Google has defended its decision to scrap the 3.5mm audio jack from the new Google Pixel 2, suggesting that the phone still has a headphone jack.
Earlier this week, Google showcased its latest flagship smartphones, the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. They are both crammed with new features, but there was a notable omission: the headphone jack. Following the Apple’s suit, Google has decided that headphone jacks are no longer chic, and ditched the component entirely.
When Apple first made the move with the iPhone 7 last year, it sparked widespread controversy and confusion. Consumers were annoyed that such a cheap component would be binned, and bemoaned the fact that they would now need an expensive adapter to use their existing headphones – or face forking out for Lightning-enabled or Bluetooth-enabled headphones, instead.
Now Google Pixel 2 owners face a similarly frustrating future, but Google seems to be low on sympathy.
In a post to Pixel support boards, Community Manager and Google employee ‘Orrin’ said that the Google Pixel 2 does, in fact, have a headphone jack – if you count USB-C:
“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.”
He went on: “We realise that some of you might be looking for USB-C headphones, and we want to provide some guidance around headphone compatibility with Pixel 2 devices. The main thing to keep in mind is that Pixel 2 devices are compatible with USB-C headphones that support digital audio.”
Orrin went on to list off 12 available USB-C or Bluetooth headphones that are compatible with the Pixel 2, as well as seven mode that are described as “coming soon”. Google says it offers an adapter as standard, but fans of the brand seem largely unconvinced by the shift away from 3.5mm audio jacks.
One commenter – amandaw33 – wrote: “‘The Pixel 2 still comes with a headphone jack’ is a little misleading in a world where headphone jack is AUX out, no? I’m going to need the $45 adapter linked above for my Bose noise-cancelling headphones I use on planes so I can also charge [my] phone at the same time.”
“This is nothing but a way to monetise on additional accessories,” said Daniel Davis, another commenter. “Google could have easily put two USB-C ports if you wanted customers to shift to USB-C for audio. I’d say the Pixel 1 is the last Google phone I’ll own if this hostility towards your customers continues.”
Sign up for the newsletter
Get news, competitions and special offers direct to your inbox
Related: Samsung Galaxy S9
How do you feel about the shift away from headphone jacks? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter.