, and Phiaton, who I had never heard of until recently, has a nice set of over-the-ear headphones I really love. I don’t think they’re great, but I have also used these $15 headphones and they’re okay for spoken word content. Oh yeah, and AirPod work great with Android too, so don’t think you can’t enjoy them with your Pixel 2!

I even bought an extra headphone adapter in case I needed to use it somewhere. That extra adapter is sitting on my desk unused since last September. I use one with my car to plug into its AUX plug, but that’s it.

And on the third point yeah, it looks bad for Google that they poked fun at Apple for doing something last year, but this is just how things go. It’s easy to make fun of someone for going first. It’s as true in life, and it’s true in business. Apple is not always right, and using #courage as a way to describe yourself is a little gross, but they are the sort of company who does this thing over and over and takes the hits for doing it. In 2016 having a headphone jack was seen as a competitive advantage over the iPhone, but in 2017 Google may not be seeing it that way anymore.