Google’s Pixel 2 Lacks a Headphone Jack

Google’s recently-announced Pixel 2 smartphone boasts many impressive features. However, the company has chosen to do something that many people scrutinized Apple for doing with its most recent phones; the Pixel 2 also abandons the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Google’s Pixel 2 Moves Away from the Headphone Jack

Many lamented the iPhone 7’s lack of a headphone jack; I was one of them. While I was not really considering buying an iPhone anyway, its decision not to include a headphone jack solidified my choice of the Google Pixel. I have only good things to say about the Pixel, and was even considering upgrading to the Pixel 2, but the lack of a headphone jack has caused me to hesitate.

What Benefits Are There?

I really want to give this a chance. If two of the largest tech giants in the world have made the decision to eliminate the headphone jack, there must be some logic behind it. One of the primary reasons they may have chosen to do this is the Pixel’s reported underwhelming headphone sound quality. While I had not really noticed any deficiency in the sound department – though I am no audiophile – other have.

This change also frees up the display to move closer to the edges of the phone, since there now is no hardware getting in the way. Many other phone makers have chosen to push their screens closer and closer to the edge, and it makes sense that Google – having just entered the phone manufacturing market – would want to keep up with its competition in that regard. It also may be trying to address a design feature that some users have criticized. The original Pixel has a rather large unused area at the top and bottom of its screen. Removing the headphone jack allowed the team to reduce the size of this bezel.

There is also something to be said for not having to be tangled in wires constantly. When out in public, sometimes wires can tangle. Or worse, these wires can get caught on something, ripping earbuds out or headsets off with a loud “THWHOP!” Not only is this unpleasant to hear, it also can induce mild heart attacks out of fear that one’s headset or earbuds are now broken.

Still, the Hesitation Lingers

While I may sound like I have convinced myself of the necessity of this decision, a part of me is still deeply opposed to giving up the headphone jack altogether. While I realize the technology’s age and its flaws, there is something about it that I do not want to let go of. Is it the physical sensation of plugging it in, knowing there will be no issue with hearing what I want to? Is it the memories I have from my teenage years, listening to music on school trips with friends by sharing the same pair of headphones? Or is it something far closer to home: my wallet? I also have nice earbuds and a nice headset, and the idea of having to discard those and buy something new pains me.

Regardless, it does appear that the 3.5mm headphone jack is going to finally be a thing of the past. It had a good run, and if it actually dies, I for one am going to miss it.