Down with Dongles

I hate flying. I especially hate flying without headphones. So when I was at the airport for a flight to Austin earlier this year, and realized I’d forgotten my headphones, I was in a panic. But no worries! I’ll just buy some. So I bought some headphones. Problem solved! Except my Google Pixel doesn’t have a headphone jack, it has a USB-C.

I survived the flight, sure, but clearly you see how a lesser person would have died under such circumstances.

Samsung was the last major smartphone maker holding out against the shift away from wired headphones but renderings of their upcoming Galaxy Note 10 show that’s all over with.

The images were leaked to the site SamMobile and show it would come with a dongle that converts the standard 3.5-mm headphone jack to a USB-C connector. Of course, this means you can only use wired headphones with the dreaded dongle, Best Buy’s top-selling iPhone accessory.

But perhaps most unforgivably, Apple’s decision to ditch the headphone jack led to a string of other smartphone makers jumping onboard. Google, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi, Nokia, and Sony all have started releasing phones without a headphone jack. Samsung previously announced that the Galaxy A8 would not have a headphone jack, but it hasn’t made the change consistently across its product line—the Galaxy S10 did have a jack. But this new leak suggests that Samsung is indeed moving in the direction of killing the headphone jack.

Why its (not) hot

I hate the dongle. Not only is it just bad user experience, but then, of course, they get the added revenue from selling dongles. They’re small and easily lost, and if you don’t have one, and don’t have wireless headphones, you can’t listen to music, watch movies, etc. in silence. What am I supposed to do, talk to the people around me? Interact with the world? I live in New York City – that is not an option.